Extremist movements — such as ISIS, Boko Haram, the Taliban and al-Shabab — fuel, and often stem from, instability and violent conflict and present a complex challenge. The U.S. Institute of Peace works to understand the underlying causes of violent extremism and helps develop localized and viable solutions by providing research, training and expertise to practitioners and policymakers. From examining the critical role of women in combating violent extremism in Afghanistan to exploring the dynamics of radicalization in Kosovo, USIP seeks to reduce this ever-shifting threat.

Featured Publications

To Truly Defeat ISIS, Describe its Returnees as ‘People’

To Truly Defeat ISIS, Describe its Returnees as ‘People’

Friday, April 12, 2019

By: Chris Bosley

More than 100 countries, from Kosovo to Indonesia to Tunisia, face the security challenge of what to do with their citizens who traveled to join the so-called Islamic State. In dealing with perhaps tens of thousands of former ISIS participants—more than 9,000 in Syria’s Al Hol camp alone—simplistic solutions are at best inadequate and naïve, and at worst counterproductive and irresponsible. These include notions of indefinitely detaining or abandoning these populations in makeshift camps, or stripping their citizenship en masse. While many can be returned home to face trial, prosecution will be impossible for others. Thousands...

Violent Extremism

Nancy Lindborg on Iraq Rebuilding After ISIS

Nancy Lindborg on Iraq Rebuilding After ISIS

Thursday, April 11, 2019

By: Nancy Lindborg

Following her trip to Iraq, Nancy Lindborg discusses the country’s efforts to rebuild after ISIS. “They’ve [ISIS] been deprived of their territory … rebuilding is under way. But, there is very much a sense that the ISIS ideology is alive and well and there are a lot of concerns overall about security,” says Lindborg. “There has been important progress, but it’s very precarious and completely reversible.”

Reconciliation; Violent Extremism

View All

Current Projects

Peace Education in Afghanistan

Peace Education in Afghanistan

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.

Youth; Democracy & Governance; Gender; Violent Extremism

View All