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A Conversation with Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis

The 2018 National Defense Strategy asserts that the United States is emerging from a post-Cold War period of “strategic atrophy.” On October 30, 2018, the U.S. Institute of Peace hosted a discussion with Secretary Mattis on how the National Defense Strategy seeks to meet the shared challenges of our time through strengthening and evolving America’s strategic alliances and partnerships.


What Really Works to Prevent Election Violence

One in five elections worldwide is marred by violence—from burned ballot boxes to violent suppression of peaceful rallies, to assassinations of candidates. A USIP study of programs to prevent violence suggests focusing on improving the administration and policing of elections. The study, of elections in Kenya and Liberia, found no evidence that programs of voter consultation or peace messaging were effective there. A series of speakers discussed these findings. Speakers: Pat...


PeaceCon 2018 - Synthesizing and Modeling the Science on Sustaining Peace

Jessica Baumgardner-Zuzik Director of Learning & Evaluation, Alliance for Peacebuilding Michael Findley Professor of Government and Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin Lise Morjé Howard Associate Professor of Government, Georgetown University Renard Sexton Postdoctoral Fellow, Princeton University and International Crisis Group Rebecca Wolfe Director of Evidence & Influence, Mercy Corps


PeaceCon 2018 - Building Peace in Hybrid War

Maciej Bartkowski PhD, John Hopkins University Sarah Mendelson Distinguished Service Professor of Public Policy and Head of Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University Dmytro Potekhin Founder and CEO, Moderator: Charles North Senior Advisor, Ukraine, U.S. Institute of Peace


PeaceCon 2018 - A Call for Collaborative and Collective Action

PeaceCon Welcome and Keynote Address: Ambassador Bill Taylor Vice President, U.S. Institute of Peace Liz HumeVice President, and Acting CEO, Alliance for Peacebuilding Robert Burke Chairman, Alliance for Peacebuilding General Anthony Zinni U.S. Marine Corps (Retired) Thomas Staal Counselor, USAID, Keynote Global Policy Frameworks on Sustaining Peace - A Call for Collaborative and Collective Action: Larry Attree Head of Policy, Saferworld Rosarie Tucci Director of...


How Can Peacemakers Show Success?

Peacebuilding work matters, but we still struggle to show evidence of where interventions have led to positive outcomes, such as a clear reduction in violence or increased cooperation. The Peacebuilding M&E Solutions Forum is an opportunity for practitioners to come together, network and connect with people working in this space, and share best practices, lessons learned, results, and evidence from across the broad spectrum of M&E activities on peacebuilding programming. This event is...


Breaking Rules to Build Peace

Why do peacebuilders sometimes succeed and sometimes fail, even within the same country? Why can organizations not guarantee the same results from the same policies? In her newly published book, Global Governance and Local Peace: Accountability and Performance in International Peacebuilding, Susanna Campbell dives into why peacebuilding organizations often fail and presents one of the keys to success: local actors that force organizations to stay accountable to local peacebuilding...


Civil Resistance and Democratization

A groundbreaking new monograph, “When Civil Resistance Succeeds: Building Democracy After Popular Nonviolent Uprisings,” by Jonathan Pinckney, demonstrates that nonviolent movements make democratic transitions more likely and lead to stronger democracies. The U.S. Institute of Peace and ICNC hosted a presentation by Dr. Pinckney followed by a panel discussion. The event provided key takeaways for activists and organizers, democratization experts, as well as external actors interested in...


Preserving the Past to Strengthen Afghanistan's Future

The Department of State recently commissioned renowned photojournalist Robert Nickelsberg for a photobook entitled, Afghanistan’s Heritage, Restoring Spirit and Stone, comprising photographs of heritage sites in Kabul, Herat, and Balkh as well as artifacts in the National Museum collections that received U.S. support. At this event, panelists examined how this often challenging and painstaking work serves to strengthen national identity, bolster community cohesion, promote economic...


Pakistan's New Government: Change or Continuity in Foreign Policy?

As the new Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government settles into its second month in office, it has yet to publicly articulate a comprehensive vision for its foreign policy. Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has promised that Pakistan’s foreign policy will “begin and end at Pakistan,” but many questions remain on how the government intends to implement this vision. At an initial meeting in Islamabad earlier in September, Secretary Pompeo expressed a desire to find common ground...


