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

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Read the statement from the World Peace Foundation Board of Trustees and Staff.

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Indefensible book cover on yellow background

Debunks myths about an arms industry that normalizes the existence of the most savage weapons of mass destruction ever

African Peace Missions report cover on AU flag background

Access case study and thematic research that forms the most extensive review of AU peace missions ever conducted.

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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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Updates
In the News

Garrison America

Alex de Waal photo "Garrison America and the Threat of Global War" Alex de Waal explores the causes of the powerful national and global currents that gave rise to populist insurgencies:"Only in the last few years have economists woken up to the extremes of inequality engendered by unfettered global markets. Meanwhile Brexit and the Trump vote have shown us the political significance of the societal wastelands that follow in their wake." Read more in the December Boston Review.

 

 

 

Indefensible: Seven Myths that Sustain the Global Arms Business

New Publication

Indefensible: Myths that Sustain the Global Arms Trade, book cover"Indefensible" is the essential handbook for those who want to debunk the arguments of the industry and its supporters: deploying case studies, statistics and irrefutable evidence to demonstrate they are fundamentally flawed, both factually and logically. Available now as a download from Zed books.  The hardcopy is now available.

Research

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.
Research

African peace research

Access the core thematic and case study research that makes "African Politics, African Peace" the most extensive review of African Union peace missions ever conducted. Topics include: The African Peace and Security Architecture, mandates and doctrine for peace missions, unconstitutional changes in government, preventing and responding to mass atrocities, protection from sexual and gender based violence, sanctions, mediation, and over 20 case study profiles.
Analysis

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.
Video

Practical Security: Security Sector Reform in Stormy Waters

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.

 


Blog

AMISOM: Charting a new course for African Union peace missions

  • Lasting peace in Somalia remains elusive. Since the collapse of the Siyad Barre government in 1991, Somalia has been the site of both failed interventions and policies of neglect. In 2007, the entry of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) promised a new opportunity to: 1) reduce the threats posed by al-Shabaab; and 2) create an enabling environment in which to consolidate state institutions and promote dialogue and reconciliation among the protagonists. However, the profound obstacles that have bogged down every previous mission remain – AMISOM operates in a fluid political landscape marked by the absence of stable political agreement amongst the main parties to the conflict. The Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) is still new and fragile, and disputes within the Somali polity continue to vex state-building and stabilisation efforts. At the same time, terrorist and insurgent groups including (but not limited to) al-Shabaab have proved pernicious, resolute, and adaptable in their efforts to undermine any progress toward the FGS’s consolidation.
  • Modern post-conflict security sector reform in Africa: patterns of success and failure

  • Promoting security sector reform (SSR) in countries emerging from war is one of the critical missions that the African Union (AU) – following the path laid out by the United Nations (UN), the World Bank, and others – has increasingly assumed in recent years. However, despite two decades of implementation experience, as of 2016 there has been no increase in the tiny number of post-conflict SSR efforts generally considered successful. In another field of endeavour, the approach might have been discarded as unworkable in practice. However, in the absence of any alternative path to the same critical ends, i.e. stable, self-governing states in which citizens enjoy basic security and justice services, do not export security problems (refugees, militants, drug-traffickers, etc.), and do not require continual aid and periodic intervention, SSR remains indispensable.
  • Transitions from war to peace

  • The Ethiopian disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) programme (1991–1997) is an understudied example of success. The scholarly literature that does address this topic tends to focus solely on technical aspects and impact assessment. The present paper offers a comprehensive review of the rationale, principles, design, implementation and outcomes of the programme in the context of the transition from war to peace. While the paper references some secondary studies, it draws heavily on my own memories and experiences of serving as the head of the programme from its design through to its conclusion.