Advisor to the Director - Strategic Development and Partnerships
Senior Researcher at the Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding (CCDP)
Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Programmes
Areas of expertise
  • Mediation and conflict resolution
  • Dynamics of violence and political transitions
  • City diplomacy
  • Business in fragile states
Geographical Region of Expertise
  • Latin America
  • MENA region


Achim Wennmann works across research, policy, and practitioner communities to enable critical thinking, facilitate partnership and find solutions. He has over 20 years of experience in strategic management of complex policy and research projects and served in a variety of advisory roles for companies, foundations, international organizations, NGOs, and governments. He is co-founder of Geneva Peace Week and of the Peace Talks Initiative and has facilitated several multi-stakeholder processes. Having worked with many peace mediators and community workers over the last decade, Achim believes in the merits of dialogue and negotiation for preventing and resolving conflicts, even in the most difficult contexts and with the most difficult actors. His academic work has been published in journals such as Third World Quarterly; Global Governance; Security Dialogue; the International Review of the Red Cross; Conflict, Security and Development; and the Journal of International Business Policy, and in edited volumes published by Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press or Routledge. 

Achim Wennmann currently serves as Advisor to the Director of the Graduate Institute, Professor Marie Laure Salles, for Strategic Development and Partnerships. He is also Senior Researcher at the Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding (CCDP) of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, where he teaches Peace Mediation in a Changing World and Business and Security in Fragile States. Achim is also Associate Fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, and a member of the Expert Network of the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime. Until early 2021, Achim was the Executive Coordinator of the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform, a knowledge hub that connects the critical mass of peacebuilding actors, resources, and expertise in Geneva and worldwide.

Achim Wennmann holds a Doctorate in International Relations from the Graduate Institute, where he also obtained a Diplôme d’Études Supérieures (DES). He also studied at the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations with Development Studies. Achim holds dual Swiss and German nationalities and speaks German, English, Spanish and French. 


Expertise Details

  • Adaptation of peace mediation, conflict prevention and peacebuilding practice to changing global, regional and local orders.

  • Opportunities and constraints of post-conflict economic development in the nexus of state sovereignty and hybrid political orders.

  • Transnational diplomacy of cities and corporations and universities, with a focus on violence reduction and risk mitigation.

  • The political economy of violent conflict, peace processes and political transitions.


Selected publications



  • Illicit Economies and Urban Peace, Special Issue of the Journal of Illicit Economies and Development, Vol.2, No. 2 (2021)(edited with John Collins and Tuesday Reitano).

  • Urban Safety and Peacebuilding: New Perspectives on Sustaining Peace in the City. London: Routledge (2019, edited with Oliver Jütersonke).

  • Business and Conflict in Fragile States: The Case for Pragmatic Solutions. London: Routledge for the International Institute for Strategic Studies (2016, with Brian Ganson).

  • Legitimacy and Peace Processes: From Coercion to Consent. London: Conciliation Resources (2014, edited with Alexander Ramsbotham).

  • The Political Economy of Peacemaking. London: Routledge (2011). 

  • Ending Wars, Consolidating Peace: Economic Dimensions. London: Routledge for the Institute for International and Strategic Studies (2010, edited with Mats Berdal). 

  • The Global Burden of Armed Violence. Geneva: Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development (2008, edited with Keith Krause and Robert Muggah). 

Selected journal publications

  • Illicit Economies Through the Lens of Urban Peace: Towards a New Policy Agenda, Journal of Illicit Economies and Development Vol.2, No.2 (2021), pp.256-266.

  • Political Economy, International Law and Peace Agreements. In Marc Weller, Mark Retter, and Andrea Varga (eds) International Law and Peacemaking (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021), pp.449-473 (with Andrew Ladley).

  • Daring the Unconventional on the Pathways for Peace: On the “How” of Sustaining Peace in the City. In Achim Wennmann and Oliver Jütersonke (eds) Urban Safety and Peacebuildling: New Perspectives on Sustaining Peace in the City (London: Routledge, 2019), 178-194.

  • Reconstructing Syria, Reinventing Peacebuilding? In Luigi Narbone (ed) Fractured Stability: War Economies and Reconstruction in the MENA (Florence: European Union Institute, 2019), 24-33.

  • The Political Economy of Conflict within States. Oxford Research Encyclopaedia of International Studies. Oxford University Press, February 2019.

  • Business Environment Reforms in Fragile and Conflict-Affected States: From a Transactions
    towards a Systems Approach. Journal of International Business Policy (2019), 217-236 (with John
    Luiz and Brian Ganson).

  • Business Engagement in Violence Prevention and Peacebuilding: The Case of Kenya. Conflict, Security and Development Vol. 17, No. 6 (2017), 451–472 (with Jonathan Austin).

  • Negotiated Exits from Organized Crime? Building Peace in Conflict and Crime-affected Contexts. Negotiation Journal Vol.30, No.3 (2014), 255-273.

  • The Role of Business in Armed Violence Reduction and Prevention. International Review of the Red Cross, Vol. 95, No.886 (2012), p.919-940.

  • Economic Dimensions of Armed Groups: Profiling the Financing, Costs, and Agendas and Their Implications for Mediated Engagements. International Review of the Red Cross, Vol.94, No.882 (2011), 333-352. 

  • Breaking the Conflict Trap? Addressing the Resource Curse in Peace Processes. Global Governance Vol. 17, No.2 (2011), 265-280.

  • Getting Armed Groups to the Table: Peace Processes, the Political Economy of Conflict and the Mediated State. Third World Quarterly Vol. 30, No. 6 (2009), 1123-1138.

  • Grasping the Financing and Mobilisation Cost of Armed Groups: A New Perspective on Conflict Dynamics. Contemporary Security Policy Vol. 30, No. 2 (2009), 265-280. 

  • The Political Economy of Conflict Financing: A Comprehensive Approach Beyond Natural Resources. Global Governance Vol. 13, No. 3 (2007), 427-444.

  • Resourcing the Recurrence of Intra-state Conflict: Parallel Economies and Their Implications for Peacebuilding. Security Dialogue Vol. 36. No. 4 (2005), 479-494.

Policy briefs, blogs, press (selected)

  • Urban diplomacy key to preventing conflict in cities, Blog of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, 9 September 2019.

  • A Peacebuilding Perspective on Post-conflict Reconstruction in Syria, Blog of the Conflict Research Programme of the London School of Economics and Political Science, 14 February 2019.

  • Crossing the New Frontier: Peace Mediation in the City. Oslo Forum Paper (Geneva: Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, 2018).

  • Diplomatie des Friedens, Gastkommentar, Neuer Züricher Zeitung, 13 January 2017.

  • Crime and Conflict, GSDRC Professional Development Reading Pack No. 12 (2015).

  • Le secteur privé peut-il aider les États fragiles? Le Temps, 9 December 2014.

Achim Wennmann
Achim Wennmann