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  • Author: Georgia Holmer
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Counter violent extremism (CVE) is a growing and evolving realm of policy and practice that faces several significant challenges in implementation, stemming in part from its origins in the security and defense arena. Long versed in the challenges of conflict prevention, the peacebuilding community and its related methods and practices can help develop a more expansive understanding of violent extremism and its causes and a more localized, inclusive, and sustainable approach to countering it. The peacebuilding community already contributes in many ways to the prevention of extremist violence and the CVE agenda through programs designed to prevent conflict, strengthen rule of law, and promote peace, tolerance, and resilience. Suggested best roles for the peacebuilding community in CVE are to support a nonsecuritized space for and build the capacity of civil society and to help reform the security bodies charged with counterterrorism and CVE. CVE policy and global security efforts, in turn, may help provide the impetus and enabling conditions for effective peacebuilding. Closer collaboration between the two domains, with coordinated and clearer lines of engagement, would advance efforts to prevent extremist violence.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Defense Policy, Peace Studies, Terrorism, Insurgency
  • Author: Joseph Vess, Gary Barker, Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini, Alexa Hassink
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Understanding how the ascribed roles of men and women and masculine and feminine identities contribute to and can help mitigate violence in conflict and postconflict settings is an emerging field of enquiry in conflict management and gender and peacebuilding studies. This enquiry builds upon, complements, and significantly contributes to the work of the women, peace, and security agenda, especially as seen through UN Security Council Resolution 1325. Men are usually perceived to be the primary perpetrators of violence in times of war. Research indicates, however, that men are not inherently violent. This shift in understanding is contributing to a recognition that men are also victims and witnesses of many forms of violence, including sexual and gender-based violence. In expanding our perceptions about men's experiences, further studies indicate that this may help stop the cycle of violence. In this way, men can become critical agents of change to end these multiple forms of violence. Expanding knowledge of men's diverse experiences during war and the underlying causes and mechanisms that lead to violent behavior has important policy implications. Understanding the various paths to violence is particularly important when dealing with postconflict situations. Postconflict policies need to take account of these varied paths to violence and the notions of hyper-masculinity created by violent conflict. Policies also need to recognize that during conflict the roles of men and women often undergo radical change. Restoration to preconflict role models is often impossible. For example, in preconflict situations men derive much of their sense of identity from the fact that they are economic providers. In many postconflict situations, the economy is in shambles and most men will not be able to get jobs. As a result, in many postconflict settings, men and boys often experience a loss of identity leading to extreme emotional stress, substance abuse, and a continuous cycle of violent behavior, including sexual and gender-based violence.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Political Violence, Gender Issues, Peace Studies, War
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Susan Hayward
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The field of religious peacebuilding has begun to move closer to the mainstream of conflict resolution practice and theory. The 2011 unrest in the Middle East and North Africa—the Arab Spring—reflects ongoing challenges and opportunities for the field. American and European nongovernmental organizations, agencies in the U.S. government, academia, and international organizations—sectors that once held religious issues at a distance or understood religion mainly as a driver of violence—increasingly engage religious communities and institutions as partners in creating peace. Meanwhile, religious organizations that have been involved in creating peace for decades, if not longer, increasingly have institutionalized and professionalized their work, suggesting ways that religious and secular organizations could coordinate their efforts more closely. The U.S. Institute of Peace's own programs on religion reflect the development of the wider field, having moved from research and analysis to on-the-ground programming to foster interfaith dialogue in the Balkans, Nigeria, Israel-Palestine, and Sudan. In addition, it has trained religious actors in conflict management in Sri Lanka, Iraq, and Colombia and developed peace curricula based on Islamic principles for religious and secular schools in Pakistan, Indonesia, the Philippines, and elsewhere. As the U.S. field of religious peacebuilding continues to develop, challenges include integrating further with secular peacebuilding efforts, engaging women and youth and addressing their priorities, working more effectively with non-Abrahamic religious traditions, and improving evaluation, both to show how religious peacebuilding can reduce and resolve conflict and to strengthen the field's ability to do so.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Islam, Peace Studies, Religion, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Europe, Arabia
  • Author: Nadia Gerspacher
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: As part of their efforts to support the rebuilding and reform of postconflict and transitional states, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the United Nations, and other members of the international community are sending international advisers to work alongside high-level officials in national institutions. Advisers are recruited for their strong professional expertise in fields such as logistics and human resources. However, they have had little preparation in transferring that knowledge to others, especially in a transitional or postconflict environment. If they are to contribute to sustainable reforms, advisers need to be taught how to transfer knowledge in a complex and alien environment, how to operate without formal authority, and how to cultivate local ownership. Launched in 2010, a U.S. Department of Defense program to train advisers for institution-building activities in Afghanistan—Ministry of Defense Advisors, or MoDA—has incorporated lessons learned by former advisers and emphasized four principles originally developed for a USIP training course: supporting local ownership; designing for sustainability; doing no harm; and demonstrating respect, humility, and empathy. As of March 2012, five MoDA cohorts have been deployed and have performed effectively. The MoDA experience, together with insights gained from teaching courses at USIP and other venues, suggests that a good curriculum for training high-level advisers in any sector of government should include four parts: lessons on about how to be an effective adviser, including techniques for building relationships and communicating across cultures; briefings on the situation in the country; substantive information about the sector in which the adviser will work; and preparation through practice.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Defense Policy, NATO, Peace Studies, United Nations, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan
