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

Zambia’s New Leadership and the Stakes for Africa

Friday, September 24, 2021

By: USIP Staff

Weeks after his election to lead his southern African nation, Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema vowed to reverse his country’s recent erosion of democracy and good governance, and to stabilize an economy in recession—all despite the burdens of COVID, environmental shocks, and a dangerous “mountain” of debt accumulated in recent years.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

Prioritize Building Resilience at this Year’s U.N. General Assembly

Prioritize Building Resilience at this Year’s U.N. General Assembly

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

By: Corinne Graff, Ph.D.

World leaders are gathering in New York this week for the 2021 U.N. General Assembly against a backdrop of unprecedented global crises, including the continued spread of COVID-19 due to lack of access to vaccines; a growing hunger crisis as more people around the world die every day from starvation than from COVID-19; and the fact that roughly one percent of the world’s entire population — or one in every 97 people — is now forcibly displaced. These humanitarian challenges are compounded by a generational climate crisis and rising tensions with Russia and China that will need to be carefully managed. 

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Policy

China and the U.S. Exit from Afghanistan: Not a Zero-Sum Outcome

China and the U.S. Exit from Afghanistan: Not a Zero-Sum Outcome

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

By: Andrew Scobell, Ph.D.

It has become fashionable to characterize recent events in Afghanistan as a loss for the United States and a win for China. This zero-sum interpretation framed in the narrow context of U.S.-China relations is too simplistic and off the mark. The reality is far more complex and nuanced. The end of the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan and the collapse of that country’s pro-Western government do not automatically translate into significant Chinese gains, nor do they trigger a swift Beijing swoop to fill the vacuum in Kabul left by Washington.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Policy

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