China: Managing Conflict and Competition - A Bipartisan Congressional Dialogue

The evolution of U.S.-China relations over the last 40 years presents challenges that, if not properly managed, threaten American leadership in key places of strategic interest, from Asia to Africa to the Western Hemisphere. Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) and Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) joined USIP for a Bipartisan Congressional Dialogue about the People’s Republic of China as it increases its malicious activity in cyberspace, expands its military capabilities and presence around the globe,...


What Drives Violence in Central America's Northern Triangle?

Violence and crime are the main drivers of mass immigration from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador into the United States. These countries form a region known as the Northern Triangle, which ranks in the top 10 worldwide for homicide, corruption, drug trafficking and gang violence. Over the past several decades, a significant amount of U.S. funds have been allocated to the war on drugs, rather than for security, peace and development. As conflict continues to escalate in Central America,...


China's Role in Myanmar's Internal Conflicts

For six months this year, USIP convened a group of 13 senior experts to examine China’s involvement in Myanmar’s internal conflicts—particularly those in Rakhine, Kachin, and Shan states—and peace process. On September 17, USIP hosted a discussion with the group’s co-chairs on the main findings of their report, which is the first in USIP’s China Senior Study Group series examining China’s influence on conflict dynamics around the world. Speakers: Nancy Lindborg, opening...


Task Force on Extremism in Fragile States - Interim Report Launch

This interim report of the Task Force on Extremism in Fragile States explains why such a preventive strategy is needed and what it might entail. In 2019, the Task Force will propose a comprehensive preventive strategy to mitigate the conditions that give rise to violent extremism Speakers: Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats Task Force Co-Chair Governor Tom Kean Senator Kelly Ayotte USIP President Nancy Lindborg


U.K. Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt on Foreign Policy

Amid unprecedented challenges to the postwar order, the U.S.-U.K. special relationship is critical to upholding democracy and the rule of law and promoting international peace and stability. Speaking at USIP—a U.S. national institute dedicated to preventing violent conflict and building peace around the world—the foreign secretary spoke about the challenges currently being presented to the rules-based international order and how the U.K. will work in partnership with other like-minded...


Pakistan Elections-- What Now?

Pakistan's national elections on July 25 ushered in a new government, with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) party now set to head a new governing coalition and former cricket star Imran Khan expected to become prime minister. After a controversial campaign period, the incumbent Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)—whose former leader Nawaz Sharif was imprisoned just days before the elections—has alleged rigging, military manipulation, and media censorship. Several political parties have...


Faith and Fragile States - Political Stability and Religious Freedom

Religion influences both peace and conflict worldwide. Violent extremism is often framed in religious terms, and religious discrimination continues to increase as both a driver and symptom of conflict. But, religion drives peace and coexistence as well and religious actors are essential for advancing religious freedom. Efforts to engage religious actors in countering violent extremism (CVE) and interfaith peacebuilding must take this dichotomy into account. Perpetrators of violence in the...


Senator Joni Ernst Discusses U.S. Policy Options in Post-ISIS Iraq

On Thursday, July 26, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) joined the U.S. Institute of Peace to give remarks on U.S. policy options in Iraq in the post-ISIS era. She discussed the protection of religious minority groups and offered her perspective on Iranian influence in the country and region. Senator Ernst is the first female combat veteran to serve in the U.S. Senate, having retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard. She serves as the Chairwoman of the Senate Armed...


South Sudan - From Independence to Civil War

South Sudan’s civil war is one of the most brutal and destructive conflicts of the 21st century. Could the war have been prevented? Could some of the atrocities and misery caused by the war have been avoided? On July 19 the U.S. Institute of Peace and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum's Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide hosted a discussion on what lessons should be learned from U.S. policy toward South Sudan in the years leading up to and during the civil...


Will Pakistan's Youth be a Boom or Bust for its Democracy?

With over 44 percent of new voters between the ages of 18 and 35, Pakistan’s youth will play an important role in the upcoming elections and influence the future of the country’s democracy. To harness the power of Pakistan’s youth, a recent UNDP Human Development Report argues for a national focus on youth empowerment through education, employment, and meaningful engagement. According to the report, youth will prove to be a dividend or a serious challenge to the country, depending on how...