  • Author: Aaron Sayne
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Many of Nigeria's worst conflicts pit the recognized original inhabitants, or indigenes, of a particular place against supposedly later settlers. These conflicts may be growing deadlier and more numerous with time. State and local governments have free rein to pick who is an indigene. Abuse of the label can foster deep socioeconomic inequalities, given that indigenes enjoy preferential access to land, schools, development spending, and public jobs. These inequalities feed into violence, although righting inequality may not be sufficient to end violence in every case. The indigene-settler distinction is also explosive because it reinforces and is reinforced by other identity-based divides in Nigeria. These differences in ethnicity, language, religion, and culture can be longstanding and deeply felt, but how they factor into violence is again not well understood. Poor law enforcement responses also help entrench violence between indigenes and settlers. Official complicity and indifference make prosecutions rare. Destructive conduct by the Nigerian security forces itself often becomes a structural cause of violence. Serious thought about how to prevent or resolve indigene-settler violence has barely started in Nigeria. Addressing inequality between indigenes and settlers calls for serious, microlevel analysis of local economic dysfunctions and opportunities, along with real official commitment to make and enforce better policies. More holistic understandings of justice are also needed. The worst hot spots will need a wide menu of well-planned interventions. Options include securitization, criminal prosecution, mediation and dialogue, truth commissions, victim compensation programs, public health and trauma assistance, public institutional reforms, education, and communications work. In some cases, building sustainable peace could take a generation or more.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Crime, Ethnic Conflict, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Caroline Hartzell
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Afghanistan's disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) program sought to enable the Afghan government to establish a monopoly on the use of force by helping break the linkages between former Afghan Military Forces (AMF) commanders and their troops, helping former combatants make the transition from military to civilian life, and collecting weapons in the possession of the AMF. Although Afghanistan presented an extremely challenging environment in which to implement DDR, a window for carrying out this task arguably existed for a couple of years after the signing of the Bonn Agreement. During this time the security situation throughout much of the country was relatively calm, the population generally supported efforts to establish peace, and the politicization of the security sector that began in the wake of the agreement was not yet entrenched. Unfortunately, the failure to include DDR in the Bonn settlement was the first in a series of missteps that limited the program's contributions to security sector reform. Delays in the design and initiation of a DDR process, combined with the international community's initial decision to leave only a light footprint in Afghanistan, left armed Afghan actors to contend with the type of security dilemma that has proven detrimental to other efforts to stabilize the peace. Competing militias' efforts to provide security as well as some groups' attempts to gain control of the security sector apparatus generated mistrust among the militias and reinforced the power of commanders and warlords. This situation was exacerbated by the coalition's reluctance to check the growing factionalization of the DDR process and a civilian-implemented DDR program that lacked the coercive capacity to contend with spoilers. DDR provisions should be part of a peace settlement. If armed groups prove unwilling to agree to such measures, their commitment to the settlement and to a durable peace must be considered suspect. Once such settlement measures have been agreed to, third-party actors—international or regional peacekeeping forces, third-party armies—should commit to providing security before, during, and after DDR; this sends a message to civilians and combatants that DDR will not endanger their safety.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan
  • Author: P. R. Chari, D. Suba Chandran, Shaheen Akhtar
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: India and Pakistan have initiated a number of confidence-building measures in Kashmir, including the creation of a bus service and the limited expansion of trade across the Line of Control (LoC). The present cross-LoC confidence-building measures address primarily the divided families living on both sides of the LoC and thus are limited in scope and do not serve the entire region and all communities of Kashmir. It is imperative for India and Pakistan to expand cross-LoC confidence-building measures and add new initiatives that would address the imbalances in the existing interactions. Cross-LoC tourism will be an important initiative in further expanding the present confidence building and will allow members of the broader civil society of Kashmir to visit and interact with each other. Cross-LoC tourism will expand the scope of interactions between the two sides, beyond the divided families, and include everyone in Kashmir. Cross-LoC tourism will also create constituencies of peace beyond the select group of divided families and businessmen who already benefit from the cross-LoC bus services and truck traffic. As a first step, India and Pakistan should develop a “package tourism” program that would include select destinations on both sides of the LoC. More important, both India and Pakistan should seriously consider further relaxing travel restrictions for people to travel across the LoC.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia, India, Kashmir
  • Author: Andrew Blum
