The Olive Branch

This blog offers timely analysis, views from the field and an exchange of ideas about how to build peace and prevent or end conflict. USIP invites you to browse the posts and then offer your own ideas, comments or reflections. Each blog post and comment on the Olive Branch represents the views of the author and not necessarily that of USIP, a non-partisan, congressionally-funded organization that does not take policy positions.

May 5, 2016
Violent conflict, often shaped by religious extremism, is concentrated in many of the world’s youngest populations, underscoring that a more peaceful world cannot be built without youth helping to lead. Five months after the United Nations formally urged governments to act on that idea, 28 young...
May 4, 2016
In Pakistan, a series of vibrant murals has gone viral, inciting discussion, online and in city streets, about gender-based violence and discrimination. Young women artists changed the landscape of the country’s largest cities as they worked with communities to turn local people’s stories into art...
April 28, 2016
The linchpin for better understanding China’s foreign policy may lie less in watching its external moves than in analyzing its domestic dynamics. While President Xi Jinping has taken a more assertive approach to foreign policy than his predecessors, he continues to spend most of his time on...
April 21, 2016
Four years after the formation of a federal government in Somalia, the country has built nascent institutions, but it will need years of financial and security support to make the new state effective, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said April 20 at USIP. The country’s next critical step will be to...
March 29, 2016
My sympathy goes out to the survivors and families of those who died in the terrible attacks in a string of bombings over this last week -- from Brussels to Baghdad to Lahore. I was in Brussels on a business trip and was preparing to leave my hotel to catch a flight back to Washington when we got...
March 28, 2016
For peacekeeping forces in Africa, the days of simply patrolling a ceasefire line or keeping local armies apart are over. Their assignments today increasingly include protecting civilians, confronting violent extremism and even engaging in what amounts to counter insurgency. These new burdens...
March 21, 2016
When terrorists attacked India’s Pathankot air base near the Pakistani border in January, and India said the assailants had come from Pakistan, observers worldwide momentarily held their breaths, wondering whether this confrontation would spin into wider violence.
March 14, 2016
The ongoing tension and turmoil in Haiti, Uganda, and Macedonia once again demonstrate the complex relationship between elections, democratic stability and peace. Peaceful elections help create the foundation for stable political transitions. But in poorly governed states, elections often trigger...
March 10, 2016
The president of one of the four civil society organizations in the Nobel Prize-winning Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet said her country will need to make changes in its education system to reduce unemployment and adapt to an evolving economy. In a videotaped interview during a visit to USIP,...
March 9, 2016
After successfully holding national elections on Feb. 14, the Central African Republic is poised for a new stage of its political transition and the rebuilding of the country following years of deadly conflict. But outgoing Interim President Catherine Samba-Panza told USIP in a videotaped interview...