Joshua Levkowitz is a program officer for Iraq at the U.S. Institute of Peace. 

Prior to joining USIP, Joshua worked as a research associate at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington D.C. He researched and wrote on the Arab Gulf region’s political economy, infrastructure and youth culture. He has also worked at the National Democratic Institute, the Middle East Institute and the Samir Kassir Center for Media and Cultural Freedom. Joshua has past experience as a researcher, teacher and journalist in East Africa, Ethiopia, Sudan, Lebanon, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates and Colombia. He is proficient in Arabic.   

Joshua holds an M.A. in conflict management and international economics from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies and a B.A. in international relations from Boston University.

Publications By Joshua

How Iraqis Can Rebuild Community Relations and Repair Democracy After ISIS

How Iraqis Can Rebuild Community Relations and Repair Democracy After ISIS

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

By: Joshua Levkowitz; Lana Khalid

From nationwide anti-government protests, to U.S.-Iran tensions playing out on Iraqi soil, to a protracted government formation crisis, 2020 has been a tough year for Iraq. The pandemic has only deepened the country’s challenges, including distrust of the political class and inter-communal tensions. On top of this, Iraq is experiencing one of its worst economic situations since the country’s formation. Understandably, there is a crisis of confidence. Almost everything ailing Iraq stems from the lack of trust between the government and its citizens. Only by working together as partners can faith be restored. Iraq’s citizens must be given a bigger role in the decision-making process about the future of the country, starting with a say in next year’s budget.

Type: Blog

Democracy & Governance; Reconciliation

These Young Afghans Are Acting Against Corruption

These Young Afghans Are Acting Against Corruption

Thursday, December 14, 2017

By: Joshua Levkowitz

By every available measure, corruption is crippling Afghanistan’s government and fueling the Taliban insurgency. Repeated surveys of Afghans find bribe-taking by officials among the public’s greatest complaints, and the Taliban win popular support by vowing to end such graft. While weak police and judicial systems seem unable to...

Type: In the Field

Youth

Afghan Universities Build a Movement Against Extremism

Afghan Universities Build a Movement Against Extremism

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

By: Joshua Levkowitz

When students at Afghanistan’s Nangarhar University organized a blood drive last fall to protest their country’s civil war, so many donors lined up that the blood bags ran out. “Stop Bloodshed and Donate Blood to Save Lives,” the event declared. On a campus where some students have demonstrated in support of the Taliban and the Islamic State (ISIS), the rally against violence became a story on local radio and television, and on social media.

Type: In the Field

Education & Training; Violent Extremism

Afghans: Deeper Pessimism for Future, Fear of Taliban

Afghans: Deeper Pessimism for Future, Fear of Taliban

Thursday, December 8, 2016

By: Joshua Levkowitz

While the people of Afghanistan are more disillusioned than ever with their government amid the country’s crises, public sympathy for the Taliban and their allies is eroding, according to the biggest annual survey of Afghans’ opinions. For the second straight year support is growing, if still narrow, for women’s rights to education and jobs outside the home.

Type: Blog

Economics & Environment; Gender

Deploying Art Against War

Deploying Art Against War

Friday, August 5, 2016

By: Joshua Levkowitz

Artists and peace advocates are using public art to oppose violence, notably in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Middle East. The results have varied, advocates say, but the art campaigns have worked to undermine extremists’ calls to violence, and helped communities heal the divisions of war. They have ignited public discussion of local conflicts and even triggered peacebuilding efforts. Art campaigners and peace advocates who have worked across the Middle East and South Asia discussed the uses—and the limits—of public art as a peacebuilding tool, in a recent forum at USIP. 

Type: In the Field

Conflict Analysis & Prevention; Violent Extremism; Nonviolent Action

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