The Insights newsletter is a new USIP publication that highlights the intersection between theory and practice in the peacebuilding field on a quarterly basis.

As a relatively recent practice in international politics, peacebuilding constantly evolves through lessons learned, new technological developments and the changing nature of violent conflict. This new USIP publication will raise critical questions on a select peacebuilding field or practice, such as mediation, the prevention of electoral violence or the role of technology in conflict mitigation. The newsletter will chal­lenge and refine major assumptions about the theory and practice of peacebuilding, and contribute to the design of specific peacebuilding tools applicable in conflict situations worldwide.

Each issue will feature contributions by conflict analysts from the national and international policymaking, academic and practitioner communities. Insights will foster exchanges between academics and practitioners to further public understanding of peacebuilding efforts, and create new thinking on the practitioner’s toolkit of international responses to violent conflict. Guest contributors will address conceptual hurdles, and closely examine how peacebuilding concepts are put into practice. Additionally, the newsletter will feature concrete examples of peacebuilding practices in the field.

This first edition of Insights is dedicated to Countering Violent Extremism or CVE as a field of theory relevant to peacebuilding practice. This spring issue features an introduction to CVE’s “State of the Art” by USIP’s Steven Heydemann and Naureen Chowdhury Fink from the Global Center on Cooperative Security, a PeaceArena discussion between Dr. John Horgan and Tom Parker, and case studies illustrating the practice of CVE in Pakistan and Nigeria.

In this Issue

  • State of the Art:
    • Countering Violent Extremism as a Field of Practice
    • Something Old, Something New
  • Peace Arena: CVE Theory vs. Practice
    • With Tom Parker and Dr. John Horgan
  • In Practice
    • CVE In Nigeria and Pakistan

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Pakistan held indirect elections on March 3 for the Senate, its upper house of Parliament, which is elected by sitting legislators in the National Assembly (the lower house of Parliament) and each of the provincial assemblies. Given the typically party-line vote, Pakistani Senate elections tend to be mundane affairs, with the results often preordained. However, in last week’s elections the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, despite having a numerical majority in the national and provincial assemblies, failed to forestall defections among some lawmakers and in doing so failed to take control of the Senate from the opposition.

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