Erwin van Veen

Senior Research Fellow


  • Conflict and Fragility
  • Security and Justice
  • Aid Architecture


  • Middle East & North Africa

Erwin van Veen is a senior research fellow with Clingendael's Conflict Research Unit. A political scientist by training, Erwin applies this lens to relations between political order, security and justice in conflict-prone environments. Extensive travel in the Middle East also generated Erwin’s lasting interest in the region’s conflicts. 

Well known in foreign policy and development circles for employing a mix of applied research, facilitation and strategic advice, his work straddles academic and policy spheres to produce hard-hitting, constructive insights on how to get to less conflict. 

With over seventy published works ranging from journal articles to blogs, bespoke advisory services to governments, international organisations, NGO’s and foundations alike, timely events and a key role in policy initiatives like the New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States and the Knowledge Platform Security and the Rule of Law, he is equally at home in thought and practice. 

Erwin leads Clingendael's research program on hybrid security actors in the Levant, as well as the organisation's security and justice practice. His personal strengths include a broad curiosity, a quick grasp of complexity and the ability to combine the conceptual with the practical.

Previous experience

•    Peacebuilding and conflict specialist at the OECD (2010-2013)
•    Security and development advisor at the Dutch ministry of Foreign Affairs (2006-2010)
•    Human resource business advisor at Shell (2003-2005)

Recent field research

Guinea, Yemen (2014); Lebanon, Mali, Ethiopia and Afghanistan (2015); Iraq (2016); Palestine (several visits), Burundi (2017); Senegal and Mauritania (2018).

Other affiliations

Erwin is also a senior associate analyst at the European Union’s Institute for Security Studies since June 2017.

My work



Conflict and Fragility

Iraq’s Shi’a: A house divided

13 February 2018 - 14:33
Strategic Foresight

Bias in the analysis of political violence

18 January 2018 - 13:41
Conflict and Fragility

Is regional turmoil likely to result in conflict in Lebanon?

20 December 2017 - 14:28
Conflict and Fragility

Return of authoritarianism primes Middle East for more conflict

19 December 2017 - 13:33
Conflict and Fragility

Reconstructing Syria: limitations and possibilities

09 November 2017 - 14:15
Conflict and Fragility

Eye of the Storm: Ethiopia Amid Middle Eastern Conflict

31 October 2017 - 10:13
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Conflict and Fragility

To prevent irrelevance: Adaptive security & justice programming

03 November 2016 - 15:07
Conflict and Fragility

Libya remains in turmoil: implications for international support?

26 September 2016 - 12:27
Conflict and Fragility

'Making better security and justice programming happen'

01 April 2016 - 13:24
Conflict and Fragility

Expert discussion - 'Iraq: How to stabilize a vortex?'

08 April 2015 - 12:50
Conflict and Fragility

All for the few and the few for themselves?

28 October 2014 - 17:23
Conflict and Fragility

'Local' conflicts in transnational entanglements

19 June 2014 - 09:18
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