This micro-course provides an overview of the strategic process of building peace when long-term violence has burdened a conflict-affected community. It describes the seven necessary components that should be considered to make peacebuilding more effective.

The Ninawa discussions in Iraq. Photo courtesy of USIP
The Ninawa discussions in Iraq. Photo courtesy of USIP

Course Overview & Key Objectives

“Strategic peacebuilding” means utilizing a holistic approach to violent conflict that builds and maintains top-down and bottom-up connections between people as well as between groups at all levels. It means creating a plan with a method in mind for how to execute it over time, realizing that we may have to revamp it as new challenges emerge in the field, and combining the efforts of insiders and outsiders committed to peace and a new path of social change. To end situations of large-scale violence, hatred or injustice, professional peacebuilders must combine their knowledge of the central concepts, theories and findings of modern peace research with what we know of the best practices of experts engaged in peacebuilding and related issues, and with careful, in-depth, reflection on how insiders and outsiders to a violent conflict can build stable peace in their particular situation.

By the end of this micro-course, participants will be able to achieve the following objectives:

  • Describe the role of strategic peacebuilding when preparing for peace and why it's important; and
  • Identify the seven considerations to take into account in the peacebuilding process.

Overview Video

Click on the video below for an overview of the course.

If you cannot play the video, click here to download it.

Agenda

Section 1 - Introduction

Introduces the role of strategic peacebuilding in preparing for peacebuilding and why it is important.

Section 2 - Conflict and Conflict Transformation

Introduces the curve of conflict and discusses the move toward conflict transformation.

Section 3 - Components of Strategic Peacebuilding

Identifies two considerations to take into account when preparing for peacebuilding.

Section 4 - Components of Strategic Peacebuilding Continued

Discusses several considerations seen in strategic peacebuilding and how it applies to preparing for peacebuilding.

Section 5 - Burdens of Long-Term Violence

Explains the impact long-term violence has on peacebuilding.

Section 6 - Quiz

Checks your understanding and retention of key terms, concepts, and ideas presented in this course.

Section 7 - Reflections

Allows you to share what you have learned and read what others have learned from this course and how these skills and knowledge will impact the work we do.

Instructors and Guest Experts

Instructor

  • George Lopez, Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., Professor Emeritus of Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame

Latest Publications

Rival Afghan Leaders Agree to Share Power—Now Comes the Hard Part

Rival Afghan Leaders Agree to Share Power—Now Comes the Hard Part

Thursday, May 21, 2020

By: Scott Worden; Johnny Walsh

Last weekend, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and rival Abdullah Abdullah signed a power-sharing deal to end a months-long dispute over the 2019 presidential election. The deal comes amid a spate of high-profile violence, including a recent attack on a Kabul maternity ward by suspected ISIS perpetrators. Meanwhile, the Afghan peace process has stalled since the U.S.-Taliban deal signed at the end of February. The power-sharing agreement could address one of the key challenges to getting that process back on track. USIP’s Scott Worden and Johnny Walsh look at what the agreement entails and what it means for the peace process.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance; Peace Processes

Diplomacy, Development and Defense Officials Pledge To Advance U.S. Fragility Strategy

Diplomacy, Development and Defense Officials Pledge To Advance U.S. Fragility Strategy

Thursday, May 21, 2020

By: Corinne Graff; Amanda Long

The United States is committed to advancing the Global Fragility Act (GFA) as part of its global response to the coronavirus pandemic, senior State Department, USAID and Department of Defense officials said on Wednesday at a virtual gathering of development and peacebuilding organizations and experts convened by the U.S. Institute of Peace to facilitate discussions on how to implement the legislation.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Fragility & Resilience; Global Health

China’s Periphery Diplomacy: Implications for Peace and Security in Asia

China’s Periphery Diplomacy: Implications for Peace and Security in Asia

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

By: Jacob Stokes

China’s foreign policy is expanding in scope and depth and now reaches across the globe. Yet its diplomatic efforts focus on its own complex neighborhood. To advance these interests, China’s leaders practice an interlocking set of foreign affairs activities they refer to as “periphery diplomacy.” This report details the main tools Beijing uses to engage the countries with which it shares borders, assesses the campaign’s effectiveness, and lays out the implications for peace and security in Asia.

Type: Special Report

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

Scott Worden on the Afghan Power-Sharing Deal

Scott Worden on the Afghan Power-Sharing Deal

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

By: Scott Worden

A political deal to resolve the disputed 2019 presidential election was finally reached over the weekend. USIP’s Scott Worden says the agreement “is quite significant” because it will give the Afghan side “more political coherence to negotiate with the Taliban and, if implemented, it will show the Taliban they can’t divide Afghans.”

Type: Podcast

Democracy & Governance

Why the U.S. Military Presence in Africa is Vital Beyond Counterterrorism

Why the U.S. Military Presence in Africa is Vital Beyond Counterterrorism

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

By: Judd Devermont; Leanne Erdberg Steadman

Since Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced a potential drawdown of U.S. troops in Africa, U.S. congressional leaders, military officers and various commentators have defended the importance of the military in Africa. But they’ve focused almost exclusively on the fight against terrorism. This is not surprising, since the public has for decades really only heard about the U.S. military in Africa when drone strikes hit terrorists in Somalia, when Navy SEALS raid pirate ships in the Gulf of Aden, and when Army Rangers hunt down genocidaires in the jungle.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Violent Extremism; Global Policy

View All Publications