M.Sc. Stefanie Wesch

Doctoral Researcher

Stefanie Wesch completed her undergraduate degree in the field of International Relations at Hawai´i Pacific University. She was able to gain initial work experience at the Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations in New York, where she was active in the First and Third Committee of the General Assembly, as well as writing occasional speeches for Ambassador Tanin. Stefanie Wesch managed to further develop her authoring skills between 2012 and 2013 while working at the Bolivian think tank Institute of International Studies (IDEI). Here she wrote about a diverse set of topics, ranging from the Syrian conflict to the Bolivian-Chilean border dispute, from an International Law and Security Studies perspective. Realizing her strong interest in peace studies, Stefanie Wesch obtained her Master´s Degree in Conflict Resolution and Governance at the University of Amsterdam, where she focused on social movements and extremism for the purpose of her Master´s thesis. At the Potsdam Institute, she has been working on the Climate-Conflict-Migration-Nexus in the Sahel and Central Asia plus Afghanistan. She has undertaken qualitative fieldwork in the regions of Agadez, Niamey and Tillaberie in Niger  in 2018 as well as in Burkina Faso in 2019. Her research in the region focusses on intercommunal violence, specifically causes, prevention and mediation mechanisms and their influence on recruitment into extremist organizations and migration decisions in the Sahel. Stefanie Wesch holds the positions of project coordinator and doctoral researcher for the Green Vision Central Asia project,  financed by the German Federal Foreign Office. In this capacity, she has undertaken exploritory fieldwork and capacity building activities in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgystan and Kazahstan. She is writing her dissertation on the interaction of climate change and security in the Sahel and Central Asia/ Afghanistan.

#EnvironmentalPeacebuilding #HorizontalInequalities #SocialMovements #ClimateAdaptation #Marginalization #Grievances #RelativeDeprivation #ArmedGroupRecruitment #Extremism #SocialCoherence


Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
T +49 (0)331 288 20726
P.O. Box 60 12 03
14412 Potsdam


Deputy Speaker, Leibniz Research Community, Working Group Equal Opportunity and Diversity

Speaker, Junge AFK (Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Friedens- und Konfliktforschung)

Vinke, KiraDröge, Susanne; Gießmann, Hans-JoachimHamm, CharlotteKroll, StefanRheinbay, JannaWesch, Stefanie (2021)Klimawandel und Konflikte. Herausforderungen für die deutsche Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik. Herausgegeben vom Beirat Zivile Krisenprävention und Friedensförderung. Studie 2. Berlin.

Wesch, Stefanie; Woldie, Amsalu (2020): Climate Change and Labor in sub-Saharan Africa. Herausgegeben von GIZ and Sectoral Network Rural Development. Report. Potsdam

Wesch, S., Murken, L., Vinke, K. (2019): Warum Klimaschutz Krisenprävention ist: Das Beispiel Burkina Faso. PeaceLab.