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The effective evaluation of peacebuilding programs is essential if the field is to learn what constitutes effective and ineffective practice and to hold organizations accountable for using good practice and avoiding bad practice. In the field of peacebuilding evaluation, good progress has been made on the intellectual front. There are now clear guidelines, frameworks, and tool kits to guide practitioners who wish to initiate an evaluation process within the peacebuilding field. Despite this, progress in improving peacebuilding evaluation itself has slowed over the past several years. The cause of this is a set of interlocking problems in the way the peacebuilding field is organized. These in turn create systemic problems that hinder effective evaluation and the utilization of evaluation results. The Peacebuilding Evaluation Project, organized by USIP and the Alliance for Peacebuilding, brought funders and implementers together to work on solutions to the systemic problems in peacebuilding work. This report discusses these solutions, which are grouped into three categories: building consensus, strengthening norms, and disrupting practice and creating alternatives. Several initiatives in each of these categories are already under way.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Political Violence, Civil War, Peace Studies, War, Armed Struggle, Insurgency, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Graciana del Castillo
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The United States' longest war, in Afghanistan, and one of the largest relief efforts in U.S. history, in Haiti, are testing U.S. leadership in the world, as well as its determination to deal with fiscal imbalances, the debt burden, and economic malaise at home. U.S.-led reconstruction in both countries is lagging and becoming increasingly expensive, and it will not succeed without a major change in strategy. U.S. goals in both countries will be elusive unless the misguided policies and misplaced priorities under which reconstruction has been taking place change in fundamental ways. Each country is different and will need to develop its own strategy. Nevertheless, we have identified basic rules, lessons, and best practices that national policymakers and the international community should keep in mind to improve the provision of aid and technical assistance. During the immediate transition from war or chaos, reconstruction is not development as usual: The peace (or political) objective should prevail at all times over the development (or economic) objective. Without peace there cannot be development. Policymaking should be tailored to four major differences from development as usual. Emergency policies should be adopted without delay, aid to groups most affected by crises should be prioritized, corruption should be checked, and national ownership of reconstruction policies must be assured. For both Afghanistan and Haiti, a broad-based debate-including national leaders, U.S. government officials, members of Congress, military leaders, academics, think tanks, and aid practitioners in these countries-is urgently needed and should take place without delay, as it did at the time of the Marshall Plan.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Peace Studies, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Haiti
  • Author: Daniel Brumberg
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: This report offers a set of general and country-specific findings and recommendations to assist the Obama administration in its efforts to tackle escalating security challenges while sustaining diplomatic, institutional and economic support for democracy and human rights in the Greater Middle East.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Nike Carstarphen, Craig Zelizer, Robert Harris, David J. Smith
  • Publication Date: 08-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Graduate-level academic institutions are not adequately preparing students for careers in international peace and conflict management. Curricula need to incorporate more applied skills, cross-sectoral coursework, and field-experience opportunities. Unlike most faculty, students, and alumni, employers see substantial room for improvement in preparing students for the field. Overseas experience is, for employers, the most valuable asset. General project management skills—program planning and design, monitoring and evaluation, computer literacy, report writing skills, budgeting, staff management, research skills, grant writing, and knowledge of the funding and policy world—and cross-cultural competencies and language skills are critical. International peace and conflict management practices increasingly overlap with more traditional work, such as human rights, humanitarian issues, and development programming. Employers want candidates who have a holistic understanding of international conflict work, specialized knowledge and skills, practical know-how, and political savvy, yet often fail to grasp what academic programs are in fact teaching students to prepare them for the field. Academic programs need to strengthen their outreach and interaction with employers and to market the value of their programs. To better prepare themselves for the field, recent graduates and alumni are seeking to increase their applied education, field experience, project management skills, mentoring, and career guidance.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Education, Peace Studies, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Sheldon Himelfarb
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: A decade ago, mobile phone usage in Afghanistan was almost nonexistent; now there are 13 million subscriptions for a total of 29 million citizens, and the annual growth rate of subscription is estimated at 53 percent. A number of factors have fueled this dramatic increase, including the sheer popular demand for communication, an absence of viable landline substitutes, government deregulation, and a competitive market that flourishes despite the conflict. Each of the major telecommunications companies in Afghanistan identifies the same five challenges to future expansion: poverty, high illiteracy rates, corruption, an untrained workforce, and lack of security. Despite these challenges, Afghanistan has proved an exceptional case study in the use of mobile phones for social change in support of peacebuilding, as it has been the focus of numerous pilot application programs conducted by the government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the private sector. Mobile money transfer (MMT) applications have proved to be powerful mechanisms for helping to reduce corruption, foster security sector reform, and promote economic development. Yet neither the international community nor the Afghan government has shown the will or the capacity to move MMT programs forward at a pace commensurate with their demonstrated potential. At least two other high-value mobile applications were cited during the June summit as having improved conditions for stability and reconstruction in early deployments: the provision of market information through mobile phones, especially in the agricultural sector, and the use of mobile phones to strengthen local governance and civil society. Both applications have sufficient promise to warrant large-scale rollouts and merit careful consideration by international donors, whose support is vital during the transition to sustainability. Other applications on the horizon that hold tangible if still aspirational promise for peacebuilding are those that use mobile phones for land dispute resolution, election monitoring, and gender empowerment and education.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Peace Studies, Science and Technology, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan
