Wherever armed conflict erupts, its causes can almost always be traced back to weak or broken social contracts between government and its people. The U.S. Institute of Peace sees such “state fragility” as a complex issue that needs urgent attention. USIP strives to address the challenge of fragility through new approaches to conflict prevention and by strengthening resilience that promotes a sound social compact between the state and society. USIP has joined in convening the Fragility Study Group, a non-partisan initiative aimed at improving the U.S. government’s approach to reducing global fragility.

Featured   Publications

Papua New Guinea: Election Violence Shows Lack of Trust in the State

Papua New Guinea: Election Violence Shows Lack of Trust in the State

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

By: Miranda Forsyth;  Gordon Peake

One of the most incisive works of the prodigious but too little heralded Papua New Guinean writer Steven Winduo is a short story collection titled the “Unpainted Mask.” The book explores how the denizens of the island nation negotiate the everyday travails of modern life, using as its central motif how people wear different masks to view themselves and others. According to Winduo, it is vitally important to discern the public mask, as well as to appreciate what is underneath. Seeing one without the other is a recipe for distorted vision. Winduo’s words don’t just apply to people, but also to the state of Papua New Guinea (PNG) and its institutions.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & GovernanceFragility & Resilience

Comment sortir de l'impasse en Haïti

Comment sortir de l'impasse en Haïti

Thursday, June 9, 2022

By: Georges Fauriol;  Peter Hakim;  Enrique Ter Horst;  Keith Mines

Après la série de crises liées à Haïti l'année dernière - un assassinat présidentiel, un tremblement de terre, une urgence migratoire a la frontière entre Mexique et des États-Unis et une consolidation dramatique de la violence des gangs - les décideurs internationaux ont été confrontés à la possibilité qu'Haïti se trouve dans les premières étapes d'une crise humanitaire à grande échelle. La nouvelle détérioration de la politique haïtienne au cours des premiers mois de 2022 n'a fait que confirmer que le pays a franchi cette sombre étape.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Fragility & ResilienceMediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

How to Break the Stalemate in Haiti

How to Break the Stalemate in Haiti

Thursday, June 9, 2022

By: Georges Fauriol;  Peter Hakim;  Enrique Ter Horst;  Keith Mines

Following last year’s streak of Haiti-related crises — a presidential assassination, earthquake, a migrant emergency at the Mexico-U.S. border and a dramatic consolidation of gang violence — international policymakers were left grappling with the possibility that Haiti was in the initial stages of a full-scale humanitarian crisis. The further deterioration of the Haitian polity in the early months of 2022 has only confirmed that the country has passed that grim milestone.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Mediation, Negotiation & DialogueFragility & Resilience

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Current  Projects

Peace and Security Issues in Africa-China Economic Relations

Peace and Security Issues in Africa-China Economic Relations

Much of the research that has been conducted on the impact of China’s economic engagement with Africa has focused on their economic exchanges and security engagements in isolation of one another. But few have sought to understand the interconnections between these themes. These interconnections matter, as some Chinese firms are responsible for environmental degradation, population displacement, corruption and illegal extraction activities — all of which are factors that can drive conflict. 

EconomicsEnvironmentFragility & ResilienceHuman Rights

American Approaches to Prevent Conflict and Promote Stability

American Approaches to Prevent Conflict and Promote Stability

The Global Fragility Act (GFA) is an ambitious law that makes preventing conflicts and promoting stability in countries prone to conflict a U.S. foreign policy priority. Following years of efforts that overemphasized military operations in response to extremist violence and insurgencies, the GFA requires a long-term investment to address the underlying drivers of conflict. The Biden administration has released a new strategy to implement the GFA with 10-year commitments of assistance to a group of fragile states. The GFA and the new strategy rely, in part, on recommendations made by the USIP-convened Task Force on Extremism in Fragile States.

Fragility & ResilienceGlobal Policy

Religious and Psychosocial Support for Displaced Trauma Survivors

Religious and Psychosocial Support for Displaced Trauma Survivors

Since Spring 2021 The U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) is identifying best practices in psychosocial support to better facilitate collaboration and cooperation between religious actors and mental health professionals who provide services to conflict-affected communities — including trauma-affected displaced persons. The initiative will focus on Latin America as a pilot region, aiming to offer practical recommendations to relevant stakeholders.

Fragility & ResilienceGlobal HealthReligion

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