Peace Terms is an extensive glossary with short definitions of a wide range of complex and often confusing terms used in the field of peacebuilding. Authoritative but accessible, Peace Terms has been used by a wide audience, from peacebuilding practitioners and scholars to students in college courses, from participants in USIP Academy courses and trainings to high school students doing research.

Peace Terms is an invaluable contribution to the literature and is comprehensive and concise. The revised edition does an excellent job of expanding and updating the glossary entries in order to make the publication more comprehensive and to reflect changes in the peacebuilding field since the appearance of the first edition.

Matthew Levinger, Research Professor of International Affairs, George Washington University

To help these readers navigate this cross-disciplinary field, the USIP glossary answers such questions as: What exactly is a “conflict entrepreneur”? What do we mean by “refoulement”? And perhaps most importantly, what is the difference between peacekeeping, peacemaking, and peacebuilding?
 
As with the first edition, the editor has consulted a wide range of online and print sources, as well as the senior staff at USIP, in the process of producing the latest version of the glossary.

  • Contains over 350 short definitions, including over 70 new or revised terms.
  • Covers a wide range of complex and often confusing concepts.
  • Used by practitioners, scholars, and students.

Dan Snodderly is an editor and publishing consultant who served as USIP’s director of publications from 1993 to 2004, and previously worked as an editor and writer at Cornell University Press and Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Words matter. In the art of peacemaking, where failure can be deadly, words matter even more. With lucid, elegant prose, Dan Snodderly’s Peace Terms delivers a powerful antidote for the buzzwords and fuzzy concepts that sometimes confound even the most insightful discourse about peace and conflict. The glossary is also a wonderful resource for newcomers who want to learn core concepts for the first time and for old hands who strive to keep their thinking fresh, simple, and clear.

John T. Crist, Associate Professor of Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University Korea

Latest Publications

Don’t Leave Fragile States Behind in the Fight Against Coronavirus

Don’t Leave Fragile States Behind in the Fight Against Coronavirus

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

By: Corinne Graff

Since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, the virus has demonstrated it can infect anyone, anywhere. The disease has affected 179 countries and regions and has spread to all 50 U.S. states. Yet if the pandemic has spread far and wide, its impacts have not been the same everywhere. The disease may be taking radically different trajectories, even among wealthy countries. While it may be too early to tell how the disease’s spread will play out in specific countries, one thing is certain: the world’s fragile states—where the social contract between citizens and the state is severed or weak—are likely to be the hardest hit, and that could pose a significant risk to the global pandemic response.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Fragility & Resilience

Dismembering Afghanistan’s Ministry of Finance

Dismembering Afghanistan’s Ministry of Finance

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

By: William Byrd

In Afghanistan, where corruption and ineffective government have hampered efforts to build a functioning state, the Ministry of Finance has been a standout performer. Competently run since as early as 2002, the ministry collects substantial revenue, manages aid inflows, pays public employees, funds key public services and has won the confidence of donors. Now, all that is threatened. The Afghan government is eviscerating the ministry—carving out key constituent parts, putting them directly under the presidential palace, and gravely weakening one of the country’s most effective institutions. It’s a move that’s bad for Afghanistan’s governance and financial viability. It will harm the country’s development and jeopardizes the sustainability of peace if an agreement is reached with the Taliban.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Economics & Environment

The Coronavirus Requires Global Cooperation—Now

The Coronavirus Requires Global Cooperation—Now

Monday, March 30, 2020

By: Tyler Beckelman

As the world’s privileged cope with the COVID pandemic through telework and sheltering at home, millions of people face grim struggles for survival, packed into informal settlements or camps for people already displaced in war-torn or fragile states. Governments have missed opportunities for a stronger international response, partly because of great-power rivalries. The economically powerful Group of 20 nations and international financial institutions have made a start at buoying the world’s economy—but other multilateral forums are mired in stasis. The U.N. Security Council should act to get ahead of the pandemic in fragile states and seize the moment to advance peace in some of the world’s most intractable conflicts.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Policy; Fragility & Resilience

Four Lessons from Outbreaks in Africa for the Age of Coronavirus

Four Lessons from Outbreaks in Africa for the Age of Coronavirus

Monday, March 30, 2020

By: Aly Verjee

As the coronavirus pandemic continues and new behavioral practices—from social distancing to avoiding handshakes and hugs—become expected norms overnight, there are crucial policy lessons to be learned from struggles against previous outbreaks of disease in Africa. Despite widespread poverty, weak infrastructure, and relatively few health professionals, there is an encouraging, long record of African countries—often with significant international assistance and cooperation—eventually managing to overcome dire health challenges. For non-African countries already facing large numbers of COVID-19 infections, as well as for African countries where the epidemic is now at an early stage, policymakers would do well to recall these four lessons of past epidemics—of both what to do and, perhaps almost as importantly, what not to do to confront this global threat.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Human Rights

Coronavirus Puts Systems for International Cooperation to the Test

Coronavirus Puts Systems for International Cooperation to the Test

Monday, March 30, 2020

By: Dr. William J. Long

The spread of infectious diseases can foster opportunities for international cooperation, even between rivals. During the Cold War, for example, American and Soviet scientists collaborated to develop and improve a polio vaccine. The unprecedented challenges posed by the novel coronavirus pandemic put in stark relief the need for enhanced international cooperation. What role can the United States play in building such cooperation? In his 2011 book “Pandemics and Peace,” published in 2011 by USIP Press, Dr. William Long contended that infectious disease control presents an unparalleled opportunity for American leadership in global public health. Long looks back at the recommendations he made for U.S. global health policy and how they are relevant today and at how other outbreaks in recent years have led to increased cooperation.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

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