  • Author: Daniel Brumberg, Eriks Berzins
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: On February 23, 2009, the Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention of the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), together with the United Nations Association-USA and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, held a roundtable discussion among top Middle East experts and former United States Government officials. Held at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, the meeting's purpose was to discuss prospects for creating a diplomatic framework through which the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran can address issues of common concern in the Middle East and South Asia, and in so doing, advance an engagement dynamic that might eventually open the doors for rapprochement between the two countries.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Foreign Policy, Peace Studies, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Asia, United Nations
  • Author: Frederic C. Hof
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Syrian-Israeli “proximity” peace talks orchestrated by Turkey in 2008 revived a long-dormant track of the Arab-Israeli peace process. Although the talks were sus¬pended because of Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip, Israeli-Syrian peace might well facilitate a Palestinian state at peace with Israel.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Peace Studies, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Donald C. F. Daniel
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Much progress has been achieved over the last decade and a half in the development and use of peace operations as a tool to quell conflicts, but there are limits to how much more progress can be expected. The number of troop contributors and troops deployed to peace operations has recently reached unprecedented highs, but the bulk of troops came from a limited number of states. The relationship between the United Nations and non-UN peacekeepers seems for the most part complementary. Nonetheless, the rise in non-UN peace operations has probably led to the United Nations becoming too dependent on too small a base of lesser-developed states. The characteristics of most troop contributors (e.g., type of governance, national quality of life, ground-force size) correlate with their level of contribution, but even politically willing nations with the “right” characteristics can likely deploy only a small percentage of their troops to operations at any one time. While Europe and Africa have achieved the most progress in developing institutional capacities, each continent confronts problems of interinstitutional relations and resource shortages. Russia's hegemonic role in Eurasia and the United States' historical legacy in Latin America have hindered development of comprehensive institutional capacities for peace operations in each region. East Asia may slowly be moving beyond ideational strictures that crippled efforts to develop regional capacities. Institutional progress is not expected in South Asia and the Middle East, and states of each region should not be expected to send military units to intraregional operations. Nearly all South Asian countries, however, will be major players in UN operations. A few exceptions aside, Mideast states will remain bit players on the world scene. Demand for easy or moderately challenging operations will generally be met, but the hazardous missions most apt to occur will be called for by states possessing the wherewithal to take them on and bring others along.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, International Cooperation, Peace Studies, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, United States, Europe, South Asia, Eurasia, Middle East, East Asia, Latin America
  • Author: G. Eugene Martin, Astrid S. Tuminez
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The Muslim inhabitants of Mindanao and Sulu in the southern Philippines, known as Moros, have resisted assimilation into the Christianized national culture for centuries. Since Spanish colonial times, Moros have been marginalized from Philippine society, politics, and economic development. Moro-dominated areas have suffered from the effects of war, poor governance, and lack of justice. High crime rates, internal clan-on-clan conflicts, and corruption and abuse by local leaders also beset Moro communities. For nearly four decades, Moros have rebelled against the Philippine government and sought self-determination. The rebellion was led first by the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and then by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). In 2003, the U.S. State Department, seeking to prevent international terrorist groups from exploiting the conflict in the Philippines, engaged the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) to facilitate a peace agreement between the government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the MILF. The State Department felt that the Institute's status as a quasi-governmental, “track one-and-a-half” player would allow it to engage the parties more broadly than an official government entity could. To accomplish its mandate, USIP launched the Philippine Facilitation Project (PFP). PFP faced many difficulties at the outset. The Malaysian government had served as host and facilitator of the GRP-MILF peace talks since 2001 and opposed an American presence at the negotiating table. Moros suspected USIP's presence, motives, and relationship with the U.S. government. USIP, lacking a permanent base in Mindanao, also faced challenges in establishing strong channels of communication with the GRP, MILF, and civil society. Multiple changes in the composition of the GRP negotiating team, and divergent perspectives and agendas within the Moro leadership and communities further complicated the peace facilitation effort. At times, senior GRP officials' lukewarm support for an equitable and effective peace agreement