The United States Institute of Peace works to prevent, mitigate, and resolve violent conflict around the world. USIP does this by engaging directly in conflict zones and by providing analysis, education, and resources to those working for peace. Created by Congress in 1984 as an independent, nonpartisan, federally funded organization, USIP’s more than 300 staff work at the Institute’s D.C. headquarters, and on the ground in the world’s most dangerous regions.

USIP brings together experts and practitioners in peacebuilding to

  • Improve global efforts to counter violent extremism and promote religious tolerance.
  • Strengthen the rule of law in chaotic, post-conflict settings.
  • Rigorously test approaches to conflict prevention and peacebuilding to ensure the United States is using the most constructive and cost-effective tools to protect U.S. interests
  • Use traditional and social media and emerging technologies to improve the tracking, prevention and resolution of violent conflict.

USIP works to advance peace and U.S. national security:

  • In Iraq, USIP and its partners facilitated peace agreements in Mahmoudiyah (2007) and Tikrit (2015) that reduced communal warfare in those regions and the need for U.S. or Iraqi troops. Hundreds of thousands of displaced residents returned home and reduced the need for U.S. or foreign troops. USIP is expanding its Iraqi partners’ capacity for such peacemaking and recently supported a pact that aims to avert violence at Hawija following its recapture from ISIS..
  • In Afghanistan, USIP supports grassroots movements to oppose corruption, counter extremist messages, and promote peaceful elections. The Institute helps universities develop courses in conflict resolution, including in areas where the Taliban and ISIS are active. USIP assists the government in improving legal mechanisms to resolve land disputes
  • In Pakistan, USIP has helped develop a national strategy for community policing against violent extremism, and better responses by police and courts to terrorism cases. USIP supports local partners who use film, public art, and peace education in schools to oppose the growing intolerance of diversity.
  • In Colombia, USIP expanded the role of women and minorities in the negotiations that ended 50 years of civil war in 2016. The Institute trains and supports local organizations to devise peaceful solutions for the inevitable conflicts that arise with implementation.
  • In Nigeria, USIP is convening government officials—notably the country’s influential state governors—with civic leaders and scholars to build a national consensus on strategies to reduce the causes of violent conflicts in the north, such as the Boko Haram insurgency.
  • Across Africa and the Middle East, USIP’s Generation Change program builds the skills of emerging youth leaders working for peace in communities across a dozen countries, from Nigeria to South Sudan to Yemen. USIP recently expanded the program to Colombia to build young Colombians’ ability to support the difficult implementation of the peace accord.

Founded in 1984, USIP is funded by Congress and governed by a bipartisan Board of Directors. USIP staff work abroad or at the Institute’s headquarters in Washington, which faces the Lincoln Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and symbolizes our nation’s commitment to peace.

Latest Publications

Libya’s Migrant Crisis Isn’t Just a European Problem

Libya’s Migrant Crisis Isn’t Just a European Problem

Friday, November 9, 2018

By: Thomas M. Hill; Emily Estelle

Next week, Italy will host an international conference intended to finally bring Libya’s bloody seven-year conflict toward resolution. Since the ouster of Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, successive U.S. administrations have watched Libya’s continuing collapse, believing that the country’s unraveling threatens only Europe. This is a mistake.

Fragility & Resilience

Nigeria’s Worst Violence Is Not Boko Haram

Nigeria’s Worst Violence Is Not Boko Haram

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

By: Ena Dion; Isioma Kemakolam

As Nigeria works to stabilize from years of warfare in its north, the deadliest threat is not the Boko Haram extremist movement, but escalating battles between farming and herding communities over scarce land and water. Bloodshed has increased since January, as armed groups have attacked and...

Justice, Security & Rule of Law

Charles North on Russia in Ukraine

Charles North on Russia in Ukraine

Thursday, November 1, 2018

By: Charles North

“In its fifth year, Russia's armed aggression in Ukraine's Donbas region has become a costly burden with little strategic benefit,” says Charles North. One possible exit ramp has emerged from recent negotiations: a U.N.-mandated peacekeeping operation to facilitate a peace process resulting in Russia’s departure from Donbas and the return of control to Ukraine.

Global Policy

In Madagascar, a Presidential Vote Sees Old Fissures Resurface

In Madagascar, a Presidential Vote Sees Old Fissures Resurface

Thursday, November 1, 2018

By: Aly Verjee; Jonas Claes

On November 7, the Indian Ocean island nation of Madagascar, a country larger in area than California and more populous than Florida, goes to the polls to elect its next president. With a history of political crisis and fraught elections, the 2018 polls have seen renewed acrimony as no less than four former presidents of Madagascar seek the country’s highest office. USIP’s Aly Verjee and Jonas Claes discuss what’s at stake, the challenges ahead and how election disputes and violence can be mitigated. 

Electoral Violence; Democracy & Governance

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