Articles and Publications

USIP Articles, Publications and Tools provide the latest analysis of international developments and policy recommendations on world affairs issues, particularly the prevention and resolution of conflict.

Latest Articles & Analysis

October 2014
By
Jacqueline H. Wilson and Debra Liang-Fenton
Nigeria's February 2015 general elections have been described by former Assistant Secretary of State Johnnie Carson, a senior advisor at the U.S. Institute of Peace, as being both "intensely watched and extremely important." The vote poses risks as the country struggles with internal conflicts, but it also presents possibilities for citizen engagement and political stability.  Yet a workshop we conducted recently in the capital Abuja exposed some critical gaps in efforts to prevent election-related violence similar to the politically-driven communal clashes that have roiled this oil-rich nation in the past.
October 2014
By
William B. Taylor
Tunisia’s prospects for retaining its title as the only transition of the Arab Spring that hasn’t failed or collapsed into violence faces further tests this month and next, with important parliamentary elections scheduled for Oct. 26 and a presidential election on Nov. 23. USIP Acting President William B. Taylor, a former special coordinator for Middle East transitions in the State Department, considers what’s at stake.
October 2014
By
Paul Hughes and Linwood Ham
A case study hashed out at West Point recently focused on a conflict 15 years past to demonstrate that a post-war transition has a better chance of success with three key elements. The formula could reframe the nation’s recurring debate over “nation-building” and point the way to approaches that might help the U.S. and its allies during the next phase of Afghanistan’s transition.
October 2014
By
Viola Gienger
Congressional support to continue aiding Afghanistan over the long term will require a better understanding by the American public of the progress made despite well-publicized setbacks, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin told an audience at the U.S. Institute of Peace today.
October 2014
By
Viola Gienger
As the militant group calling itself the “Islamic State” killed and rampaged across northern Iraq in recent months, a former street artist from the Baghdad neighborhood of Sadr City began to notice something on Facebook: messages of peace and religious tolerance, cartoons courageously mocking extremism and photos of aid deliveries for people driven from their homes by the violence. The missives were posted by his former colleagues in the USIP-supported “Salam Shabab” television reality show.
October 2014
By
Viola Gienger
In Libya’s 2011 uprising, protesters pumped loud music from radios or CD players in the streets in front of government buildings, then fled from the inevitable rush of security forces. The nonviolent early days of Egypt’s revolution that same year spawned a raft of new independent music groups. In Turkey, the “Song of Pots and Pans” exhorts political leaders to stop their lies and repressive tactics.
October 2014
(Washington) – In bestowing the Nobel Peace Prize for 2014 to Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzay, the Norwegian Nobel Committee highlights the important role of youth and education in creating peace and countering violent extremism. USIP is always excited about the Peace Prize, but this one particularly resonates, given the institute’s intensive focus on nurturing young peacebuilders, preventing extremist violence and advancing the peacebuilding role that religion can play in conflict zones.
October 2014
By
Emily Horin
As Afghanistan attempts to develop its economy by attracting investment to its mining sector, the already daunting conditions for women in rural areas could worsen without specific steps to address their needs. That’s the conclusion of a study funded by USIP that examined the potential ramifications for women in three mining communities in Afghanistan.
October 2014
By
Aparna Ramanan
The day started with seven hours of digging through rubble to free three families from a building hit by a barrel bomb. Just as the workers thought they were finished, a frantic mother rushed up to them, crying and pleading to please help find her missing baby too, a child just 10 days old.  The resulting 16-hour day of painstakingly clearing pieces of collapsed ceilings and walls typifies the daily routine for a group of Syrian rescue workers who told their stories at USIP recently.
October 2014
By
Delphine Djiraibe, Jok Madut Jok, Arif Elsaui Omer, Franklin Oduro, Daud Osman
Two months after the White House invited 50 heads of state to Washington for the first U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit on Aug. 4-6, observers on both continents are asking, “What did the summit achieve, and how will any gains made be leveraged?” USIP asked several prominent Africans who have worked with the Institute over the years for their reflections

