Past Events

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

Academic Year 2020-2021

The humanitarian crisis in Tigray, Ethiopia

June 17, 2021

Hosted by the Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa and the Department of International Development, London School of Economics

  • Alex de Waal, Executive Director World Peace Foundation
  • Temrat Gebregiorgis, Editor of Fortune magazine
  • Tamerat Negera, Terrara Media Network
  • Tsedale Lemma, Journalist

Chair: Professor Christine Chinkin, Professorial Research Fellow, LSE Centre of Women Peace & Security


A Pandemic of Hunger: Implementing UN Security Council Resolution 2417

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Hosted by Global Rights Compliance

To mark the third anniversary of the adoption of landmark UNSC Resolution 2417, GRC is pleased to convene a webinar on 19 May 2021, at 16.00-17.30 (CET) on the implementation of Resolution 2417 with a focus on South Sudan, Yemen, Ethiopia, and broader UNSC action.

The webinar will coincide with a digital symposium on Opinio Juris on the implementation of UNSC 2417 kicking off on May 17 and featuring written think pieces from the World Food Programme, Mwatana for Human Rights, Alex de Waal, Chris Newton, Yousuf Syed Khan, Jared Miller and Emanuela-Chiara Gillard.


Starving Tigray Mass atrocity and humanitarian emergency in Ethiopia

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

The war in the Tigray region of Ethiopia has unleashed a major humanitarian emergency. With most of Tigray off-limits to humanitarian agencies and journalists, the true dimensions of the crisis are hard to determine precisely. The World Peace Foundation report, ‘Starving Tigray’ documents what is known about the causes of the food crisis, its scale, and its possible trajectory.

  • Alex de Waal, Executive Director, World Peace Foundation and Research Director at The Fletcher School
  • Tom Dannenbaum, Assistant Professor of International Law, The Fletcher School
  • Chris Brew, Researcher, World Peace Foundation
  • Delia Burns, Researcher, World Peace Foundation
  • Haddush G. Gebremedhin, Tufts University
  • Chris Newton, Researcher World Peace Foundation

Prosecuting Starvation Crimes in Yemen’s Civil War

Hosted by Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Monday, April 19, 2021 4:00 – 5:30pm EST

The Yemen Accountability Project’s release of its white paper “Prosecuting Starvation Crimes in Yemen’s Civil War” examines the use of deliberate attacks on food, water, and objects indispensable to survival as part of the Saudi-led Coalition’s attacks on Houthi rebels in Yemen. The white paper outlines the evidence of these crimes and makes the case for bringing charges against perpetrators of starvation crimes in Yemen. The panelists will explore the challenges of bringing charges against perpetrators and the potential avenues of accountability.

  • Alex de Waal, Executive Director of the World Peace Foundation and a research professor at The Fletcher School at Tufts University
  • Laura Graham is executive director of the Yemen Accountability Project (YAP)
  • Milena Sterio is Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Faculty Enrichment at Cleveland State University’s Marshall College of Law.
  • James C. Johnson is the Chief Prosecutor of the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone

Defining an Unimaginable Crime: The Story of Raphael Lemkin

Hosted by United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 11:00 AM EDT

Raphael Lemkin, a Polish Jewish lawyer, escaped the Nazis but lost 49 members of his family in the Holocaust. He coined the word genocide in 1944 to describe the deliberate attempt to wipe out a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group. Lemkin devoted the last 15 years of his life to lobbying governments to recognize genocide as an international crime and changed the legal landscape. Despite his impact, he died alone and penniless in 1959.

Speaker: Dr. Bridget Conley, Research Director, World Peace Foundation, and Associate Research Professor, The Fletcher School, Tufts University

Moderator:
Dr. Edna Friedberg, Historian, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


Tree and Tupit Speaker Series

How Mass Atrocities End: Military Interventions and Withdrawals

Conversation with Professor Bridget Conley, Research Director, World Peace Foundation

March 30, 2021 5pm EST

Join TREE and Tufts University Prison Initiative at Tisch College (TUPIT) in speaking with Dr. Bridget Conley, Research Director of the World Peace Foundation about what incarceration looks like in the time of COVID-19 and the pandemic’s effects of incarcerated populations


Understanding Violence and Political Markets in Africa and the Middle East: Conclusions from the Conflict Research Programme

Hosted by the Conflict Research Programme at LSE IDEAS

Monday, March 15, 2021

The Conflict Research Programme has been investigating the logics of war and peace across five countries in the Middle East and Africa over the last four years. Findings cover the link between extremist identity politics and political marketplaces, the countervailing role of civicness, and ‘what works’ external interventions in such areas as security, humanitarian need or localised conflict resolution. Producing high-quality research published in academic journals alongside policy analysis to the UK government, the programme boasts a range of outputs that has the potential to shape academic debate and the development landscape.