hamper the effort s of skilled and committed negotiators. Corruption and criminality among the Moros, exacerbated by centuries-old clan loyalties, created other hurdles. Despite the challenges, USIP managed to build productive relationships with both the GRP and the MILF, helped the parties come up with creative solutions to stub - born issues of ancestral domain, and started dialogue between disparate Moro ethnic groups. PFP's multifaceted approach included directly sharing lessons learned by principals from other conflict areas around the world; training civil society leaders in conflict management; promoting interfaith dialogue and cooperation via the Bishops- Ulama Forum; supporting the training of Mindanao history teachers on teaching a historical narrative that is more inclusive of the Moro experience; and launching dialogue among young Moro leaders. To improve media coverage of the conflict, PFP held two training workshops for media representatives. It also conducted six workshops on conflict management, negotiation, and communication for Philippine military officers. Through its activities, USIP introduced concepts and approaches that were useful to both government and MILF peace panels. It helped inform the Philippine population, and elites in Manila in particular, of issues underlying the conflict in Mindanao, while presenting potentially viable means of resolving them. The Institute's efforts have added marginally to more balanced media coverage. USIP funding supported the publication of policy papers, which were distributed to scholars, analysts, journalists, and policymakers. USIP also sponsored educational materials for use in Philippine schools. Philippine economic progress and U.S. counterterrorism objectives will remain pre - carious until the Mindanao conflict is resolved. The roots of conflict in Mindanao are primarily political, not economic or religious. Preference for military “solutions” will likely miss the delicate nuances of intergroup conflict and could even worsen the situation. To move the peace process forward, U.S. policymakers must give higher priority to the GRP-MILF negotiations and commit to working with both parties long enough to reach an agreement and implement it. The Philippine government, for its part, will need to muster the political will to address Moro grievances more effectively, especially on land claims, control over economic resources, and political self-governance. When an agreement is reached, implementation will require long-term monitoring by a committed international body. Today's complex diplomatic landscape increasingly requires new tools and techniques of conflict management, including quasi- and non- governmental actors, to accomplish U.S. foreign policy goals. Because of its ability to deal with nonstate actors and sensitive issues underlying civil conflict, USIP can be a useful instrument for advancing U.S. interests.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Philippines, Southeast Asia
  • Author: David Smock
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: No major religion has been exempt from complicity in violent conflict. Yet we need to beware of an almost universal propensity to oversimplify the role that religion plays in international affairs. Religion is not usually the sole or even primary cause of conflict. With so much emphasis on religion as a source of conflict, the role of religion as a force in peacemaking is usually overlooked. Religious affiliation and conviction often motivates religious communities to advocate particular peace-related government policies. Religious communities also directly oppose repression and promote peace and reconciliation. Religious leaders and institutions can mediate in conflict situations, serve as a communication link between opposing sides, and provide training in peacemaking methodologies. This form of religious peacemaking garners less public attention but is growing in importance. Interfaith dialogue is another form of religious peacemaking. Rather than seeking to resolve a particular conflict, it aims to defuse interfaith tensions that may cause future conflict or derive from previous conflict. Interfaith dialogue is expanding even in places where interreligious tensions are highest. Not infrequently, the most contentious interfaith relationships can provide the context for the most meaningful and productive exchanges. Given religion's importance as both a source of international conflict and a resource for peacemaking, it is regrettable that the U.S. government is so ill equipped to handle religious issues and relate to religious actors. If the U.S. government is to insert itself into international conflicts or build deeper and more productive relationships with countries around the world, it needs to devise a better strategy to effectively and respectfully engage with the religious realm.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Peace Studies, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Priscilla Clapp
  • Publication Date: 07-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Noted observers of trends in democratic transition reckon that the last quarter of the twentieth century may prove to be “the greatest period of democratic ferment in the history of modern civilization. ”The disintegration of the Soviet Union and dissipation of the East-West divide gave dramatic impetus to this trend, providing us with a wide perspective on the process of political transition and the many pitfalls faced when striving to replace entrenched autocracies with pluralistic liberal democracy. Eastern European states under the sway of Soviet communism represent an example of relatively stable and orderly transition in which political and economic development were supported by a wealth of underlying institutions and encouraged by the prospect of joining the European Union. On the other hand, former Soviet republics that became independent states have, with the exception of the Baltics, experienced more difficulty shedding the Soviet heritage of authoritarian government, centralized economic controls, the culture of corruption, and unfamiliarity with individual rights and responsibilities inherent in democracy to develop effective political and economic institutions. While they have all experienced political transition, it has not necessarily brought these new countries closer to liberal democratic governance.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia, Soviet Union, Burma
  • Author: Ethan Beuno de Mesquita
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: This report examines the correlates of individual-level support for terrorism in fourteen Muslim countries. I identify a variety of factors that are correlated with support for terrorism. These factors can be divided into a several categories: attitudes toward Islam, attitudes toward the United States, attitudes toward politics and economics in the home countries, and demographic factors.
