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 relations between political order and security in conflict-prone environments. Knowing that evidence-based advice can make a difference when policy windows occasionally open, Erwin’s work straddles academic and policy spheres to produce hard-hitting, constructive insights on how to get to less conflict. His achievements include major contributions to policy initiatives like the creation of the International Security Sector Advisory Team at DCAF, the New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States, as well as the Knowledge Platform Security and Rule of Law.

Erwin leads Clingendael’s Levant research program that analyses how the proliferation of militias and armed groups in Syria and Iraq impacts on state development in a context of intense geopolitical competition. Together with a small team, he fuses opinion pieces, events, media appearances and in-depth research into a dynamic stream of insight and policy proposals.

He also remains at the forefront of the thinking about security sector development and the practical aspects of adaptive programming as well as political-economy analysis.

Erwin’s 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).

My work



Conflict and Fragility

Iraq’s Al-Hashd al-Sha'abi: four key insights

28 June 2018 - 16:30
Conflict and Fragility

Three trade-offs a German SSR strategy needs to address

01 May 2018 - 10:50
Conflict and Fragility

Cinq stratagèmes pour générer des revenus dans le monde arabe...

26 April 2018 - 13:27
Conflict and Fragility

Creating a new Syria

16 April 2018 - 12:49
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
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Conflict and Fragility

Syria under Assad: Challenges for European policy

10 January 2018 - 10:58
Conflict and Fragility

Iraq beyond 'Mosul': avoiding the next conflict

23 October 2017 - 11:27
Conflict and Fragility

Yemen: Drivers of conflict and peace

07 November 2016 - 13:01
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
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