Articles and Publications

USIP articles, publications, and tools provide the latest news, analysis, research findings, practitioner guides, and reports from the conflict zones that are at the center of the Institute’s work to prevent and reduce violent conflict.

Latest Articles & Analysis

August 2016
By
USIP Staff
Iraq’s execution yesterday of 36 men whom it accused of committing the deadliest single atrocity by the Islamic State group underscores that any stabilization of Iraq will require international support to strengthen the country’s overburdened judicial system, according to USIP Iraq specialist Sarhang Hamasaeed. Iraq’s government came under intense pressure from the country’s Shia Muslim majority population, and from the Shia “Popular Mobilization Forces,” or pro-government militias, to conduct the executions, Hamasaeed said.
August 2016
By
USIP Staff
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta’s first four years in office expire next year and he has announced he’s going to run for a second term in elections scheduled for August 2017. But the competition for power already is heating up. 
August 2016
By
USIP Staff
Khaled Harah, a volunteer with Syria’s Civil Defense Force, or “White Helmets,” died in an airstrike in Aleppo last week as he worked to rescue survivors amid the debris of an aerial bombing. In 2014 at USIP, Harah and some of his colleagues described that rescue work, which had brought them to world attention.
August 2016
By
Georgia Holmer
From Orlando to Brussels to Baghdad to Jakarta, few regions of the world have been spared the violence generated by those who see value, meaning and opportunity in joining and supporting groups like ISIS. There is growing international resolve to develop joint and sustainable ways to address the transnational threat of violent extremism. Notably, human rights are increasingly seen as critical and pragmatic components—as part of the solution, not an objective that must either be accommodated or a separate line of effort.
August 2016
By
Carla Koppell and Alison Milofsky
It was a startling discovery five years ago that prompted then 21-year-old Shubey Nantege of Uganda to found Go Girl Africa. The organization has provided financial literacy skills to 2,500 girls and young women, helping them make positive changes in their lives. Leaders like Shubey illustrate how young people are essential partners in promoting peacebuilding and gender equality, a point worth highlighting today on International Youth Day. The occasion also provides an opportunity to spotlight gaps in international assistance that can be filled to strengthen the role of young people in advancing peace and equality.
August 2016
As negotiators for the Colombian government and the FARC rebel group iron out the final details of a potential peace accord, USIP is working with a network of 30 women mediators from a dozen regions of Colombia who are preparing to serve as catalysts for reconciliation in the aftermath of an agreement. 
August 2016
By
Joshua Levkowitz
Artists and peace advocates are using public art to oppose violence, notably in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Middle East. The results have varied, advocates say, but the art campaigns have worked to undermine extremists’ calls to violence, and helped communities heal the divisions of war. They have ignited public discussion of local conflicts and even triggered peacebuilding efforts. Art campaigners and peace advocates who have worked across the Middle East and South Asia discussed the uses—and the limits—of public art as a peacebuilding tool, in a recent forum at USIP. 
July 2016
By
Princeton Lyman and Kate Almquist Knopf
South Sudan marked its fifth anniversary as a state this month not with celebrations but with rival armed factions shooting at each other in the streets of the capital. Several hundred people were killed in less than a week, tens of thousands displaced, and even sacrosanct U.N. camps protecting civilians were attacked. South Sudan ceased to perform even the minimal functions and responsibilities of a sovereign state long ago, and today the likelihood of a larger pogrom and escalating civil war is high.
July 2016
By
Viola Gienger
Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari and U.S. envoy Brett McGurk today emphasized the urgency of planning and financing Iraq’s recovery from the ISIS onslaught as areas the extremist group had controlled are recaptured more quickly than expected. The two spoke at the U.S. Institute of Peace in advance of an international conference of donors to Iraq convening in Washington tomorrow and a meeting the following day of the global coalition backing the fight.
July 2016
By
Nancy Lindborg
His Holiness the Dalai Lama made a powerful point during a visit to USIP last month, a day after the Orlando nightclub shooting that killed 49 people and wounded 53. After leading the audience in a moment of silence for the victims and survivors, he noted his own skepticism about the power of prayer alone. “The real effect,” he said, “comes through … serious action.”  

Latest Publications and Tools

August 2016
By
Khitam Al-Khaykanee
Many of the three million-plus internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in Iraq wish to return to their homes in areas no longer controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). But weak security and informal justice in these areas make safe return a challenge.
August 2016
The Peace Day Challenge is a global effort to turn the International Day of Peace into a day of global action that affirms peace as a real alternative to the increasing violence we see daily.
July 2016
By
Courtney J. Fung
China, traditionally reluctant to intervene, has become a major contributor to UN peacekeeping operations. However, given its available assets, the country has the capacity to increase its commitments and play a key role in improving peacekeeping operations.
July 2016
By
Virginia M. Bouvier and Lisa Haugaard
Forced disappearances are a legacy of Colombia’s half-century of internal armed conflict. They have affected the rural and urban poor, labor and peasant organizers, journalists, human rights defenders, politicians, and Afro-Colombian and indigenous leaders.
July 2016
Iraq has been ravaged in recent years by cycles of warfare, a growing refugee crisis, crippling sectarianism, and the violent spread of the self-styled Islamic State extremist movement (also known as ISIS, ISIL or by its Arabic acronym, Daesh).
July 2016
By
Ahsan Butt
History textbooks capture a state’s official narratives regarding particular events, territory, groups, or phenomena. These narratives reflect and constitute a state’s national identity and can generate the potential for conflict because of their divisiveness.
July 2016
By
William A. Byrd
Afghanistan’s “technocratic” reforms have resulted in impressive progress in areas such as public financial management. However, these reforms alone will not solve the country’s pressing security, political, and economic problems.
June 2016
By
Ali Dayan Hasan
Although reports indicate an improvement in its overall security, Balochistan remains the most fragile province in contemporary Pakistan. This brief examines both the efficacy and motivations behind the state’s recent actions to end persistent conflict in the province.  
June 2016
By
Sherine N. El Taraboulsi
Cross-border transactions have been shaping the Libyan civil and political landscape for decades. However, desk research and field interviews in Tunisia reveal that interventions for peacebuilding are not fully accounting for these transactions or other regional activities.
June 2016
By
Ketty Anyeko, Kim Thuy Seelinger & Julie Freccero
Local practitioners who work with survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) on a daily basis during peacetime also play a vital role in accountability for conflict-period SGBV.

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