Past Events AY 2011-2015

Academic Year 2014-2015 |Academic Year 2013-2014| Academic Year 2012-2013|Academic Year 2011-2012

Event summaries, where available, can be found by clicking on the event title.

Academic Year 2014-2015

Why Can’t We Stop Genocide?

A Zócalo/UCLA Event
Monday, May 4, 2015
7:30 p.m.
Goethe-Institut Los Angeles
5750 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 100
Los Angeles, CA

Earlier this spring, Pope Francis made headlines when he used the word “genocide” to describe the killing of 1.5 million Armenians under Ottoman rule in World War I. The United States has yet to use that designation officially, despite the fact that Armenians globally just commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. What is genocide, and why does the world have so much difficulty identifying where and when it occurs? It took five years for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir to be charged with genocide in Darfur. Although human rights advocates have been calling attention to a possible genocide in Syria for over two years, the international response has been muddled. And indeed, the world often has been powerless to stop genocide–from the atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia and the Nazis in Europe to slaughterings of Tutsis in Rwanda and ethnic cleansing in Bosnia–in its tracks. What instigates the mass killings of certain groups of people? And how can these acts of brutal violence be prevented? UCLA historian Richard G. Hovannisian, University of Wisconsin political scientist Scott Straus, World Peace Foundation research director Bridget Conley-Zilkic, and Sudd Institute co-founder Jok Madut Jok.

Book Lecture:  Edward Thomas discusses his new book, South Sudan: A Slow Liberation  

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 
Cabot Intercultural Building
160 Packard Avenue, Room C205
Medford, Massachusetts, 02155

In 2011, South Sudan became independent following a long war of liberation that gradually became marked by looting, raids and massacres pitting ethnic communities against each other.  In his remarkably comprehensive work, Edward Thomas provides a multi-layered examination of what is happening in the country today.  Writing from the perspective of South Sudan’s most mutinous hinterland, Jonglei state, the book explains how this area was at the heart of the country’s struggle.  Drawing on hundreds of interviews and a broad range of sources, this is a sharply focused account of South Sudan’s long, unfinished fight for liberation.

Water Securities and Insecurities 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015
ASEAN Auditorium, The Fletcher School at Tufts University
160 Packard Avenue
Medford, Massachusetts, 02155

Intensifying water stress is one of the key trends of the 21st century. As scarcity of fresh water intensifies, there are fears that conflict over water resources will emerge as a threat to world peace. However, leading experts highlight that historically the management of transboundary waters leads to cooperation instead of confrontation, confronting the view of those who have argued that the wars of this century will be over water. Thus the panel will address the following question: will water stress lead to water war?

Panel Speakers:

Ken Conca, American University
Andrea Gerlak, University of Arizona
Bruce Lankford, University of East Anglia
Lawrence Susskind, MIT Moderated by William Moomaw, Tufts University

Memories of Violence

Friday, October 24th, 2015
3:00 – 4:45pm
Cabot Intercultural Building
ASEAN auditorium
160 Packard Avenue
Medford, MA 02155

The inaugural event of the Initiative on Mass Atrocities and Genocide (IMAGe), a new collaborative effort between Fletcher and the broader Tufts community will feature four professors from across disciplines at both Fletcher and the School of Arts and Sciences, each bringing a different lens to the topic of how we manage memories of violence:

Bridget Conley-Zilkic from The Fletcher School and World Peace Foundation will speak to her work on memorial museums including the US Holocaust Memorial Museum where she worked for a decade
Rosalind Shaw from the Anthropology Department will speak to how memory practice has been shaped by the political economy of post-conflict reconstruction in Sierra Leone
Noë Montez from the Department of Drama and Dance will speak to how theater artists are engaging with the transitional justice process in Argentina Kamran Rastegar from the Department of German, Russian and Asian Languages and Literature will speak to how memories of violence are represented through film and literature with a focus on the Middle East

Dyan Mazurana from The Fletcher School and Feinstein International Center (and Co-Chair of IMAGe) will moderate.

A Poisonous Thorn in Our Hearts: Sudan and South Sudan’s Bitter and Incomplete Divorce

Thursday, October 16, 2014
Book Signing 6:00pm
Lecture 6:30-8:00pm
The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University
Cabot Intercultural Building, Room C205
160 Packard Avenue
Medford, Massachusetts, 02155

Why did the world’s newest country, South Sudan, sink into a devastating civil war less than three years after independence? How did the secession of its southern region affect the ‘rump state’, Sudan? In the years after the split, the two Sudans dealt with crippling economic challenges, struggled with new and old rebellions, and fought each other along their disputed border. A former BBC correspondent for Sudan and South Sudan, Copnall draws a compelling portrait of two misunderstood countries. The critically acclaimed A Poisonous Thorn in Our Heartsargues that Sudan and South Sudan remain deeply interdependent, despite their separation. It also diagnoses the political failings that threaten the future of both countries, and scrutinizes the international responses to the crises in the two Sudans. The author puts the turmoil of the years after separation into a broader context, reflecting the voices, hopes and experiences of Sudanese and South Sudanese from all walks of life.

