CENDEP conducts research on humanitarian practice in conflict areas. The research concerns the role of humanitarian practitioners, the changing landscape of conflict and its meaning for humanitarian practice and the experiences, adaptations and strategies of civilians in conflict settings. We are particularly concerned with the role played by culture in conflict. We explore how conflict changes cultural settings and expressions of affected people; how a culture of crises and of conflict may lead to changes of behaviours, values and perceptions for affected populations; the heritage of conflict that needs to be understood and monitored in post-conflict projects of reconstruction. Since 2010, we have created an observatory of symbolic violence aiming at understanding better ‘soft form of violence’ and its impacts on culture, identity of affected communities. With the main aims of protection, advocacy and capacity building, the observatory by way of action research aims at identifying the mechanisms of symbolic violence, its impacts and ways for the population to adapt to it and to reduce it. Action research projects are currently taking place in the West Bank through the ‘Building Sumud project’ and in Colombia targeting particularly ethnic minorities groups and internally displaced populations. Investigations are also conducted in Ukraine and Liberia. Research on the dilemmas between relief and development in protracted humanitarian contexts is also a main area of research. The research area collaborates closely with all areas of research in CENDEP, and particularly on forced migration and shelter.