Latest Publications and Tools

October 2014
By
Jacob Zenn and Kathleen Kuehnast
Kyrgyzstan is the only country in Central Asia that has seen significant political transition since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, having twice—in 2005 and 2010—overthrown autocrats in violent uprisings. At the same time, its new democratic institutions, elected leaders, and multiparty parliament make it a test case for political liberalization. If its political system fails or the country falls apart, so will the first democratic experiment in Central Asia. Concerns within Kyrgyzstan are that underlying socioeconomic conditions and a lack of public services—combined with other factors, such as drug trafficking, political manipulation, regional instability, and imported religious ideologies—create an environment in which violent extremism can flourish. This report offers perspectives on the national and regional dynamics of violent extremism and what might be done to prevent it in Kyrgyzstan.
October 2014
By
Claire Elder, Susan Stigant and Jonas Claes
To prevent a recurrence of the widespread violence that left 1,100 dead and 650,000 displaced in the aftermath of the December 2007 Kenyan elections, Kenya and the broader international community initiated a multifaceted peacebuilding effort in the lead-up to the country’s March 2013 elections.
Type
October 2014
By
Claire Elder, Susan Stigant and Jonas Claes
To prevent a recurrence of the widespread violence that left 1,100 dead and 650,000 displaced in the aftermath of the December 2007 Kenyan elections, Kenya and the broader international community initiated a multifaceted peacebuilding effort in the lead-up to the country’s March 2013 elections.
Type
September 2014
By
William A. Byrd and David Mansfield
Opium production continues to increase in Afghanistan, but there are no easy, one-dimensional solutions to this problem. Afghanistan unfortunately will not be able to join the small group of countries that produce licit opium for medicinal purposes. The opium it currently produces is both illegal and high-cost. Trying to introduce licit production runs the risk that large-scale illicit production will continue in parallel. In the long term, it is unlikely that Afghanistan could compete in the global market with lower-cost, more efficient growers of licit opiates.
September 2014
By
William A. Byrd and David Mansfield
Opium production continues to increase in Afghanistan, but there are no easy, one-dimensional solutions to this problem. Afghanistan unfortunately will not be able to join the small group of countries that produce licit opium for medicinal purposes. The opium it currently produces is both illegal and high-cost. Trying to introduce licit production runs the risk that large-scale illicit production will continue in parallel. In the long term, it is unlikely that Afghanistan could compete in the global market with lower-cost, more efficient growers of licit opiates.
September 2014
By
Georgia Holmer with Fulco van Deventer
What happens when community policing—a strategy that promotes collaboration between the police and a community to ensure safety and security—is implemented in transitional societies, in marginalized communities, or to prevent violent extremism or to engage women in providing community-level security? To ensure that they are not doing more harm than good, security, gender, and peacebuilding practitioners must both expand their understanding of policing methodologies and related assumptions and reconcile sometimes competing objectives.
September 2014
By
Georgia Holmer with Fulco van Deventer
What happens when community policing—a strategy that promotes collaboration between the police and a community to ensure safety and security—is implemented in transitional societies, in marginalized communities, or to prevent violent extremism or to engage women in providing community-level security? To ensure that they are not doing more harm than good, security, gender, and peacebuilding practitioners must both expand their understanding of policing methodologies and related assumptions and reconcile sometimes competing objectives.
September 2014
By
Fiona Mangan and Christina Murtaugh with support from Ferdaouis Bagga
Three years after the death of Muammar Qaddafi and the end of the revolution in Libya, security and justice are stalled and elusive despite the proliferation of security providers. The power of the gun prevails over the rule of law. Many see no end in sight. Based on a nationwide survey and drawn from interviews and focus group sessions, this report—supported by the USIP and the Small Arms Survey—tracks security and justice in Libya from before the revolution through today, its realities, and its impact on the country and its population.
Type
September 2014
By
Fiona Mangan and Christina Murtaugh with support from Ferdaouis Bagga
Three years after the death of Muammar Qaddafi and the end of the revolution in Libya, security and justice are stalled and elusive despite the proliferation of security providers. The power of the gun prevails over the rule of law. Many see no end in sight. Based on a nationwide survey and drawn from interviews and focus group sessions, this report—supported by the USIP and the Small Arms Survey—tracks security and justice in Libya from before the revolution through today, its realities, and its impact on the country and its population.
Type
September 2014
By
Georgia Holmer
Unlike other counterterrorism strategies, countering violent extremism (CVE) focuses on preventing individuals from being recruited into or joining violent extremist groups. CVE is a complex endeavor, largely because the reasons individuals become involved in extremist violence are in themselves complex and the dynamics are unique to each conflict. Using Kenya as an example, and drawing on observations from a recent visit, the author explores how promoting a more nuanced understanding of radicalization can help reach those who are at risk of being pushed and pulled into extremist violence.

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