James Rupert is a senior writer and editor at the U.S. Institute of Peace.

As a foreign affairs correspondent Rupert has reported from more than 70 countries for the Washington Post, Newsday and Bloomberg News, and served as a foreign affairs editor at the Post and Newsday. Over a 30-year journalism career, he has served as a resident correspondent in Morocco, Tunisia, France, India, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Cote d’Ivoire and Pakistan. His coverage has focused heavily on South and Central Asia, the Arab and Islamic worlds, the former Soviet Union and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Rupert is a former Alicia Patterson Fellow and Michigan Journalism (now Knight-Wallace) Fellow. Before joining USIP in 2015, he served as a writer at the Atlantic Council and editor of its UkraineAlert newsletter.

Rupert graduated from Swarthmore College in 1979 and served as a Peace Corps volunteer, building and teaching in a vocational school in Morocco.

Publications By James

To Build Peace, Boost the Women Who Lead the Movements

To Build Peace, Boost the Women Who Lead the Movements

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

By: James Rupert

Images of this year’s grassroots movements for social and political change—such as the ouster of authoritarian rulers in Sudan and Algeria—reiterate that women worldwide are driving campaigns that can strengthen democracy and reduce violent conflicts. Yet 20 years after the United Nations proclaimed the need for women at the center of the world’s peacebuilding and stabilization efforts, they remain marginalized in those official processes. So when USIP and a program at the University of Denver organized a training initiative this summer for 14 women leading civic movements for social change, a message glared from the mountain of nominations received from experts and groups working on the world’s violent crises.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Gender; Nonviolent Action

Tunisia, Stable Under Essebsi, Now Must Recruit Youth

Tunisia, Stable Under Essebsi, Now Must Recruit Youth

Monday, July 29, 2019

By: James Rupert

Tunisia, the single democracy to emerge from the Middle East’s 2011 political revolts, suddenly must choose a new leader following the death of 92-year-old President Beji Caid Essebsi. Essebsi was the country’s first freely elected president and helped lead its transition away from decades of authoritarian rule. His death accelerates a test for this young democracy—its first political succession under its 2014 constitution.

Youth

To Build Peace, Afghans Revive an Old Definition of Manhood

To Build Peace, Afghans Revive an Old Definition of Manhood

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

By: Asma Ebadi; James Rupert

Across Afghanistan, Rafiullah Stanikzai has spent thousands of hours with young men, learning how 40 years of war has warped Afghans’ ancient culture and corrupted their notions of how, simply, to be a man. Stanikzai is working to reverse that change, because stabilizing any country from war requires not only political negotiations, like those between U.S. diplomats and the Taliban. Any sustainable peace must also change enough hearts and minds that a people can return to settling disputes without guns and grenades.

Gender

Syria’s Ghalia Rahal: Surviving War, Building Peace

Syria’s Ghalia Rahal: Surviving War, Building Peace

Thursday, May 23, 2019

By: Palwasha L. Kakar; James Rupert

Amid the traumas of Syria’s war, women like Ghalia Rahal are building an unprecedented role in peace talks over their country’s future. Rahal—the founder of a network of women’s centers in northwest Syria—has helped energize a Syrian women’s movement despite threats from extremists, attacks on her workplaces, and the assassination of her son, a journalist. Now, Rahal and her women’s network in Syria’s Idlib Province face an extreme threat—the Syrian government military offensive against the province that has killed hundreds and displaced nearly 200,000 people.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Gender

Amid Rising Sahel Violence, Burkina Faso Builds a Response

Amid Rising Sahel Violence, Burkina Faso Builds a Response

Thursday, May 16, 2019

By: James Rupert

A perfect storm of violence is breaking upon Africa’s Sahel. Since late 2018, communal conflicts—many over access to food, water or productive land—have produced thousands of deadly attacks. Across the region, nearly 4,800 people died in conflicts from November to March, according to the violence-monitoring group ACLED. The greatest surge in bloodshed is in Burkina Faso, where communal militias or religious extremists killed 500 people over five months. But amid the dire headlines, governments and civic groups in Burkina Faso and other Sahel countries cite progress in stabilizing communities with a basic step that simply has seldom been undertaken: broad, local dialogues among community groups, police forces and officials. Community leaders and government officials say they are now expanding those dialogues to improve national security policies to help counter the tide of violence.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Fragility & Resilience; Justice, Security & Rule of Law

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