  • Topic: Development, Peace Studies, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Merriam Mashatt, Johanna Mendelson-Forman
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: It seems logical that improving the lives of those who have suffered from conflict would include a program to generate economic well-being in the immediate period after hostilities subside. Yet livelihood creation, the root of potential economic success and security, has often become a secondary objective in the transformation from war to peace. An obvious reason for this relegation to a lower priority is that security, humanitarian needs, and restoring the rule of law often overtake the economic development priorities of any peace-building mission. Even in Iraq, the largest stabilization and reconstruction effort undertaken by the U.S. government, restoring livelihoods and getting people back to work remains an unresolved challenge and an unmet agenda. Of the nearly $20 billion of U.S.-appropriated funds to reconstruct Iraq, only $805 million was directed toward jump-starting the private sector. Although employment generation is not a new subject in “postwar” literature, lessons about implementation vary from one country to the next. Current knowledge about “golden hour” job creation, which is creating jobs within one year of the cessation of hostilities, is culled more from specific pilot studies than from a coherent overview of what tools exist and how they can be applied. This report advances current research by providing such an overview for U.S. government policymakers. It seeks to help the U.S. government work through the lessons learned about the processes needed to generate employment. Moreover, it explores the U.S. government strategy toward golden hour job creation, the existing civilian and military tools, and how these tools can be better incorporated into larger transformation efforts. The report also notes the limitations of U.S. civilian capacity in a nonpermissive environment.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Economics, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Renee Garfinkel
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Just as people become religious extremists, some of them abandon extremism and embrace peace. For some this change is a spiritual transformation, similar to religious conversion. Under certain circumstances stress, crisis, and trauma appear to play an important role in the process of change. Geographic relocation may be important for some. Migration involves novelty, insecurity, and instability, conditions that enhance vulnerability and, perhaps, openness to change. The transformation experienced by religious extremists involves a reorientation in outlook and direction but does not necessarily imply an alteration in basic personality structure. A key factor in the transition is personal relationships. Change often hinges on a relationship with a mentor or friend who supports and affirms peaceful behavior.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, Peace Studies, Religion
  • Author: Pieter Feith
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Even though the first contacts between the Indonesian government and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) had already taken place before the December 2004 tsunami struck, the disaster consolidated the political will to leave old grievances behind and join forces in the reconstruction process and the creation of a sustainable future for the people of Aceh. The determination of both parties, considerable pressure from Aceh's people, and significant support from the international community helped ensure a solution to the thirty-year armed conflict with dignity for all. The Aceh Monitoring Mission was the first European Security and Defence Policy operation in Asia and was conducted with five participating states from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The European Union (EU) and ASEAN are now in a position to build on this experience and use AMM as a model for future cooperation in crisis management between regional actors. Parallels may be drawn to the root causes and possible solutions of other, somewhat similar conflicts in the region. The EU will stand by the people of Aceh in the ongoing peace and reconciliation and post-conflict reconstruction processes and is determined to develop a lasting and comprehensive partnership with Indonesia.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Europe, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Shlomo Brom
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Despite the current stalemate between Israel and the Palestinians, the issue of Palestinian statehood is sure to reemerge. Israeli national security thinking on Palestinian statehood and the two-state solution has undergone a revolutionary change in the past two decades from total rejection to broad acceptance. After the 1967 war, Israeli thinking was characterized by the denial of the existence of a Palestinian national identity, and the perception that a Palestinian state would pose an existential threat to Israel. The first intifada, which broke out at the end of 1987, convinced the Israeli security community that the denial of Palestinian national identity was pointless and that only a political solution could resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Although security measures alone may have contained the conflict, they simultaneously perpetuated it. At the same time, Israel's regional threat perceptions began to change as the conventional balance of power tilted in Israel's favor, and the likelihood of large-scale ground war was gradually replaced by the threats of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles on one hand, and terrorism and guerrilla warfare on the other. These new perceptions led Israel's political leadership to initiate the Oslo process, which enjoyed wide support among the security community. This process led to mutual recognition between the state of Israel and the Palestinian people, and implicitly to Israel's recognition of the Palestinian right to statehood. The collapse of the Oslo process in 2000 and the outbreak of the second intifada had a conflicting impact on Israeli national security thinking. On one hand it had a moderating effect on Israeli thinking about the terms of the resolution of the conflict and led to broad acceptance of Palestinian statehood, while on the other it deepened Israel's mistrust of the Palestinians and shook its belief in the feasibility of negotiating a permanent status agreement with the Palestinians. The most salient facet of present Israeli national security thinking is the growing importance of demography over geography because current population trends threaten Israel's Jewish and democratic character. As the acquisition of territory has become less important, national security is being defined in broader terms to include threats to the character of the state. The wide acceptance of Palestinian statehood has not precluded an intense debate on the nature of this state and its relationship with Israel. Those who assume that it will be a dysfunctional state hostile to Israel favor unilateral separation, while those who believe in the feasibility of a Palestinian state living in peace with Israel continue to argue for a negotiated settlement.
