Peace Science Digest

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Essay ‘Un-Contest’ on Peaceful Elections

The War Prevention Initiative (WPI) is seeking submissions for an essay “un-contest” on peaceful elections.

Perspectives on Feminist Foreign Policy: Revealing New Narratives, Challenging The Status Quo

Read our summary report of our feminist foreign policy essay “un-contest” where we published 11 essays from emerging thought leaders around the world.

Photo credit: Free Nature Stock

Selected Essays Announced in Feminist Foreign Policy Essay “Un-Contest”

The War Prevention Initiative is pleased to announce 11 essays on feminist foreign policy selected for publication.

War Prevention Initiative Condemns Political Violence

For immediate release July 14, 2024 PORTLAND, OR – The War Prevention Initiative strongly condemns political violence. The assassination attempt that killed one spectator and caused critical injuries to others at a Trump rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, is unacceptable. Violence does not solve political disputes or contribute to a stronger democracy. Only by showing compassion … Read more

Children as Agents of Militarization in the Donbas Region of Ukraine 

Children participate in militarization processes through everyday practices at their schools that commemorate military history and sacrifice and celebrate Donbas regional identity, thereby helping to legitimate these proto-republics and their military activities. 

How Counterterrorism Practitioners Discount the Lived Experience of Racial Violence 

Academic-practitioner exchanges focused on counterterrorism policy show how whiteness is employed by practitioners to restrict certain types of knowledge about Islamophobia and systemic racism.

Costs and Considerations for Meaningful Ceasefires

Ceasefires represent strategic deliberations for conflicting parties— when honored, ceasefires reduce violence immediately and create opportunities for meaningful conflict de-escalation and resolution. 

Forgiveness as Acts of Everyday Co-existence  

In the context of focus groups with ethnic Croats and Serbs in Croatia, formal apologies and forgiveness might not be necessary to build peaceful, intergroup relationships between ethnic Serbs and Croats, but the “exchange of mutual social gestures showing readiness for contact and moving on with everyday living” are meaningful.

Functional Coexistence to Manage Conflicts in a State of Nonresolution

A decades-long process of conflict intervention reveals that conditions that appear to be unchangeable can change over time, even in conflicts with no resolution in sight and where no mutual recognition exists between parties.

War Results in Adverse Health Outcomes for Children 

Across 52 developing countries, children exposed to armed conflict score significantly lower on key measures of childhood health compared to those who are not exposed to armed conflict.

How Women’s Situation Rooms Harness Gender to Prevent Political Violence

In various West African countries, women’s situation rooms (WSRs) monitor election-related violence and more, which enables them to respond to emerging crises.

Photo credit: UN Women via Flickr

Local Capacities for Preventing and Rejecting Violent Conflict

The very existence of peaceful societies demonstrates that communities have options and agency even in the broader context of wartime violence.

Volume 3, Issue 5

Inside this issue, we examine research analyzing hundreds of civil war peace agreements that concludes that “complex” agreements are not necessarily better at keeping the peace than simpler ones. Next, we take a critical look at research on public support for military interventions and the motivations behind support for interventions conducted for “humanitarian” reasons. Third, through examining civics textbooks in Sri Lanka in the context of global peace education efforts, we consider how specific omissions and emphases in these textbooks have served the government’s goals, while failing to address the injustice and inequality still plaguing post-war Sri Lanka. Next, we discuss research finding that the primary peacekeeping tasks associated with preventing violence and protecting civilians can be effectively undertaken by unarmed peacekeepers, who are, furthermore, often able to address some of the shortcomings of their armed counterparts. Finally, the last analysis reflects on possible reasons for why past attempts at peace in South Sudan have failed, calling for more psycho-sociologically informed conflict interventions in the future.

Exploring the Complexities of Peace Agreement Design

More complex peace agreements with a greater number of provisions correspond with a greater probability of failed implementation and of armed conflict recurrence.