The International Partnerships (IP) team leads the Institute’s policy engagements with international actors to enable foresight, insight and action on the most pressing global challenges to building and sustaining peace. Through the development of a virtuous circle of timely, policy-relevant thought-leadership and collaborative partnerships with major international policy actors and dialogue forums, the IP team works to expand USIP’s global policy influence and advance USIP’s mission to prevent and mitigate violent conflict.

Flags outside UN headquarters

In a rapidly shifting geopolitical context marked by a return to strategic competition among great powers, the erosion of international institutions and norms of collaboration, and a generational pandemic that threatens the security of billions of people worldwide, USIP’s work in building and sustaining international partnerships has never been more essential.

The International Partnerships team plays a central role in positioning the Institute to deliver timely, thoughtful, policy-relevant research and scholarship on critical international policy topics. Specifically, the IP team: 

  • Provides leadership and strategic direction on improving policy and practice to build stronger systems of international collaboration amid heightened geopolitical competition.
  • Leads USIP’s engagement with multilateral and nongovernment actors to inform more effective international action to prevent conflict and build peace in fragile states
  • Leverages USIP’s expertise and learning to understand and develop strategies to address the peace and security implications of the coronavirus pandemic

In addition to these thematic priorities, the IP team serves as “connective tissue” between USIP’s experts and programs and major international partners, organizations, and initiatives, including the United Nations system, foreign governments, international financial institutions, and nongovernmental and intergovernmental organizations. 

Through collaborative partnerships, the IP team connects USIP’s experts with external stakeholders to inform policy discussions with current evidence and relevant analyses to enable planning, insight, and action on the most pressing global challenges to building and sustaining peace. 

Related Publications

Four Lessons for Cease-fires in the Age of COVID

Four Lessons for Cease-fires in the Age of COVID

Thursday, October 1, 2020

By: Tyler Beckelman;  Amanda Long

During his opening remarks at the 75th U.N. General Assembly, Secretary-General António Guterres renewed his appeal for a global humanitarian cease-fire, urging the international community to achieve one in the next 100 days. But in the roughly 180 days since his initial appeal, most conflict parties have not heeded the secretary-general’s plea. What can peacebuilders do to advance the secretary-general’s call? Four key lessons have emerged over the last six months on how cease-fires can be achieved—or stalled—by COVID-19.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global PolicyPeace ProcessesMediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

Tyler Beckelman on the Virtual U.N. General Assembly

Tyler Beckelman on the Virtual U.N. General Assembly

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

By: Tyler Beckelman

While this year is the U.N.’s 75th Anniversary, the General Assembly was a “more muted affair” than expected, says USIP’s Tyler Beckelman. Member states had a chance to discuss the newly signed Abraham Accord and the future of multilateral diplomacy, but virtual summitry is “no substitute for meeting in person.”

Type: Podcast

Global Policy

Six Things to Watch at the U.N. General Assembly

Six Things to Watch at the U.N. General Assembly

Monday, September 21, 2020

By: Tyler Beckelman;  Colin Thomas-Jensen

This year’s United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) meeting, happening against the backdrop of the 75th anniversary of the U.N.’s founding, was supposed to be a major milestone—a moment for world leaders to reflect on the organization’s pursuit of peaceful international cooperation since the devastation of World War II, and to consider how the multilateral system should evolve to tackle the 21st century’s biggest challenges. Instead, the COVID-19 pandemic has upended the traditional in-person gathering at the U.N.’s headquarters in New York City. This UNGA will be a much more muted affair, with participants using the same videoconferencing technology to which we have all become accustomed in 2020. But the challenges facing the international system are as pressing and complicated as ever. As UNGA goes virtual, here are six issues to watch.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Policy

America can build peace better—if it includes women.

America can build peace better—if it includes women.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

By: Amanda Long;  Kathleen Kuehnast, Ph.D.

