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 research about the power dynamics and organization of security and justice in conflict-prone environments. On top of this, extensive travel in the Middle East engendered a lasting interest in the region’s conflicts. 

Well known in foreign policy and development circles for employing a mix of 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. In Erwin’s view, ‘a crucial task of applied research is to look for the alternative narrative, the underdeveloped frame, and to find out what that means for how problems can be addressed in more innovative ways’.

With over 60 published works ranging from journal articles to blogs, bespoke advisory services to governmental and non-governmental organizations alike, as well as 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.

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 vists), Burundi (2017).

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 competing security forces after the battle for Mosul

28 August 2017 - 15:32
Conflict and Fragility

Burundi blues: the road to violence & back

06 July 2017 - 18:19
Conflict and Fragility

Qatarsis of the Gulf means more conflict in the region

04 July 2017 - 17:23
Conflict and Fragility

A shotgun marriage: rule of law in fragile societies

22 June 2017 - 16:42
Conflict and Fragility

State and social resilience in the EU's Global Strategy

01 June 2017 - 14:14
Show more Publications



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
Conflict and Fragility


17 September 2013 - 10:36