This book analyzes the nature and impact of four interrelated kinds of violence: violence by the state, violence by militants, violence in the community, and the emergence of new violence-related issues during negotiations.

As recent events demonstrate, violence, especially ethnic violence, is exceptionally hard to extinguish. Cease-fires almost never bring a complete end to the killing, and formal peace agreements are more often than not undone by men unwilling to forsake the gun. As John Darby argues in this original, holistic, and comparative treatment of the subject, “even when political violence is ended by a cease-fire, it reappears in other forms to threaten the evolving peace process.”

Unlike most scholars, Darby focuses on peace processes that have involved actors other than the United Nations. He analyzes the nature and impact of four interrelated kinds of violence: violence by the state, violence by militants, violence in the community, and the emergence of new violence-related issues during negotiations. For each kind of violence, the author draws out the policy implications, suggesting how the “guardians” of the peace process can defeat would-be spoilers and change a culture of violence. The volume concludes by distilling five propositions on the relationship between violence and peace processes.

Insightful, concise, and highly readable, the book will engage the scholar, inspire the policymaker, and inform the student. In-depth profiles of the five featured cases (Northern Ireland, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Israel-Palestine, and the Basque country) provide ample background and enrich understanding.

About the Author

John Darby is scholar in residence at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame. He was formerly professor of ethnic studies at the University of Ulster and founding director of INCORE. He was a senior fellow at the United States Institute of Peace in 1998. Darby is the author or editor of nine books, most recently The Management of Peace(coedited with Roger MacGinty).

Latest Publications

Why Calls for Regime Change in North Korea Can Be Counterproductive

Why Calls for Regime Change in North Korea Can Be Counterproductive

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

By: Lauren Sukin

Last September, North Korea’s supreme leader, Kim Jong Un, traveled through Russia’s Far East, where he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss munition sales in return for collaboration on space and other military technology. While Kim was outside of North Korea, Pyongyang test launched a ballistic missile in a move that is becoming quotidian. Although the test was one of dozens that have happened just in the past year, it was the first such test to occur while North Korea’s supreme leader was out of the country.

Type: Analysis

Global Policy

Report of the Expert Study Group on NATO and Indo-Pacific Partners

Report of the Expert Study Group on NATO and Indo-Pacific Partners

Monday, February 19, 2024

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and its four partner countries in the Indo-Pacific—Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea (ROK), and New Zealand—have entered a period of increased engagement. This engagement is taking shape in the context of the war waged by the Russian Federation (Russia) against Ukraine, NATO’s growing awareness of the security challenges posed by the People’s Republic of China (China), and important structural changes in the international system, including the return of strategic competition between the United States and China and Russia. It is occurring not only in bilateral NATO-partner relations but also between NATO and these Indo-Pacific countries as a group.

Type: Report

Conflict Analysis & PreventionCivilian-Military RelationsGlobal PolicyMediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

What to Expect from the Doha Conference on Afghanistan

What to Expect from the Doha Conference on Afghanistan

Thursday, February 15, 2024

By: Kate Bateman;  Andrew Watkins

On February 18-19, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will convene a meeting on Afghanistan in Doha to discuss the ongoing humanitarian and human rights crises and the recent report on a way forward by U.N. Special Coordinator for Afghanistan Feridun Sinirlioğlu. Special envoys from U.N. member states and international organizations will attend; representatives from Afghan civil society, women’s groups and Taliban officials have also been invited. The conference is a critical, high-level opportunity for donors and the region to chart next steps on how to improve the situation in Afghanistan and engage with the Taliban regime.

Type: Analysis

Global Policy

Two Years Later, What Has the Indo-Pacific Strategy Achieved?

Two Years Later, What Has the Indo-Pacific Strategy Achieved?

Thursday, February 15, 2024

By: Carla Freeman, Ph.D.;  Mirna Galic;  Daniel Markey, Ph.D.;  Vikram J. Singh

This month marks the second anniversary of the Biden administration’s Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS). USIP experts Carla Freeman, Mirna Galic, Daniel Markey, and Vikram Singh assess what the strategy has accomplished in the past two years, how it has navigated global shocks and its impact on partnerships in the region.

Type: Analysis

Global Policy

View All Publications