  • Minouche Shafik, Director of LSE
  • Mary Kaldor, Director, Conflict Research Programme (Chair)
  • Alex de Waal, Executive Director, World Peace Foundation
  • Stefan Dercon, Professor of Economic Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government
  • Charlotte Morris, Senior Conflict Adviser (FCDO)

Arms Sales to Conflict Zones
Business as Usual: How major weapons exporters arm the world’s conflicts

Hosted by the Forum on the Arms Trade and sponsored by the World Peace Foundation, Center for Responsive Politics, and Program on Civil-Military Relations in Arab States at the Malcolm H. Kerr Carnegie Middle East Center.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Join in a discussion for the launch of “Business as Usual: How major weapons exporters arm the world’s conflicts” — the initial report at the midpoint of a two-year project examining defense industries, foreign policy and armed conflict.

  • Sam Perlo-Freeman, Research Coordinator, Campaign Against Arms Trade and Fellow, World Peace Foundation
  • Dan Mahanty, Director, US Program, Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC)
  • Molly Mulready, Lawyer, formerly of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • Emma Soubrier, Visiting Scholar, Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington
  • Nathan Toronto, Commissioning Editor, Malcolm H. Kerr Carnegie Middle East Center (moderator)

This report is part of the WPF research program, “Defense industries, Foreign Policy, and Armed Conflict,” support for which was provided in part by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York.


The Effects of Military Interventions: Taking Stock
How Mass Atrocities End: Military Interventions and Withdrawals
Hosted by the Royal Holloway University of London

February 20, 2021

1: 20GMT Dr. Bridget Conley

This conference will bring together scholars from multidisciplinary backgrounds to take stock of theoretical and empirical knowledge on social, political, economic and strategic effects of military interventions. Click below to view the conference website and to register.


De-colonizing “Objects”

This is Session One of a Five Part AY-long series in collaboration with the Jonathon M. Tisch College of Civic Life, In Their Presence: Debates on the dignity, display and ownership of human remains.

October 29, 2020 on Zoom 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. EST

This conference will open with an introduction by series organizers:

Diane O’Donoghue, Director of the Program for Public Humanities and Senior Fellow for the Humanities at the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life, and Bridget Conley, Research Director of the World Peace Foundation (WPF) and Associate Research Professor at The Fletcher School.

Presenters:
  • Ciraj Rassool is Professor of History at the University of the Western Cape and directs its African Programme in Museum and Heritage Studies.
  • Vernelda Grant, is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer of the San Carlos Apache Tribe in Arizona.

Humanitarian Crisis and Response in the Context of the Political Marketplace Framework

9:00 AM – 11:00 AM EDT (GMT-4)

This webinar will present findings from recent research on understanding humanitarian crises and responses through the lens of the political marketplace. This research is based several countries across Africa and the Middle East: DRC, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The webinar is hosted by the Conflict Research Programme at the London School of Economics with the World Peace Foundation at The Fletcher School and Feinstein International Center, Tufts University.

Panelists:
  • Daniel Maxwell, Henry J. Leir Professor in Food Security at the Friedman School of Nutrition and The Fletcher School at Tufts University. He is also a research director at the Feinstein International Center
  • Merry Fitzpatrick, Feinstein International Center, Senior Researcher at Tufts University
  • Chris Newton, Food and Nutrition Policy and Programmes MS, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.
  • Aditya Sarkar, independent researcher

Moderated by World Peace Foundation Executive Director, Alex de Waal.


War crimes & catastrophe in today’s global crisis: Is anyone responsible?
A Symposium On Law, Rights, and Humanitarianism

Thursday Sept. 24, 2020, 1:00 pm

Hosted by American University

Keynote Address “Starvation Crimes: Prospects for Political Action in the Current Crises”, WPF Executive Director, Alex de Waal

This event is sponsored by the Historical and International Studies Faculty Research Cluster, the Farsi Chair of Islamic Peace; AU programs in Ethics, Peace and Human Rights and Environmental Sustainability and Global Health and Islamic and Middle East Studies, and additional support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Click here for more information and to register.


