African Politics, African Peace report cover on flag background

The most extensive review the African Union's peace missions ever conducted. Access the report on the project website.

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Will famine and conflict-induced mass starvation end in our lifetime? Access the new WPF dataset, Famine Trends.

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How Mass Atrocities End book cover against soft background

Edited by Bridget Conley-Zilkic, the book analyses the processes, decisions, and factors that end mass atrocities.

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The Real Politics of the Horn of Africa book cover

Alex de Waal's new book delves into the business of politics in the turbulent, war-torn countries of north-east Africa.

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Access the second cartoon series by Alex de Waal and Victor Ndula on the political marketplace in South Sudan.

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Stimulating a new conversation about corruption and the global arms business.

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What went wrong in South Sudan

Alex de Waal Al Jazeera interviewSee Alex de Waal on Al Jazeera's Inside Story and access his Occasional Paper on South Sudan, published  March 24, 2016 which provides additional background on the mounting threats that contributed to  the outbreak of violence on July 8.

Peace Missions in Africa

African Pplitics African Peace report coverWPF report, African Politics, African Peace charts an agenda for peace in Africa, focusing on how the African Union can implement its norms and use its instruments to prevent and resolve armed conflicts. It is an independent report of the WPF, supported by the African Union, and is the most extensive review of the African Union’s peace missions ever conducted. It is based on detailed case studies and cross-cutting research, and draws on consultations with leading experts, peacekeepers, and mediators.
New WPF Publication

How Mass Atrocities End

Book cover How Mass Atrocities End sunrays breaking through cloudsNow available through Cambridge Press, How Mass Atrocities End presents an analysis of the processes, decisions, and factors that help bring about the end of mass atrocities. It includes qualitatively rich case studies from Burundi, Guatemala, Indonesia, Sudan, Bosnia, and Iraq, drawing patterns from wide-ranging data. How Mass Atrocities End offers a much needed correction to the popular “salvation narrative” framing mass atrocity in terms of good and evil.

WPF Publication

The Real Politics of the Horn of Africa

Political Marketplace book cover stacks of moneyAlex de Waal's latest book draws on his thirty-year career in Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia, including experience as a participant in high-level peace talks, to provide a unique and compelling account of how these countries leaders run their governments, conduct their business, fight their wars and, occasionally, make peace.


In the News

Writing Human Rights and Getting It Wrong

Alex de Waal photo World Peace Foundation Executive Director Alex de Waal explores the ethical challenges of writing human rights in this candid and provocative article in the May/June issue of the The Boston Review.  Available online :


South Sudan Occasional Paper

New analysis by Alex de Waal argues that South Sudan today is a collapsed political marketplace. He also warns that the convergent economic, security and political crises mean that South Sudan is entering an extremely dangerous phase.

WPF Publication

AU Decision-Making on Burundi

Perhaps the most significant outcome of the 26th summit of the African Union (AU) was the decision scrapping the plan to deploy troops to Burundi for human protection purposes. This occasional paper, "To Intervene or Not to Intervene: An inside view of the AU's decision-making on Article 4(h) and Burundi," by Solomon Dersso, examines in detail how and why the AU summit arrived at its decision on MAPROBU, and discusses the implications of the AU summit decision vis-à-vis the situation in Burundi.
WPF Publication

Assessing the Anti-Atrocity Toolbox

Beginning in the 2000s a new international consensus emerged regarding the need--both ethical and strategic--to prevent and halt genocide and mass atrocities. A suite of policy mechanisms, commonly called the "Anti-Atrocity Toolbox," were elaborated to support these goals. But what do we know about the effectivity of these various policy mechanisms? This paper by Bridget Conley-Zilkic, Saskia Brechenmacher and Aditya Sarkar reviews and synthesizes the academic literature that helps us gauge the policy impact on violence.
WPF Supported Project

Remembering the Ones We Lost

WPF is proud to support the work of South Sudanese civil society actors as they document the names of people killed in South Sudan's conflicts since 1955. As the website states, "This project is designed for one purpose: to honor the memory of each person who has died or gone missing during conflict in South Sudan."
From the Archives

A Peace Reflection

Archive poster - A Peace Reflection blue and green

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?
New WPF Publication

Occasional Paper

We invite you to read, "What Went Wrong?: The Eritrean People's Liberation Front from Armed Opposition to State Governance: A Personal Observation" by Paulo Tesfagiorgis. This occasional paper discusses how the Eritrea People's Liberation Front evolved from a liberation front (1971-1991), into a highly successful organization with clear social and political agenda, and, ultimately, into an oppressive state where power is concentrated in the hands of the President and his close network.

Peace, Security and More Peace

  • By Mulugeta Gebrehiwot and Alex de Waal. Published by the Guardian on Thursday, July 21, 2016.

    The African Union thrives or fails according to how successful it is in preventing and resolving conflict. Over the past 14 years, since its foundational meeting in Durban, South Africa, the AU has constructed an impressive [...]

  • Politics of Fear in South Sudan

  • Recommended reading from Open Democracy, Daniel Akech Thiong’s essay, “The politics of fear in South Sudan,” published July 22, 2016.

    The South Sudanese political landscape has become frighteningly unpredictable. It is nearly impossible to address one crisis without another more serious one cropping up.

    The political risks were low while the economy boomed, but became high [...]

  • Launch of “African Politics, African Peace”

  • On Thursday, July 21, 2016, the African Union and World Peace Foundation jointly hosted a launch event in Addis Ababa for the report, African Politics, African Peace, which was requested by the AU and produced by the WPF. Among the speakers were WPF Executive Director Alex de Waal; AU Commissioner for Peace [...]