The United States is making a publicly little-noted stride this month to strengthen its response to the violent crises worldwide that have uprooted 80 million people, the most ever recorded. Officials are overhauling America’s method for supporting the “fragile” states whose poor governance breeds most of the world’s violent conflict. Yet the proven new approach—helping these countries meet their people’s needs and thus prevent violence and extremism—will fall short if its implementation fails to include and support women in every step of that effort. Fortunately, an earlier reform to U.S. policy offers practical lessons for doing so.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Fragility & ResilienceGender

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Latest Publications

The Taliban Continue to Tighten Their Grip on Afghan Women and Girls

The Taliban Continue to Tighten Their Grip on Afghan Women and Girls

Thursday, December 8, 2022

By: Belquis Ahmadi;  Scott Worden

Since the Taliban’s August 2021 takeover of Afghanistan, they have ratcheted up restrictions on women and girls as the group consolidates power. These restrictions include limitations on employment, education, public interactions and other fundamental rights such as access to justice. These restrictions have only tightened over time with increasingly draconian enforcement — the latest being public floggings that harken back to the Taliban’s 1990s rule. Amid the U.N.’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, USIP has compiled a comprehensive archive of Taliban decrees and public statements on the treatment of women and girls. While leaders and activists around the globe strategize and develop plans to address gender-based violence in their respective countries, Afghanistan stands out as a worst-case example, with two decades of hard-won progress rapidly unwinding.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

GenderHuman Rights

U.S. and African Leaders Need to Focus on Democratization

U.S. and African Leaders Need to Focus on Democratization

Thursday, December 8, 2022

By: Ambassador Makila James;  Ambassador Terence P. McCulley;  USIP Staff

The U.S. government is gathering this month’s second U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit not least because the swiftly rising challenges of the 21st century are pushing Africa squarely to the center of global and U.S. interests. Managing increased violent conflict, climate degradation and human displacement all depend on a better U.S.-African partnership, one that shares an interest in strengthening the democratic rule of law within and among nations. Democracy has eroded, globally and in Africa, since the first U.S.-Africa summit eight years ago — but this month’s conference can reverse that pattern, say two USIP experts, both former ambassadors in Africa.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & GovernanceGlobal Policy

Will the U.S.-Africa Summit Address U.N. Security Council Reform?

Will the U.S.-Africa Summit Address U.N. Security Council Reform?

Thursday, December 8, 2022

By: Solomon Dersso;  Tim Murithi;  Susan Stigant

U.N. Security Council (UNSC) reform has been a long-standing demand from many in the international community, but calls for an overhaul of the institution have grown louder amid renewed interest in democratizing the international system and addressing historical exclusion and injustices in its core institutions. And in a major development this past September, President Biden told the U.N. General Assembly the United States would support reforming the Security Council — specifically mentioning the addition of permanent members from Africa.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Policy

Andrew Scobell on China’s Zero-COVID Protests

Andrew Scobell on China’s Zero-COVID Protests

Thursday, December 8, 2022

By: Andrew Scobell, Ph.D.

After protests forced China to ease its zero-COVID policies, Xi Jinping will need to weigh socioeconomic stability against his authoritarian aims, says USIP’s Andrew Scobell: “You’re seeing domestically what many countries have noticed China doing beyond its borders: Being more assertive or aggressive.”

Type: Podcast

The Water Wars Myth: India, China and the Brahmaputra

The Water Wars Myth: India, China and the Brahmaputra

Thursday, December 8, 2022

By: Mark Giordano;  Anya Wahal

South Asia’s Brahmaputra has been cited as one of the basins most at risk for interstate water conflict. While violent conflict has occurred between China and India within the Brahmaputra’s basin boundaries, the risks of conflict over water are in fact low. This is in part because China functionally contributes less to the Brahmaputra’s flow than is commonly perceived and in part because, despite its massive volume, the river can contribute little to solving India’s significant water security challenges. Nonetheless, the Brahmaputra is and will continue to be intimately connected to Sino-Indian tensions largely through the use of water infrastructure investment as a form of territorial demarcation and control.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & PreventionEnvironment

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