  • Topic: International Relations, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Oslo
  • Author: Victoria Baxter, Judy Barsalou
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: This report focuses on the often-ignored challenges faced by those seeking, through memorialization, to help repair societies that are emerging from violent conflict. The summary matrix at the end of this report provides recommendations to international actors interested in assisting in that process.
  • Topic: International Relations, Human Welfare, Non-Governmental Organization, Peace Studies
  • Author: Robert L. Rothstein
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The failure of the Oslo Accords has been attributed to a variety of factors, including deficiencies in the accords themselves, failures of implementation, and the play of domestic politics. These are all critical factors that describe what happened, but they do not explain why each side behaved as it did—that is, why each side made choices that would only increase the likelihood of the accords' failure. To understand why each side behaved as it did, we must first understand the “conflict syndrome” that affected the negotiating and decision-making process—a syndrome that is, to varying degrees, present in many protracted conflicts. While the conflict syndrome is never the sole cause of failure in any given peace process and does not affect every conflict in the same way, the significant role it often plays in perpetuating conflict is frequently ignored or undervalued.
  • Topic: International Relations, Peace Studies, Politics, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Oslo
  • Author: George Adams
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: In Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as in countless other hotspots around the world, religion has been a major factor in matters of war and peace. Since religion often plays a significant role in conflicts, it also needs to be one of the factors addressed in mediating conflicts. Yet, because the United States separates religion from political matters to a greater degree than many other areas of the world, Americans frequently have difficulty understanding the crucial role religion can play in conflict transformation.
  • Topic: Peace Studies, Religion
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: David Smock
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The post-September 11 world is seized with the dangers of religious extremism and conflict between religious communities, particularly between two or more of the Abrahamic faiths: Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. The threat of religious extremism is real and well documented. The connection between religion and conflict is in the process of being thoroughly explored, however, to the extent that hyperbole and exaggeration are commonplace. In the popular mind, to discuss religion in the context of international affairs automatically raises the specter of religious-based conflict. The many other dimensions and impacts of religion tend to be downplayed or even neglected entirely.
  • Topic: International Relations, Peace Studies, Religion, War
  • Author: Scott Lasensky
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Jordan wants a strong, stable, moderate, and unified Iraq. Having wrestled with the dilemmas of an assertive Iraq for many years, Jordan—like Iraq's other neighbors— now faces a myriad of challenges presented by a weak Iraq. The kingdom, for years a linchpin in the U.S. strategy to promote peace and stability in the region, is now less secure in the wake of the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq. Jordanian leaders worry that Iraq is becoming a haven for terrorist groups, a fear dramatically heightened by the November 2005 suicide bombings in Amman. Jordan also has an interest in the development of an Iraq that does not inspire radical Islamist politics in Jordan. Moreover, the kingdom is anxious about growing Iranian involvement in Iraqi politics, and—more broadly—increasing Iranian and Shiite influence in the region. Despite periodic crises of confidence and lingering Iraqi resentment over Jordan's close ties with Saddam Hussein, the two countries have managed to forge deep ties; in fact, Jordan has taken the lead among Arab states. In the face of repeated attacks and threats, Jordan has maintained a strong diplomatic presence in Baghdad. The kingdom has also played a positive, if modest, role in stabilization and reconstruction efforts. The economic impact of the Iraq crisis in Jordan has been mixed. Jordan has benefited greatly from serving as a “gateway” to Iraq for governments, aid workers, con - tractors, and businesspeople; its real estate and banking sectors are booming, and it stands to reap more benefits from increased trade and transport should the situation in Iraq improve. However, with the fall of Saddam Hussein, Jordan lost the sizable oil subsidies and customary shipments it received from Iraq. One of Jordan's principal economic interests in the new Iraq is securing future energy assistance. Unlike many of Iraq's other neighbors, Jordan can claim only modest influence over developments in Iraq. The kingdom does have notable intelligence capabilities vis-à- vis Iraq, and it reportedly helped the United States track down and kill Al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Although some Jordanians highlight cross-border tribal and family connections with Iraqi Sunni Arabs, they pale in comparison to those of Iran, Turkey, and Syria. Jordan's most significant means of influence is its hosting of a large and ever-changing Iraqi expatriate community, composed mostly, but not solely, of Sunni Arabs. Jordan's relationship with the United States remains strong. Viewing Jordan as a reliable and friendly government is nothing new in Washington, but what is new is the determination of King Abdullah to make a strategic relationship with the United States a centerpiece of Jordan's foreign policy. Although the kingdom's behind-the- scenes support for the U.S.