Tobias Greiff

Tobias Greiff headshot

Tobias Greiff

Professorial Lecturer

Part-time Faculty


Email: Tobias Greiff

Dr. Greiff is a conflict analyst specializing in intergroup/interethnic conflicts in the Balkans. His research is focused on the emergence of new violent actors in post-war settings, the political use of cultural matrixes (symbols, discourses, rituals) to mobilize, legitimize and justify violence, and intergroup positioning processes that challenge local moral orders and pose threats to the security and stability of nation states. He teaches conflict resolution at the Elliott School of International Affairs and holds affiliations with the Center for Political Practice and Order, the Center for Narrative and Conflict Resolution, and the Department of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. Previously he worked as a visiting researcher at the Department of Government at Georgetown University, the Department for International Relations and International Organizations at the University of Groningen, and the Balkan Institute for Conflict Resolution, Responsibility, and Reconciliation at the Sarajevo School of Science and Technology. Next to his academic engagements he serves as the director of f-r-e-e (friendship-respect-education-engagement), an international non-profit organization working in peace and community building in post-conflict environments.


Conflict Analysis & Resolution, Politics of Public Space, Symbolic Politics, Cultural Psychology, Post-War Political Agency

His current research is focused on the emergence of political agency and power in the immediate aftermath of large-scale intergroup conflicts and how the distribution and negotiation processes of power influence the stability of peace settlements (mainly in Bosnia and Herzegovina). Here he is in particular interested in how the interaction of various political actors, whose legitimacy (e.g. voter support) continues to be dependent on war-time – mainly ethno-national – loyalties, can create a new peacetime working order. To highlight potential threats resulting from the ways political powers are created in Bosnia today, he analyzes how political agents use central public spaces as a stage and prop to justify, legitimize, and mobilize their constituents in reference to various ethno-national myths, symbols, and rituals. What his research on intergroup interactions in post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina demonstrates so far is that the current justifications of power pose serious threat to the overall social order of Bosnia; increasingly so since economic decline and reductions in international aid elevate war-time profiteers and logics once again.

Dr. rer. pol. (Ph.D), University of Erfurt (Germany); MA, Ludwig-Maximilians-University (Germany)

IAFF 6898/6899 Conflict Analysis & Resolution (Global Capstone); IAFF 6171 Introduction to Conflict and Conflict Analysis; IAFF 3181 Introduction to Conflict Analysis and Conflict Resolution


Tobias Greiff. Violent Places. Everyday politics and public lives in post-Dayton Bosnia and Herzegovina. Baden-Baden: Tectum Verlag, (early 2018).

Tobias Greiff. Identität und Anspruch: Die Funktionen von Symbolen im Friedensprozess in Bosnien und Herzegowina. Marburg: Tectum Verlag, 2011.

Articles & Bookchapters (selection):

Tobias Greiff and Jacquie L. Greiff (2016). This causes conflict! -- On the risks of establishing causalities through conflict analysis and the consequences of implementing those logics in conflict resolution strategies. In Rom Harre and Fathali Moghaddam (Eds.): Questioning causality: Scientific explorations of causes and consequences across social contexts. Santa Barbara: Praeger, pp. 259---275.

Tobias Greiff (2015). Space, place, and symbol: Utilizing central places to understand intergroup conflict dynamics. In Narrative and Conflict: Explorations in Theory and Practice. Vol. 2(1), pp. 33---64.

Tobias Greiff (2015). Radicalized. Review of the book Why ‘good kids’ turn into deadly terrorists, by Alice LoCicero. In Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology. Vol. 21(4), pp. 673---674.

Tobias Greiff and Jacquie L. Greiff (2014). The ‘Need For Success’: Untying international peace interventions in Mostar. In Alternatives: Global, Local, Political. Vol. 39(2), pp. 108---123.

Tobias Greiff (2013). Losing one’s enemies? Partisans, Germans and the (in-)stability of Yugoslavia. In Rom Harre and Fathali Moghaddam (Eds.): The Psychology of Friendship and Enmity: Relationships in Love, Work, Politics, and War. Westport: Praeger, pp. 145---166.