The Norris and Margery Bendetson EPIIC International Symposium
Preventing Genocide and Mass Atrocities

October 10, 2020

11:00am: Memory, Survival and Genocide, Bridget Conley

Institute for Global Leadership, Tufts University

The international symposium is an annual public forum designed and enacted by EPIIC students. It features international practitioners, academics, public intellectuals, activists and journalists who come to Tufts each year for three days of discussion and debate in panels and small-group discussions determined by students in the EPIIC course. Students who conduct research projects also have the opportunity to present alongside the invited experts.


Academic Year 2019-2020

Forged in Fire? Rohingya’s Impossible Identity Amidst Mass Violence and Deterritorialization
CANCELED

Wednesday, March 25, 2020
12:00-1:30pm
The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University

Speaker: Elliott Prasse-Freeman is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology/Anthropology at the National University of Singapore. He received his doctorate in anthropology from Yale University. He is working on a book focusing on Burmese subaltern political thought as adduced from an extended ethnography of activism and contentious politics in the country’s semi-authoritarian setting. Dr Prasse-Freeman is also currently studying Rohingya political subjectivity amidst dislocation and mass violence.


Rehumanizing the Dead of Anthropology: Museums and Societies after Colonialism, with Ciraj Rassool

March 25, 2020
Tufts University

Human Remains from African  Societies are found in a number of museum collections in Europe and South Africa.  Ciraj Rassool, Professor of History at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa, will address what it means for all these societies to do the work of human remains restitution and reburial, and how this contributes to rethinking the museum after colonialism.  A leading voice in museum and heritage studies, and memory politics and visual history, his publications include, Skeletons in the Cupboard: South African Museums and the Trade in Human Remains, 1907-1917 and The Politics of Heritage in Africa: Economies, Histories and Infrastructures.


The Norris and Margery Bendetson EPIIC International Symposium, presented by The Institute of Global Leadership

Preventing Genocide and Mass Atrocities
March 17, 7:00pm : “Memory, Survival and Genocide”, WPF Research Director, Bridget Conley

Full program details available here.

The international symposium is an annual public forum designed and enacted by EPIIC students. It features international practitioners, academics, public intellectuals, activists and journalists who come to Tufts each year for three days of discussion and debate in panels and small-group discussions determined by students in the EPIIC course. Students who conduct research projects also have the opportunity to present alongside the invited experts.


European Conference 2020, hosted by the Harvard Kennedy School

March 7, 2020
11:30-12:45pm

The Conference will take place at both the Harvard Kennedy School of Government (6 & 7 March) and Harvard Graduate School of Design (8 March).

The European Conference is an annual conference on European and Transatlantic Affairs convened by students from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Harvard Business School, MIT Sloan School of Management and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. 

WPF’s Executive Director, Alex de Waal will join Carmen Csernelhazi, Julien Serre and Raymond Gilpin for the panel “Fostering a Sustainable Africa: The EU-Africa relationship”

Click here for for the full program.


Laying the past to rest: Challenges of the TPLF/EPRDF state building project

Monday, March 9, 2020
The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University

Mulugeta Gebrehiwot Berhe, Senior Fellow at the World Peace Foundation will discuss his recently released book, ‘Laying the past to rest: Challenges of the TPLF/EPRDF state building project’, Hurst publishers, London.

Drawing on his own experience as a senior member of the TPLF/EPRDF leadership, and his unparalleled access to internal documentation, Mulugeta Gebrehiwot Berhe identifies the organisational, political and sociocultural factors that contributed to victory in the revolutionary war, particularly the Front’s capacity for intellectual leadership. Charting its challenges and limitations, he analyses how the EPRDF managed the complex transition from a liberation movement into an established government. Finally, he evaluates the fate of the organisation’s revolutionary goals over its subsequent quarter-century in power, assessing the strengths and weaknesses the party has bequeathed to the country.

Laying the Past to Rest is a comprehensive and balanced analysis of the genesis, successes and failings of the EPRDF’s state-building project in contemporary Ethiopia, from a uniquely authoritative observer.


