After rape: comparing civilian and combatant perpetrated crime in northern Uganda

Holly E. Porter

How does the sequence of violence that women experience, before, during and after war relate to transitional justice approaches? This article compares rapes by combatants compared with rapes by civilians, both of which follow abductions intended to result in “marriage.” It calls attention to typically unacknowledged commonalities between the two forms of abduction and ...» more

Links between education and peace

Education is a significant contributor to peace, and appears in two of the 24 indicators in the Positive Peace Index produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace.  Education can lead to peace and be a part of ‘building back better’ by supporting the transformation of the security situation, political institutions, economic regeneration and social development. However, ...» more

Curriculum development in fragile states to encourage peace and reduction of conflict

Research on education and conflict shows that education systems are not politically neutral but are an important part of the political economy that can exacerbate or mitigate conflict (Novelli et al., 2014; Bush and Saltareilli, 2000). The curriculum can be used as a vehicle to promote dominant ideologies. There are numerous instances where school curricula have been used to ...» more

Social accountability in war zones – confronting local realities of law and justice

Anna Macdonald and Tim Allen

How are justice and social order administered and experienced in poor, politically fragile and conflict-affected environments? This paper argues that international policies on expanding access to justice or promoting rule of law are devised and implemented on the basis of norms and assumptions rather than on evidence and careful analysis. The development and framing of policy ...» more

Responding to mass atrocities and human rights abuses

Mass atrocities are generally understood as genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, but many other human rights abuses are committed in conflict-affected contexts. There are a range of responses to these abuses, particularly by national and international actors, constituting international criminal justice and transitional justice. Development actors are increasingly directly involved in managing conflict or…» more

Video of seminar on Mass atrocities

A video of Chandra Sriram‘s  GSDRC seminar is now available below. Professor Sriram explored three critical issues in developing responses to mass atrocities introduced in her Professional Development Reading Pack on the same subject. Chandra Sriram is Professor of International Law and International Relations at the University of East London. This seminar was held on 8…» more

Conflict dynamics and potential for peacebuilding in Iraq

This report is an update of the information available in the October 2014 GSDRC Contemporary conflict analysis of Iraq. Since the beginning of 2014, the extreme jihadist group ISIL, who are also active in Syria, has gained control of territory in the mainly Sunni and contested areas of Iraq, although government forces, the Kurdish Peshmerga, and the Shia dominated Hashd ...» more

The design and architecture of peace processes: lessons learned in the wake of crises

Vicenç Fisas

This study aims to propose frameworks and models for the initial stages of negotiations, and make suggestions for their redesign that take into account the most common crises that inevitably arise during the process. A range of variables are used to analyse different methodologies and forms of mediation and facilitation, along with the kinds of actors that may be involved, ...» more

Natural Resources and Conflict: A Guide for Mediation Practitioners

United Nations Department of Political Affairs and United Nations Environment Programme

Mediation has been underutilized by the international system in addressing disputes over natural resources, for three main reasons. First, issues in these conflicts tend to be very technical in nature and, as such, require that mediators themselves have extensive technical expertise or have access to it. In many places, such specialized knowledge is either not available or not ...» more

Leveraging Local Knowledge for Peacebuilding and Statebuilding in Africa

Andrea Ó Súilleabháin

This report highlights examples of innovative peacebuilding and statebuilding at the community and local level across Africa. Five case studies explore the work of local actors, their relationship to and interaction with national actors and policies, and their influence on international programs and planning. The case studies include women’s statebuilding initiatives in Egypt; ...» more

Impact of external assistance on local-level peace settlements in the Middle East and North Africa

Armed conflicts have inflicted massive suffering and material losses on the populations of several MENA countries since 2011 (or earlier). At the same time, local peace settlements in delimited geographic areas have been reached in several of these contexts. This rapid review of the literature presents evidence on positive and negative impact in MENA. Available knowledge shows ...» more

Multi-agency stabilisation operations

While there is as yet limited empirical evidence of what works best in multi-agency – or ‘whole-of-government’ – approaches to stabilisation, the literature does identify some lessons learned and principles of good practice. These include: Overcoming common challenges: establishing transparent processes to identify and manage tensions and trade-offs between neutral humanitarian ...» more

Social media and conflict management in post-conflict and fragile contexts

Some of the roles social media has played in conflict management include: In some cases social media and other new media tools have been used to help hold governments accountable, bring citizens together to protest violence, coordinate relief efforts, empower citizens, provide information to reduce tensions, and build bridges of understanding across boundaries. In other cases ...» more

The UK Government’s Approach to Stabilisation (2014)

FCO, MOD, DFID and Stabilisation Unit

This document outlines the UK Government’s Approach to Stabilisation. It explains why and when Her Majesty’s Government (HMG) engages in Stabilisation and sets out how the stabilisation approach links to other tools and approaches which HMG uses in situations of violent conflict.This document supports the strategic and policy framework comprising HMG’s National Security ...» more

Searching for Lasting Peace: Population-Based Survey on Perceptions and Attitudes about Peace, Security and Justice in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo

Patrick Vinck, Phuong Pham

This report presents the results of a mixed-methods study conducted in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) between November and December 2013, to assess the population’s perceptions, knowledge, and attitudes about peace, security and justice. The study included a survey of 5,166 randomly selected adult residents, to provide results that are representative of the ...» more

Peace Education and Conflict Transformation

Uli Jäger

This paper looks at the contribution peace education can make to conflict transformation, focusing on the one hand, on the theoretical foundations of peace education and, on the other, on developing context-appropriate practical approaches.The paper develops a basic concept of internationally oriented, context-related and process-oriented peace education. It also presents a ...» more

Fragile Reforms: World Bank and Asian Development Bank financing in fragile and conflict-affected situations

Monica Stephen

Drawing from research into the delivery of five bank-financed projects covering infrastructure and other sectors, this study highlights a range of insights and opportunities to enhance how the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) approach project financing in fragile and conflict-affected situations.The study documents how conflict-sensitive approaches are and are ...» more

Community Security: A Vehicle for Peacebuilding and Statebuilding


It is now broadly recognised that in the long term there cannot be security without development, nor development without security. This briefing explains the concept and practice of ‘community security’, an innovative and effective approach that builds security from the bottom up by empowering communities, authorities and security providers to work together to find local ...» more

The Risks of African Military Capacity Building: Lessons from Rwanda

Danielle Beswick

Civil war and insecurity are widely seen as obstacles to development and threats to international stability, and donors are therefore keen to develop African capacities to manage conflict on the continent. Building the capacity of African militaries is hazardous, however, given their frequent roles in coups, support for authoritarian regimes, and violence against civilians.This ...» more