Erwin van Veen

Senior Research Fellow


  • Conflict and Fragility
  • Security and Justice
  • Aid Architecture


  • Middle East & North Africa

As Senior Research Fellow, Erwin van Veen is an experienced professional who delivers high quality and insightful strategic advice that helps mitigate violent conflict. His direct area of expertise is the relation between political order and tools of coercion, especially the role of hybrid armed groups in processes of state development.

Erwin leads a diverse team of five experts that researches conflict dynamics in the Middle East from a political-economy perspective for clients like ministries of foreign affairs, NGOs and international organizations. The team focuses on Syria, Iraq, Palestine and the Kurdish question with due attention to Iranian, Turkish and Saudi foreign policy.

Extensive experience in/with governments, international organizations and research organizations, combined with extensive travel in the Middle East, ensures Erwin’s work straddles academic and policy spheres to produce well-grounded and hard-hitting insights.

By blending research with opinion pieces, timely events, media appearances, workshop facilitation and the occasional training, Erwin and the team take pride in helping clients develop innovative, evidence-based and humane policy responses to contemporary conflicts.

Erwin’s personal strengths include a broad curiosity, a quick grasp of complexity and the ability to combine the conceptual with the practical. Matching past achievements include the co-creation of major policy innovations such as the ‘International Security Sector Advisory Team’ (an international expert team on security sector reform), the ‘New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States’ (an agreement between 40+ states and international organizations to improve aid provision to fragile states), as well as the ‘Knowledge Platform Security and Rule of Law’ (a mechanism for knowledge brokerage and uptake among policy-makers and program staff engaged in conflict-affected countries).

His previous experiences include roles as peacebuilding and conflict specialist at the OECD (2010-2013), security and development advisor at the Dutch ministry of Foreign Affairs (2006-2010) and human resource business advisor at Shell (2003-2005). Erwin obtained university degrees in public administration, security sector management and EU politics – all with distinction.

My work



Conflict and Fragility

A Covid-19 upgrade of EU engagement in the Middle East

25 May 2020 - 12:51
Conflict and Fragility

Covid-19 and conflict in the Middle East

30 April 2020 - 10:51
Conflict and Fragility

Security sector stabilisation and development in Libya

02 April 2020 - 14:29
Conflict and Fragility

EU options for dealing with the Assad regime

30 March 2020 - 10:14
Conflict and Fragility

Capacity building by international peacekeeping missions

04 February 2020 - 09:54
Conflict and Fragility

Iraq: How to deal with a state with four armies?

13 November 2019 - 12:18
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Conflict and Fragility

Tijd voor een koerswijziging van het Nederlandse Israëlbeleid?

04 October 2019 - 20:00
Conflict and Fragility

Syria After Civil War #3: Regional Militancy and Political Order

13 May 2019 - 11:30
Conflict and Fragility

Syria after Civil War #2: The geopolitics of Conflict

26 March 2019 - 12:00
Conflict and Fragility

Israel and Palestine: The state of the two-state solution

08 November 2018 - 09:00
Conflict and Fragility

The curious case of adolescent democracy and protracted violence

10 October 2018 - 09:00
Conflict and Fragility

Iraq beyond its 2018 elections: what might be next?

20 June 2018 - 15:00
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