Conference: "Unlearning Violence: Evidence and Policies for Early Childhood Development and Peace," Feb. 13 - 14.

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Can we improve civilian protection by studying how mass atrocities have ended in the past? UN Photo/Martine Perret

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For over 100 years, the WPF has sought to educate about the waste and destructiveness of war and preparation for war.

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WPF’s Alex de Waal has played a critical role with the AU in the search for peace in Sudan. UN Photo/Tim McKulka

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Dyan Mazurana and Keith Proctor provide an overview of research on gender, conflict and peace.UN Women/Gaganjit Singh

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Read Alex de Waal's analysis of recent events in South Sudan and Sudan.UN Photo.

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The Inclusive City

Alex de Waal to speak at Inclusive City conference at The Fletcher School, May 1- 2, 2014. He will will be on a panel exploring Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia and seat of the African Union.
In Memoriam

Honoring a WPF Trustee

We are deeply saddened by the death of Peter Bell. He was a mentor and inspiration to many of us, a true exemplar of a life dedicated to public service in the highest sense. Among his many accomplishments, he was the longest-serving board member of the World Peace Foundation. Peter's personal gentleness and firm, unflinching clarity on principle, was exceptional.


Accepting Applications

WPF is now accepting applications for two Research Assistant positions for the 2014-2015 academic year. These are part-time positions and priority is given to Fletcher students.

Unlearning Violence

Watch video of Steven Pinker, Daniel Dennett and Alex de Waal discussing whether the human species is becoming peaceful. Full-length and a five minute summary versions are available on the WPF Youtube channel. Also from Unlearning Violence: an overview through Tweets and  panel summaries on our blog.

In the news

A Failure of Leadership in South Sudan

Interviewed by The Take Away about South Sudan, Alex de Waal describes how from early on there was an appearance of unity that in reality “masked many unhealed wounds.” Listen to interview and access more of de Waal's analysis of South Sudan.

Ending Mass Atrocities

Learn more about the intellectual work behind WPF's How Mass Atrocities End project in a new essay by Bridget Conley-Zilkic and Alex de Waal, "Setting the Agenda for Evidence-Based Research on Ending Mass Atrocities," published February 2014 in the Journal of Genocide Research.

From Unlearning Violence

"As a society, we don't understand that the caregiver needs to be nurtured."

-Regina Sullivan

War Secrets by Aristides Hernandez


Activists in a Global Political Order

In speaking truth to power, human rights advocates in the U.S. must also confront their own colleagues and friends who have become militant liberal interventionists—those sorcerers’ apprentices who have made common cause with the world’s biggest ever exercise in intelligence and military domination.” –Alex de Waal, Keynote Address from the University of Dayton Conference: The Social Practice of Human Rights: Charting the Frontiers of Research and Advocacy, October 4, 2013.

In the news

De Waal on South Sudan

WPF's Alex de Waal offers expert insights into the nature and scope of the challenges facing South Sudan. One quote: "The current conflict has three main dimensions — a political dispute within the ruling party, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM); a regional and ethnic war; and a crisis within the army itself." Read more.
Seminar Series

Patterns of Mass Violence in Somalia

Building on contributions from our September seminar on Somalia, WPF has published several short essays and a seminar briefing exploring the country’s political economy, historic patterns of violence, and context of changing frameworks of governance and conflict associated with the post-Cold War era.
Occasional Paper

Gender, Peace and Conflict

Dyan Mazurana and Keith Proctor draw on interdisciplinary research to provide a summary of the key literature, frameworks and findings in five topic areas related to Gender, Conflict, and Peace, and suggest areas that need further research. Questions addressed include: How does a gender analysis inform our understanding of armed conflict and peace-making? What are the gendered dimensions of war, non-violent resistance, peace processes, and transitional justice?
From the blog

Reclaiming Activism

Find out why Alex de Waal’s April 30, 2013 essay, “Reclaiming Activism” remains the most popular blog contribution thus far in 2013. One excerpt: “activists should approach the people with whom they hope to act, in a spirit of humility and self-effacement. That is the practice of solidarity.”

Violence and peacemaking in the political marketplace

  • Below is an excerpt from Alex de Waal’s essay, “Violence and peacemaking in the political marketplace” in Legitimacy and Peace Processes: from Coercion to Consent (Accord 25); pgs. 17 – 21. Full text available online.

    The implication is the starting point for a legitimate process, leading to a legitimate agreement, is enabling the affected [...]

  • The Subjects of Mass Atrocities: Victims or Survivors?

  • While those killed in war are described as ‘victims,’ those who experienced torture, sexual violence, kidnapping, or witnessed atrocities without having experienced physical violence directly are often described as ‘survivors.’ Language matters not only because it seeks to represent acts of violence, but also because it has the capacity to accord agency to – or diminish the agency of – those affected by the violence. Yet, ‘victim’ and ‘survivor’ are often insufficient terms for capturing the varied and layered experiences of violence.
  • Rights on Display: Museums and Human Rights Claims

  • It is no accident that a museum would provide the context for an unexpected and powerful human rights intervention. And, although Wiesel's provocation cannot be understood absent the particular circumstances of Holocaust memorialization and contemporary genocide, the inherent potential of museums to spark new forms of human rights activism is not limited to this framework. In the years since 1993, museums are increasingly testing the waters of engagement on human rights issues.