Congress founded the U.S. Institute of Peace in 1984 to help our nation “promote international peace and the resolution of conflicts among the nations and peoples of the world without recourse to violence.” In the 35 years since then, the Institute has pursued that mandate, strengthening America’s capacity to build peace through programs in Washington, in our nation’s schools, and in dangerous conflict zones abroad. Here are some of those stories…

Promoting Tunisia’s stability by reducing student violence

Tunisia is the single democracy to evolve from the 2011 “Arab Spring” uprisings. When secularist and Islamist groups fought hand to hand at Manouba University, the clashes injured students and heightened the risk of radicalization and further violence. USIP has trained a network of Tunisian mediators and worked with them to help the students reach a peace accord to halt further clashes. Tunisian government officials now propose to use the agreement as a model for other universities nationwide

Introduction to Peacebuilding icon

Training Americans and people worldwide to build peace

For a quarter-century, USIP has taught and trained training professionals working to prevent violent conflict and build peace worldwide. The Institute’s training arm, the Academy of International Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding, has provided courses and seminars to more than 65,000 people, including diplomats, police and judicial officials, civil society leaders and military peacekeepers. Most have been trained in person, but online training has taken an increased role, reaching 31,000 people, many of them working in remote, hard-to-reach places.

Take any of these free, online courses 

  • Introduction to Peacebuilding
  • Conflict Analysis
  • Negotiation: Shaping the Conflict Landscape
  • Mediating Violent Conflict
  • Nonviolent Action
  • Designing Community-Based Dialogue
  • Preparing for Peacebuilding
  • Good Governance after Conflict
  • Media and Arts for Peace
  • Design, Monitoring and Evaluation for Programming in Fragile Environments
  • Religion and Peacebuilding
  • Gender Inclusivity in Peacebuilding
U.S. troops return to New York aboard the USS General Harry Taylor from their service in World War II. Veterans of that war later led in the campaign to establish the U.S. Institute of Peace. (National Archives)

Pausing to Pay a Debt to Veterans and Fellow Citizens

November 6, 2019

Like all Americans, USIP owes a debt to those who have fought for the justice that sustains any peace, at home or abroad. On Veterans Day, we honor those who have done so in uniform. USIP owes a special debt to the military veterans, many from World War II, who 35 years ago led Congress in founding this national institution dedicated to reducing warfare abroad. These peacebuilders included Senators Mark Hatfield of Oregon and Spark Matsunaga of Hawaii, who fought and witnessed that war from Europe, Okinawa and Hiroshima. And at America’s grass roots, they included Mike Mapes, a Navy ensign who served at Nagasaki and later led a citizens’ campaign to create what became USIP.

Helping Crisis-responders Work Better Together

October 30, 2019
When violent conflict triggers humanitarian disasters, a wide range of organizations must respond: U.S. government civilian agencies, military forces, nonprofit humanitarian groups and international organizations. USIP works constantly to build coordination among these people and institutions. Each year, the Institute conducts a “tabletop exercise” to help these groups practice better coordination in responding to crises from Africa’s Sahel region to the southern Philippines to the Red Sea and Horn of Africa. (Learn about USIP’s Interorganizational Tabletop Exercise)

Halting Religious Clashes with Nigeria’s ‘Pastor and Imam’

October 23, 2019
Christians and Muslims in Nigeria’s Yelwa-Shendam region fought in the early 2000s—a conflict that killed more than 1,000 people. USIP partnered with Imam Muhammad Ashafa and Pastor James Wuye in mediating a peace agreement that halted the bloodshed. USIP provided seed funding for their work, helping them to build their Interfaith Mediation Center into an institution that trained Nigerians—and people in Kenya, Iraq, Sri Lanka and elsewhere—on ways to help their countries solve their own conflicts without violence. (Read more)

Mediating Peace in Iraq’s ‘Triangle of Death’

October 16, 2019
In 2007, nearly 3,500 U.S. troops struggled to end tribal fighting and al-Qaida violence in Mahmoudiya, a district south of Baghdad. The Army’s 10th Mountain Division called USIP for help. The Institute used its specialized research, training and mediation capacities to work with Iraqi partners in leading a peace process among 31 local tribes. The resulting peace accord forced al-Qaida out of the region, and U.S. combat deaths dropped from more than 50 per year before the accord to one in the year that followed. The Army was able to reduce its force in the region by 80 percent. When ISIS arose years later, Mahmoudiya rebuffed the extremists’ call for an uprising and the peace agreement continues to bolster stability in the area. (Read more)

Latest Publications

Xi Jinping’s Visit to Myanmar: What Are the Implications?

Xi Jinping’s Visit to Myanmar: What Are the Implications?

Thursday, January 23, 2020

By: Jason Tower; Jennifer Staats

From January 17-18, the chairman of China’s Communist Party, Xi Jinping, travelled to Myanmar to promote bilateral ties and advance construction of the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC). The visit saw the two sides commit to an ambitious economic agenda and building what China terms a “community of shared destiny.” The declarations of cooperation, however, failed to provide any clarity on how CMEC will address the countless questions and concerns that Myanmar has struggled with since its independence in 1948—issues likely to profoundly affect the two countries’ joint endeavors.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Policy

The Challenges for Social Movements in Post-Mugabe Zimbabwe

The Challenges for Social Movements in Post-Mugabe Zimbabwe

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

By: Gladys Kudzaishe Hlatywayo; Charles Mangongera

Civil society and social movements have long been at the center of pushing back against corruption and authoritarian practices. Zimbabwe was no exception in the run-up to the November 2017 coup d’état that ousted Robert Mugabe after four decades of unaccountable rule. This report, based on in-country interviews and focus group discussions, examines the transition that followed the coup to draw broader lessons for how the international community can support, without harming, grassroots nonviolent action initiatives in countries undergoing profound political shifts.

Type: Special Report

Nonviolent Action

Preventing Election Violence Through Diplomacy

Preventing Election Violence Through Diplomacy

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

By: Bhojraj Pokharel

Focusing on three case studies in Africa, this book analyzes the utility of diplomacy in preventing election violence. After defining and identifying the key dimensions of preventive diplomacy to prevent or reduce election violence, it looks at presidential elections between 2006 and 2017 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, and Nigeria. Drawing on personal experience, the literature, case study reviews, and expert interviews and roundtables with academics and practitioners, the book highlights conditions for the success and the failure of preventive diplomacy, offering recommendations to the international community for maximizing the efficacy of this unique tool.

Type: Book

Electoral Violence

After Berlin, Will Foreign Actors Back Out of Libya’s Civil War?

After Berlin, Will Foreign Actors Back Out of Libya’s Civil War?

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

By: Nate Wilson; Thomas M. Hill

Tags: Dialogue, Mediation & Negotiation Published: January 21, 2020 / By: Nate Wilson; Thomas M. Hill More than eight years since the death of Col. Muammar al-Qaddafi, Libya remains in state of protracted conflict with rival governments in Tripoli and Tobruk. Backed by the U.N., the Tripoli-based government has been at a stalemate with the eastern-based Libya Arab Armed Forces (LAAF) led Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar, who launched an assault on Tripoli in April. Foreign backers have flooded into the country to advance their own interests—but this has only exacerbated the conflict. Over the weekend, a long-delayed conference in Berlin aimed to put Libya on a path to peace and end foreign interference. USIP’s Nate Wilson and Tom Hill explain what happened at the conference, how the U.S. fits into this picture and where Libya’s conflict goes from here.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

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