-led invasion and occupation of Iraq widened the credibility gap with the public, King Abdullah is willing to pay the cost for his close alliance with the United States in order to pursue what he sees as Jordan's larger interests. For Jordan, “the Palestinian Question” looms larger than Iraq. Given their support for U.S. policy in Iraq and their contributions to the global campaign against terrorism, along with the country's central role in Arab-Israeli peacemaking, Jordan's leaders have been disappointed with what they see as U.S. inaction on the Middle East peace process. Moreover, given the turmoil in both Iraq and the Palestinian territories, Jordan must contend with the twin prospects of “state” failure to its east and west.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Washington, Turkey, Middle East, Palestine, Arabia, Syria, Jordan
  • Author: Alan Schwartz
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Three workshops explored hundreds of forces and factors relevant to insurgency outcomes and focused on key drivers to develop five alternative scenarios. These scenarios reflected the participants' perception that positive outcomes would be hard to achieve, and negative outcomes could be foreseen much more easily. The workshops' principal finding is that U.S. goals for Iraq and the region should be reexamined and scaled back. The administration's expressed goal of “an Iraq that is peaceful, united, stable, democratic, and secure, where Iraqis have the institutions and resources they need to govern themselves justly and provide security for their country” is possible only in the very long term. Avoidance of disaster and maintenance of some modicum of political stability in Iraq are more realistic goals—but even these will be hard to achieve without new strategies and actions. The scenarios include recommended adjustments to U.S. goals and strategies to achieve reduced expectations. Unfortunately, the United States is now in a position to influence but not to control outcomes; it will have to engage and enlist the cooperation of Iraq's neighbors to attain success. This report broadly outlines the strategies that appear best suited to the current situation and the unfolding futures the participants envisioned.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Bouvier Bouvier
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: With the reelection of incumbent President Alvaro Uribe on May 28, 2006, a “ripe moment” may be emerging for resolving Colombia's long-standing armed conflict. After exerting pressure on the guerrillas and demobilizing the largest paramilitary organization during his first term, President Uribe is well positioned to pursue a political solution to the conflict. If he does not, the window of opportunity may close and the conflict could quickly intensify. The Colombian state has a rich and varied history of negotiating peace at the national level with illegal armed groups. Increasingly, state authorities at local and regional levels, as well as individuals, groups, and communities within civil society, have gained experience in negotiating peace with armed actors and establishing mechanisms for the nonviolent resolution of conflict. Since local peacebuilding involves informal, unofficial (“track two”) diplomacy, a central question is how these local experiences might contribute to “track two” diplomacy at the national level. Vibrant, organized, and diverse, civil society actors are seeking ways to participate in a future negotiation while debating what form that participation might take. These actors generally agree on the need for citizen mobilization and peace education, political support for dialogue with armed actors, increased and broader citizen participation in any peace process, and solidarity with all the victims of violence. Peace initiatives that cut across geographic lines offer opportunities for more comprehensive approaches. Women's, indigenous, and Afro-Colombian groups have successfully organized at the local, regional, national, and, increasingly, international levels, and women's groups have designed consensus peace agendas. These sectors have borne the brunt of the conflict and have high stakes in its resolution. International actors can be most effective if they play a subsidiary or complementary role that supports and builds on local, regional, and national peace initiatives. They can provide financial or technical assistance, support basic human rights protection and monitoring, and accompany peace and development initiatives. They also can facilitate consensus that will lead to public policies more conducive to the transformation of the conflict. Contrary to the usual notion that peacemaking should take place before peacebuilding, post-conflict reconstruction, and reconciliation, and that humanitarian assistance should be emphasized over development, the case of Colombia suggests that concurrent pursuit of these goals can help reduce violence, mitigate conflict, and create conditions for a peace accord.
  • Topic: Government, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Colombia, South America