USIP has developed a series of Action Guides focused on religion and conflict analysis, mediation, reconciliation and gender-inclusive religious peacebuilding in collaboration with the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers and the Salam Institute for Peace and Justice. These Action Guides provide a practical overview of the religious peacebuilding field and the role religion plays in driving both conflict and peace, examples of how religious actors and institutions have contributed to the prevention and resolution of conflict, and considerations for how best to engage the religious sector in peacebuilding.

Action Guides

Religion and Mediation Action Guide cover

Religion and Mediation Action Guide

This Action Guide will help you more effectively organize, facilitate, or support mediation where religion is relevant to the participants, the process, or the issues. It provides guidance on how faith-based mediators, texts, principles, values, symbols, or rituals can be useful when religious issues and identities are important to the parties to a conflict. 

Religion in Conflict and Peacebuilding cover

Religion in Conflict and Peacebuilding 

The guide examines a wide range of ways religion can contribute to peacebuilding, whether practiced by religious or secular actors, even when the conflict has no religious dimensions.

With 84 percent of people worldwide identifying with a faith tradition, religion influences local, national, and international peace and conflict. Across the globe, violent conflict often is couched in religious terms and religious discrimination is on the rise. At the same time, people of faith and religious organizations frequently are on the frontlines of peace efforts, assisting communities affected by violence. Although religious considerations have been marginal to peace efforts historically, governments and peacebuilding organizations increasingly recognize the importance of religion.

USIP’s Religion & Peacebuilding Action Guides offer a toolkit of resources, lessons, best practices, and case studies around specific themes and topics, addressing diverse contexts intended to foster a practical framework for understanding and application. They offer recommendations to inform practitioners, policymakers, and scholars on how to integrate religious considerations into current or potential field programming carefully, thoughtfully, and effectively to prevent and resolve violent conflict. Current and forthcoming Action Guides include “Religion in Conflict and Peacebuilding Analysis Guide,” “Religion and Mediation,” “Religion and Reconciliation,” and “Religion and Gender.”

The “Religion in Conflict and Peacebuilding Analysis Guide” is available in full and in summary. This analysis guide will help policymakers and practitioners to understand the religious dimensions of conflict and take them into consideration in peacebuilding. The guide does not assume that religion will always be part of a solution, but rather it provides tools with which to assess if and how religion can play a role in wider peacebuilding efforts. 

Related Course

Discussion surrounding the film “Gender Equality in Islam”

Introduction to Religion and Peacebuilding

(Online Self-Paced Course)

Provides an overview of the religious peacebuilding field, the role religion plays in driving both conflict and peace, examples of how religious actors and institutions have contributed to the prevention and resolution of conflict and considerations for how best to engage the religious sector in peacebuilding.

Featured Publications

classroom

Religious Landscape Mapping in Conflict-Affected States

Diplomats and peace practitioners often cite lack of familiarity with the religious landscape as a barrier to their engagement of religious actors. In 2013, USIP launched an initiative to address this need by developing a methodology for systematically mapping and assessing the religious sector’s influence on conflict and peace dynamics in discrete conflict settings. These mappings, which have been done or are underway in Libya, South Sudan, Iraq and Burma, help illuminate recommendations for effective partnerships within the religious sector for peacebuilding.

Women, Religion and Peacebuilding book cover

Women, Religion and Peacebuilding

Illuminating the Unseen

Women, Religion, and Peacebuilding: Illuminating the Unseen examines the obstacles and opportunities that women religious peacebuilders face as they navigate both the complex conflicts they are seeking to resolve and the power dynamics in the insti­tutions they must deal with in order to accomplish their goals.

Latest Publications

What You Need to Know About Iran’s Election and New President

What You Need to Know About Iran’s Election and New President

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

By: Garrett Nada

Hard-liner Ebrahim Raisi won Iran's presidential election amid a historically low turnout on June 18. He will be inaugurated in early August and have significant influence over domestic policy and foreign affairs, although Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has the ultimate say. Raisi’s election comes as the Biden administration is working with other major powers to bring the United States and Iran into full compliance to the 2015 nuclear deal, which the president-elect has expressed interest in reviving to take advantage of its economic benefits. USIP’s Garrett Nada looks at the implications of Raisi’s election victory and what it could mean for the Islamic Republic’s ties to the outside world.  

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

Gender Inclusive Framework and Theory (Hausa)

Gender Inclusive Framework and Theory (Hausa)

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

By: Kathleen Kuehnast, Ph.D.; Danielle Robertson

Daftarin da ke bada kulawa ga jinsi kundi ne da akayi nazari a tsanake wajen samar da shi da zai saukaka yadda za’a rika bada kulawa tare da amfani da al’amuran da suka shafi jinsi yayin tsara wani shiri ko aiki. Saboda aikin samar da zaman lafiya ya dogara da nazartan al’amarin da yake dubawa, daftarin da ke bada kulawa ga jinsi ya gabatar da hanyoyi uku na nazartan al’amuran da suka shafi jinsi-mata, zaman lafiya da tsaro; halaye da dabi’un maza na kwarai; da asali ko alamomi da suka hadu da juna-an samar da su da nufin fuskantar al’amuarn jinsi dan kyautata tsara shirye-shiryen jaddada zaman lafiya.

Type: Tools for Peacebuilding

Gender

Unemployment Replaces ISIS as Top Security Concern for Minorities in Iraq

Unemployment Replaces ISIS as Top Security Concern for Minorities in Iraq

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

By: Ashish Kumar Sen

In the summer of 2014, the Islamic State group (ISIS) seized control of much of Iraq’s Nineveh province, including the provincial capital of Mosul. The militant group committed genocide against ethnic and religious minorities. Today, more than three years since the military defeat of ISIS in Iraq, ethnic and religious minority residents of three key districts of Nineveh say rampant unemployment, not ISIS, is their top security concern, according to data gathered by the United States Institute of Peace. 

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Human Rights; Democracy & Governance

11 Things to Know: Afghanistan on the Eve of Withdrawal

11 Things to Know: Afghanistan on the Eve of Withdrawal

Thursday, June 17, 2021

By: Andrew Wilder; Scott Worden

U.S. and NATO troops are rapidly executing President Biden’s policy of a complete withdrawal of American troops and contactors supporting the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) by a deadline of September 11. Based on the rate of progress, the last American soldier could depart before the end of July. The decision to withdraw without a cease-fire or a framework for a political agreement between the Taliban and the government caught Afghans and regional countries by surprise. The Taliban have capitalized on the moment to seize dozens of districts and project an air of confidence and victory.  

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Peace Processes; Fragility & Resilience

Donald Jensen on the Biden-Putin Summit

Donald Jensen on the Biden-Putin Summit

Thursday, June 17, 2021

By: Donald N. Jensen, Ph.D.

Despite numerous points of tension, Presidents Biden and Putin characterized this week’s meeting in positive terms. Now, “the administration is trying to decide to what extent to cooperate with the Kremlin … and to what extent to push back,” said USIP’s Donald Jensen ahead of the summit.

Type: Podcast

Global Policy

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