Towards a Strategy for Preventing Mass Atrocities

Dr. Bridget Conley-Zilkic, Research Director World Peace Foundation
Monday, September 29, 2014
Centennial Hall, Alumni Center, Keene State College
229 Main Street, Keene New Hampshire, 03435

Academic Year 2013-2014

Global Arms Business Researchers Round-table 

May, 8, 2014, 4:00p.m.-5:30p.m.
Cabot Intercultural Center, 7th floor
170 Packard Ave.,
Medford, MA, 02155

Andrew Feinstein is author of The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade and co-founder of Corruption Watch-UK.
Paul Holden is a South African-born and London-based historian, researcher, writer and activist.
Leah Wawro is Civil Society Lead with Transparency International-UK’s Defence and Security Programme.
J. Paul Dunne is Professor of Economics at the School of Economics at the University of Cape Town
William Hartung is author of Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex(Nation Books, 2011) and the co-editor, with Miriam Pemberton, of Lessons from Iraq: Avoiding the Next War(Paradigm Press, 2008).
Sam Perlo-Freeman is Director of the SIPRI Programme on Military Expenditure and Arms Production.

Youth, Conflict & Governance in Africa

Friday, February 28, 2014
10 Sachem St., Rm. 105
Dept. of Anthropology at Yale University
New Haven, CT

This workshop is convened to assess how young people are currently changing the nature of governance in Africa. Youth are capitalizing on new mechanisms for interaction: the deregulation of internet, phone, global television, and social media communication has profoundly altered the political terrain. This is especially true in conflict settings, where youth can drive overt political violence. To break new ground, the workshop will integrate analysis across anthropology, media studies and communication, politics and economics, fields that have been working largely in parallel rather than in collaboration.

Co-organized by Catherine Panter-Brick (Yale University) and Alex de Waal (WPF). Keynote addresses by Alcinda Honwana (African Open University) and Philip Thigo (Social Development Network. Discussants are Merlyn Lim (Arizona State University) and Brian Barber (Center for the Study of Youth in Political Conflict).

Unlearning Violence: Evidence and Policies for Early Childhood Development and Peace

February 13-14, 2014
ASEAN Auditorium
The Fletcher School, Tufts University

This conference will be an exciting and inter-disciplinary event, showcasing the best ongoing research in fields related to early childhood development and violence and peace. Further, presenters will chart directions for future research and policy.

It Began in Boston: Celebrating a Century of Peace Work in Massachusetts

Monday, January 13, 2014
6:00 p.m.
Edwin Ginn Library
The Fletcher School at Tufts University

When Edwin Ginn died on January 21, 1914, his bequest of a million dollars to the World Peace Foundation created an enduring contribution to peace. Ginn, like ourselves today, had the honor of working and living in a community rich with individuals and organizations dedicated to world peace. This event celebrates that community and its shared goal, and launches the WPF’s program of centennial events looking forward to the next hundred years of working for world peace.

James Shannon, Trustee of the World Peace Foundation. Comments available here.
Laura Roskos, President, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, U.S. Section. Comments available here.
J. Bryan Hehir, Montgomery Professor of the Practice of Religion and Public Life, Harvard Kennedy School of Government

Clan Cleansing in Somalia

Thursday, September 26, 2013
5:30 p.m. EST
Mugar 200

In 1991, political and military leaders in Somalia, wishing to gain exclusive state control, manipulated clan sentiment to mobilize their followers in a campaign of terror which expelled a vast number of Somalis from Mogadishu, south-central, and southern Somalia. Join us as Lidwien Kapteijns discusses her book that analyzes this campaign of clan cleansing in the context the collapse of the Somalia’s government and how it relates to the militia warfare that followed in its wake.

Academic Year 2012-2013

Advocacy In Conflict: Do international public advocacy campaigns make an impact?

Thursday, February 28, 2013
12:30 p.m. EST
Cabot, 7th Floor

A panel discussion moderated by Alex de Waal featuring:
Rony Brauman, former President of Doctors Without Borders, current Director of Research at the Doctors Without Borders Foundation, and Associate Professor at Sciences Po.
Laura Seay, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Morehouse College, expert on African politics, conflict resolution, and state reconstruction, and author of the Texas in Africa blog.
Amanda Taub, Adjunct Professor of International Law and Human Rights at Fordham University, co-author of the Wronging Rights blog, and editor of Beyond Kony2012.

Can Social Media Bridge Divides Between Diverse Muslim and Western Communities?

