The Guiding Principles for Stabilization and Reconstruction (S&R) manual presents the first strategic “doctrine” ever produced for civilians engaged in peacebuilding missions. It is a practical roadmap for helping countries transition from violent conflict to peace.

For decades, militaries have been equipped with doctrine that guides their decisions and actions. Civilian actors, however, still operate today without any unifying framework or shared set of principles to guide their actions in these complex environments. As global demand for these missions continues to rise, this gap will only impede cooperation and cohesion that is needed across the peacebuilding community to ensure success of any S&R mission.

The Guiding Principles seeks to fill this gap. Developed by the United States Institute of Peace and the U.S. Army Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute, the manual offers two important contributions: 1) a comprehensive set of shared principles and 2) a shared strategic framework. The “Strategic Framework for Stabilization and Reconstruction” (PDF/772 KB) is the cornerstone of the manual and is based on a validated construct of common End States, Cross-Cutting Principles, Necessary Conditions and Major Approaches.

Both the principles and strategic framework are built on the wealth of lessons that have emerged from across the peacebuilding community in past S&R missions. 

Latest Publications

Rival Afghan Leaders Agree to Share Power—Now Comes the Hard Part

Rival Afghan Leaders Agree to Share Power—Now Comes the Hard Part

Thursday, May 21, 2020

By: Scott Worden; Johnny Walsh

Last weekend, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and rival Abdullah Abdullah signed a power-sharing deal to end a months-long dispute over the 2019 presidential election. The deal comes amid a spate of high-profile violence, including a recent attack on a Kabul maternity ward by suspected ISIS perpetrators. Meanwhile, the Afghan peace process has stalled since the U.S.-Taliban deal signed at the end of February. The power-sharing agreement could address one of the key challenges to getting that process back on track. USIP’s Scott Worden and Johnny Walsh look at what the agreement entails and what it means for the peace process.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance; Peace Processes

Diplomacy, Development and Defense Officials Pledge To Advance U.S. Fragility Strategy

Diplomacy, Development and Defense Officials Pledge To Advance U.S. Fragility Strategy

Thursday, May 21, 2020

By: Corinne Graff; Amanda Long

The United States is committed to advancing the Global Fragility Act (GFA) as part of its global response to the coronavirus pandemic, senior State Department, USAID and Department of Defense officials said on Wednesday at a virtual gathering of development and peacebuilding organizations and experts convened by the U.S. Institute of Peace to facilitate discussions on how to implement the legislation.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Fragility & Resilience; Global Health

China’s Periphery Diplomacy: Implications for Peace and Security in Asia

China’s Periphery Diplomacy: Implications for Peace and Security in Asia

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

By: Jacob Stokes

China’s foreign policy is expanding in scope and depth and now reaches across the globe. Yet its diplomatic efforts focus on its own complex neighborhood. To advance these interests, China’s leaders practice an interlocking set of foreign affairs activities they refer to as “periphery diplomacy.” This report details the main tools Beijing uses to engage the countries with which it shares borders, assesses the campaign’s effectiveness, and lays out the implications for peace and security in Asia.

Type: Special Report

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

Scott Worden on the Afghan Power-Sharing Deal

Scott Worden on the Afghan Power-Sharing Deal

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

By: Scott Worden

A political deal to resolve the disputed 2019 presidential election was finally reached over the weekend. USIP’s Scott Worden says the agreement “is quite significant” because it will give the Afghan side “more political coherence to negotiate with the Taliban and, if implemented, it will show the Taliban they can’t divide Afghans.”

Type: Podcast

Democracy & Governance

Why the U.S. Military Presence in Africa is Vital Beyond Counterterrorism

Why the U.S. Military Presence in Africa is Vital Beyond Counterterrorism

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

By: Judd Devermont; Leanne Erdberg Steadman

Since Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced a potential drawdown of U.S. troops in Africa, U.S. congressional leaders, military officers and various commentators have defended the importance of the military in Africa. But they’ve focused almost exclusively on the fight against terrorism. This is not surprising, since the public has for decades really only heard about the U.S. military in Africa when drone strikes hit terrorists in Somalia, when Navy SEALS raid pirate ships in the Gulf of Aden, and when Army Rangers hunt down genocidaires in the jungle.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Violent Extremism; Global Policy

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