Democracy embodies responsive and responsible governance, rule of law, human rights, civic participation and peaceful transfers of power through electoral processes. Each of these underpins a peaceful and stable society. The U.S. Institute of Peace teaches democratic principles and democratization processes and techniques that are critical to both peacebuilding and effective governance. USIP seeks to strengthen governance by supporting inclusive, accountable institutions and a robust civil society. These in turn uphold human rights, justice and the rule of law, and promote public participation in social and political processes.
Can South Sudan—the world’s youngest country—find peace? USIP’s Susan Stigant discusses the country’s political crisis and how its exacerbated by the outgrowth of opposition groups, millions of displaced citizens, and other complex challenges to restoring stability. Nevertheless, Stigant explains that peace is possible with U.S. leadership.
For over a decade, Russia’s Vladimir Putin has campaigned to subvert the liberal world order and undermine global norms by invading neighbors and interfering in democratic processes at home and abroad. To explain how Congress can counter Russian aggression, members of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL) and Rep. Bill Keating (D-MA) came together for a bipartisan dialogue at the U.S. Institute of Peace.
Later this summer, millions of Pakistani voters will have the opportunity to cast ballots to elect new representatives for the national parliament and provincial assemblies. Pakistan’s political landscape is fractious and has faced major upheavals in the year running up to the vote, leaving considerable uncertainty about the possible outcomes.
Diplomats and peace practitioners often cite lack of familiarity with the religious landscape as a barrier to their engagement of religious actors. In 2013, USIP launched an initiative to address this need by developing a methodology for systematically mapping and assessing the religious sector’s influence on conflict and peace dynamics in discrete conflict settings. These mappings, which have been done or are underway in Libya, South Sudan, Iraq and Burma, help illuminate recommendations for effective partnerships within the religious sector for peacebuilding.
Afghanistan’s next generation of leaders have an opportunity to break out of the cycles of violence that have caused civil wars, insurgencies, and widespread human rights abuses and domestic violence over the past decades. To do this, government officials and community leaders need to have practical skills to identify sources of conflict and know how to de-escalate tensions and negotiate peaceful solutions.