Monday, January 14, 2013
@WorldPeaceFdtn, #tweetingforpeace
6:45 p.m. EST

Social media is today a critical platform where global youth communicate and express their political interests. But can these new technologies also play a role in bridging divides between communities? Posing this question in the crucial context of relations between diverse Muslim and Western communities, the World Peace Foundation at The Fletcher School welcomed guests speakers:

Farah Anwar Pandith (@Farah_Pandith), U.S. special representative to Muslim communities
Riyaad Minty (@Riy), head of social media at Al Jazeera (@AJArabic & @AJEnglish)

Roundtable on the Crisis in Mali

November 15, 2012
Cabot 7th Floor
12:30pm EST

Area experts discuss the evolving crisis in Mali. The panel was moderated by WPF Executive Director Alex de Waal and included:
Jeremy Swift, author and scholar of nomadic pastoralists in and around the world’s great deserts, focusing on the pastoral Tuareg in Mali. Read Jeremy Swift’s blog post about Mali.
Roland Marchal, senior research fellow at Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, with extensive publications on conflicts in the Greater Horn of Africa (from Chad to Somalia) and the policy of international actors on the continent;
Jeremy Keenan, social anthropologist and professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London, focusing on the Sahara, North Africa and the Sahel region.

Libya Today

November 15, 2012
Barnum 104
6:00 p.m. EST

Area experts provided up to date analysis of conditions in Libya today. The event was moderated by Hugh Roberts, Professor of History at Tufts University, formerly the North Africa Director for the International Crisis Group. Panelists were:
Faraj Najem, a widely respected Libyan author, lecturer, historian, political commentator and advisor on Libyan matters, and a leading member of the Libyan diaspora in the UK;
Dirk J. Vandewalle, an Associate Professor of Government at Dartmouth College, and a leading expert on Libya.

Wandering Jews: American Jews, Human Rights, and Humanitarianism

Sponsored by the Tufts Seminar Series: “Exploring the History of Humanitarianism and Development”
November 14, 2012
Rabb Room, Lincoln Filene Hall
5:00 p.m. EST
Michael Barnett, Professor International Affairs and Political Science at George Washington University, and author of Empire of Humanity: A History of Humanitarianism delivered remarks and a response was given by Alex de Waal, executive director of the World Peace Foundation.

The New Peace: A Presentation by Mary Kaldor

Co-sponsored with the Institute for Global Leadership

October 30, 2012
Cabot ASEAN Auditorium
5:00 p.m. EST

Mary Kaldor discussed the third edition of her landmark work on New and Old Wars. Kaldor’s work on new wars, first published in 1999, crystallized thinking about the changing nature of war in the globalized post-Cold War era, in particular focusing on the proliferation of non-state actors and the systematic targeting of civilians, the importance of identity politics, and the inter-relationship between private and often criminal interests and political conflict. As this book enters its third edition, Kaldor has further developed her thinking, updating her material to include Iraq and Afghanistan, responding to some critiques and providing a richer conceptual and evidence-based backdrop to explain “new wars.”

Getting Somalia Wrong?: Faith, War and Hope in a Shattered State

The Fletcher School
September 25, 2012
Cabot 206
5:00 p.m. EST
Mary Harper, author of Getting Somalia Wrong?: Faith, War and Hope in a Shattered State, discussed how this “failed state” is far from being a failed society, as alternative forms of business, justice, and local politics still flourish. Arguing that there is a lot to be learned from the Somali way of doing things, Harper’s examination of Somalia sheds light on why international engagement has had limited impact. Copies of the book were available for purchase.

Academic Year 2011-2012

Conflict in the 21st Century

Institute for Global Leadership
Tufts University
February 22 – 26, 2012

WPF’s Alex de Waal was among the speakers in the the 27th Annual Norris and Margery Bendetson EPIIC International Symposium sponsored by the Institute for Global Leadership. For more information, visit their website.

Inauguration of the African Union Human Rights Memorial

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
January 28, 2012

The African Union headquarters inaugurated a new human rights memorial dedicated to the memory of the victims of Alem Bekagn central prison, creating permanent memorials to the Rwanda Genocide, Apartheid and slavery. The inaugural event commemorated those who perished during the Red Terror campaign and victims of other human rights violations. For more background information, see Alex de Waal’s article on Alem Bekagn.

A Celebration of 101 Years of Working for Peace

By invitation only
January 17, 2012

The January 17 reception marked the official launch of the World Peace Foundation at the Fletcher School.

How Mass Atrocities End

November 17, 2011
Cabot Intercultural Center, Room 205
6 p.m. EST
There is perhaps no other phase of mass atrocities that is less studied yet more debated than endings.  An idealending dominates policy and activists’ imaginations – victims saved, perpetrators defeated, and some form of transitional justice accomplished.

But this rarely occurs. Actual endings are little researched, yet provide a rich field of study and valuable arena for policy development. Scholars and policymakers have developed tools for defining when a genocide is happening – but not for when it is over. For example, can we say that the mass atrocities in Darfur have finished or not?

Alex de Waal, Director of the World Peace Foundation
Jens Meierhenrich, Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science
Bridget Conley-Zilkic, Research Director, World Peace Foundation