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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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.



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.

Peace Missions in Africa

The WPF is spearheading research on peace missions in Africa, drawing upon African expertise and insight, in order to inform an African-led agenda for a new generation of political initiatives in support of peace, and international missions involving armed peacekeepers in the continent. The project will culminate in an independent Report to the African Union.
From the Archives

A Peace Reflection

Archive poster - A Peace Reflection blue and green

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."
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.

How Mass Atrocities End

  • My edited volume, How Mass Atrocities End: Studies from Guatemala, Burundi, Indonesia, the Sudans, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Iraq (Cambridge 2016) was published recently, with case study chapters by Roddy Brett, Noel Twagiramungu, Claire Q. Smith, Alex de Waal, Fanar Haddad, and myself. To help bridge the academic research with policy audiences, we also produced a short briefing paper based [...]

  • Europe’s Challenge in the Horn of Africa

  • Starting at the top, one of the most striking things about the Horn and the Red Sea is that there is no regional organization that can grapple with its security challenges. The African Union does not cross the Red Sea. The InterGovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) includes the countries of the Horn, but not Egypt — an historic powerbroker, with strategic interests in the Nile and the Red Sea — and also is confined to the African shore. The Arab League is not effective, which is one reason why the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has taken the lead in the Yemeni intervention, and is using financial muscle to win African countries to support its operations, rather than multilateral diplomacy. Ethiopia, the pivotal state of the Horn, is landlocked and keenly fears being surrounded by hostile states backed by historic rivals such as Egypt. In the absence of any Red Sea forum or similar peace and security mechanism, the EU can play a role as convenor of the overlapping multilateralisms of the various regional organizations that between them could provide the needed forum for defining and addressing the region’s problems.
  • Review of Katri Merikallio and Tapani Ruokanen, The Mediator: A biography of Martti Ahtisaari

  • For the international mediator, it’s not his war: he is neither tainted by the crimes nor related to the victims. But his conscience is also on the table, and he may believe in peace not as an exercise in political calculus, but as a humanitarian necessity. He doesn’t choose the parties or the dispute, and his control is limited to skill in handling the agenda, and moral suasion.