Our research programs aim to be innovative and provocative, marrying commitment to rigorous, interdisciplinary research with creative questioning in order to spark new conversations about we might understand and respond to the challenges of armed conflict today. Methodologically inductive, all of our programs are founded on analysis into the questions of the nature and causes of violent conflicts and mass atrocities, and how they are ended.

Our policy engagement is integrated with our research, in two senses. First, our policy engagement provides materials for innovative research. Second, our policy engagement in turn derives from the research directions of the WPF program.  Drawing on the WPF’s unique access to political leaders and institutions, the programs aim to bring the qualities of innovation and creativity to its support of political processes for peace. Our focus is on the world’s most difficult places, especially in Africa, but also in Asia and Latin America

Current Research Programs:

Mass Atrocities Research Program: This includes several projects analyzing how mass atrocities end, in addition to research on mass famine and other issues related to widespread and systematic violence against civilians. Program Director Bridget Conley-Zilkic.

Global Arms Trade and Corruption: Focusing on the ways that the global arms business corrupts democratic practices in both selling and purchasing countries, this program is developed in collaboration with a group of research collaborators and partner, Corruption Watch UK. It includes research and public outreach components. Program directed by WPF staff.

Political Markets, Justice and Security Program: This program includes Alex de Waal's research on the political marketplace and the Justice and Security Research Programme, in partnership with the London School of Economics, which explores patronage markets and hybrid political orders, asking how fragile and conflict-ridden countries really function in fragile and conflict-affected states.Program Director Alex de Waal. 

African Peace Research Program: Projects in this program include research on security sector governance and state legitimacy, in partnership with The Fletcher Schools' Institute on Human Security, and the African peace missions project. Program Director Mulugeta Gebrehiwot Berhe.

Gender and Experiences of War and Recovery: Senior Fellow Dyan Mazurana lead's World Peace Foundation's efforts to catalyze new ways of understanding and engagement on issues related to gender and war recovery.

Seminar Series:  Each year, the WPF hosts a number of closed-door research seminars that bring together leading experts from around the world to share their research and engage in focused discussion with a small group of colleagues.

Past Research Projects