The peace and conflict research institute TAPRI was founded in Tampere in 1969 by the Finnish parliament and it set to work in the following year. TAPRI's main function is to conduct research about how to secure and maintain peace and how to mitigate and resolve international and national conflicts. During the first decades TAPRI's research focused especially on arms proliferation and arms control as well as research on structural violence. After the cold war the research policy has been governed by the idea of peaceful change and questions related to globalisation.
In addition to its extensive research, international cooperation has become an essential part of TAPRI's activities since its inception. During the first years the institute focused on both cooperation within the Nordic countries and on participation in research projects of the United Nations and its specialized agencies. TAPRI has been also active in international umbrella organizations such as the International Peace Research Association (IPRA) and the European Peace Research Association (EuPRA). In the years 1975-79, TAPRI functioned as the headquarters for IPRA, among others. In 1987 TAPRI received the recognition as a “peace messenger” by the UN.
Today, TAPRI's core tasks consist of publishing, advising and consulting and international cooperation in the fields of peace, conflict and security. The institute's expertise has been used by a variety of different authorities, especially various ministries such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, of Education and of Defense. Individuals have also turned to TAPRI for advice. Furthermore, the institute's researchers have been active in teaching in the field of peace and conflict research.
During its over four decades longs existence, TAPRI has released hundreds of publications by both its own researchers and external ones. Respectively, the researches of the Institute have published widely outside the TAPRI's own publication series.
Initially part of the Finnish Ministry of Education, TAPRI became part of the University of Tampere as an own, independent research unit in 1994. In 2011 TAPRI joined the School of Social sciences and Humanities, retaining its independent status as a research institute. Upon its incorporation into the university school, TAPRI was granted the right to award doctoral degrees and with the first degree being attained in 2014. Over ten students are pursuing their doctoral degree as of today.
Since 2012, TAPRI is running its very own multidisciplinary Master's Degree Programme in Peace, Mediation and Conflict Research with students attending from all over the world and with a variety of different academic backgrounds.