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

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Through graphics and images, Alex de Waal explains Sudan's predicament. Read more.

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Student Opportunities

2014-2015 Student seminar competition

WPF invites proposals from Fletcher School students for a two-day seminar to be held on campus in February 2015. WPF seminars offer a rare opportunity for leading experts to engage in incisive, collegial and sustained dialogue on the pressing problems of our day. The student competition enables Fletcher School students to frame an issue and interact with leading global experts on the topic of their choosing.

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.
In the news

De Waal on Sudan and South Sudan

Read Alex de Waal's recent writings on Sudan and South Sudan on our blog: "South Sudan obtained independence in July 2011 as a kleptocracy – a militarized, corrupt neo-patrimonial system of governance."
From the blog

Visualizing South Sudan

Find out why Alex de Waal’s March 13, 2014 essay, "The Culprit: The Army” from his Visualizing South Sudan series is the most popular blog contribution thus far in 2014. One excerpt: “There are 745 generals in the SPLA. That’s 41 more than in the four U.S. services combined, and second only to Russia’s 887 generals and admirals in the world.”
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?

Handmaiden to Africa’s Generals

  • Fifteen years ago, when African leaders set up their own peace and security system within what later became the African Union, they tried to balance diplomacy and armed enforcement. In case of a conflict, they would hold negotiations with all parties; sending in peacekeeping troops would only be a fallback option. But Western countries like the United States and France have tended to favor military approaches instead. During the civil war in Libya in 2011, a panel of five African presidents, established by the African Union and chaired by Jacob Zuma of South Africa, proposed letting Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi go into exile in an African country and then setting up an interim government. But the plan was spurned by NATO, which preferred regime change by way of foreign intervention.
  • “The Political Marketplace”: Developing a Framework for Addressing the Real Politics of Coercion and Corruption

  • Existing models for peace-making, state-building and stabilization, which assume that “fragile states” can move, under international tutelage and sponsorship, towards capable and legitimate states, are wrong. Peace agreements that consist primarily in allocating rents to belligerents only reinforce the logic of a rent-based political marketplace. Indeed, international efforts to achieve stabilization and state-building by channeling effort and resources through governments are more often counterproductive than not.
  • Insights from the Management Theory of the Political Marketplace

  • Politics is not business, yet the language and lens of the market and decision-making in a competitive environment – the perspective of a business manager – may often provide some of the most helpful vocabulary for describing how politics actually functions around the world. Even more, like al-Qaeda’s heated discussions about hostage-taking as a strategic revenue source, the language of business is often the language that political actors themselves use in describing their actions and the contexts within which they operate.