Transnational Conflict

Introducing the Transnational Conflict in Africa Dataset 

Monday, March 2, 2020
12:00-1:30pm
The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University
160 Packard Avenue, Cabot Room 702
Medford, MA 02155

Speakers:

Noel Twagiramungu, World Peace Foundation Fellow
Alex de Waal, Executive Director, World Peace Foundation
Mulugeta Gebrehiwot Berhe, Senior Fellow at the World Peace Foundation

The panel will examine new data that show that most conflict in Africa is internationalized and not solely internal. This establishes a new paradigm that places the inter-state and transnational elements of African conflict firmly at the center of explanations. The paradigm shift has far-reaching implications for how we study African conflicts, and the kinds of interventions necessary to reduce them.

This research was conducted as part of the World Peace Foundation project on African peace missions, funded by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and as part of the Conflict Research Programme at the London School of Economics, funded by the UK Department for International Development. Their support is gratefully acknowledged.


OxFID 2020: Beyond Pledges in partnership with UNDP & NYT
Hosted by Oxford Forum for International Development

February 8-9, 2020
Blavatnik School of Government
Radcliffe Observatory Quarter OX2 6GG

Executive Director Alex de Waal will be speaking on the panel, “Global Responses to Genocide”.

The need to protect people from acts of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing is a global responsibility. This panel will look at what can be done before such atrocities are carried out so that states can focus on prevention rather than response, examining international inactivity, proactivity and reactivity in response to atrocities. Where the principle of ‘responsibility to protect’ confers no legal obligation, it has succeeded in creating an emerging norm that acknowledges a political commitment to a collective approach to preventing atrocities.

Program details available here.


Starvation as a Crime in Armed Conflict

Utrecht University
Hosted by the Center for Conflict Studies
February 13, 2020
Drift 21, Room 0.32, Utrecht University

Starvation is a time-tested method of war and genocide throughout history. The current scale of suffering and death as a result of the use of starvation is unprecedented in modern history, with a number of present conflicts embroiled in acute food insecurity that has threatened famine. Yet recognition of the deliberate nature of famine, attribution of fault and accountability has remained, until recently, elusive.

Keynote speech by Prof. Alex De Waal,  Famine: How it can still be Eliminated through Political Action


Why Judgments Are Not History: the limitations of courtroom contributions to the historical record in Africa

Monday, November 4, 2019
The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
160 Packard Ave.  Cabot 703
Medford, MA

A central claim of international criminal prosecutions is that they contribute to fact-finding and establishing a historical record. But do they? In this presentation Dr. Thijs Bouwknegt addresses the process of legal-historical truth finding, the use of witness testimonies as historical sources, and the legacies of international trials in the wake of the civil war in Sierra Leone (1991-2002), the genocide in Rwanda (1994), and contested leadership change in Côte d’Ivoire (2010 -2011). He raises important questions about the discrepancies between prosecutorial and historical endeavors.

Thijs Bouwknegt is a researcher and lecturer at the Netherlands Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies (NIOD). He specialises in transitional justice, international criminal justice, mass violence in Africa and comparative genocide studies.


Overcoming Extreme Inequality and its Evils

Presented by Yale Global Justice program and Quinnipiac Albert Schweitzer Institute
November 1-November 3, 2019
‘Inequality’s Evils’
November 1, 2019

Faculty Room, Connecticut Hall, Yale University
New Haven, CT

Panelists:

Alex de Waal, Executive Director, World Peace Foundation : Famine
Bridget Conley, Research Director, World Peace Foundation : Mass Atrocities
Michal Apollo, Pedagogical University of Cracow
Chair: Anat Biletzki, Albert Schweitzer Institute / Quinnipiac University)•

Full program available at Yale Global Justice.


Agency of Bones Marginal Memory
a talk with Bridget Conley

October 28, 2019
Bard College
30 Campus Rd.
Annandale-On-Hudson, NY 12504
The Hannah Arendt Center

Contemporary efforts to answer the question, ‘Why memorialize Atrocities’, usually begins with the question, ‘For whom is memory?’


Prospects for Democracy in Sudan

Friday, October 11, 2019

Hosted by the Conflict and Civil Society Research Unit
London School of Economics
Old Theatre, Old Building, LSE
Houghton Street, London

The panel will discuss the dynamics of the 2019 Sudanese revolution, characterised by both non-violent civic mobilisation and the fast-evolving transnational and mercenarised political marketplace.

Panel:
Alex de Waal, Executive Director, World Peace Foundation,  Research Programme Director, Conflict Research Programme
Raga Makawi, Sudanese Activist and Editor at Zed Books & African Arguments
Dr Rim Turkmani, Research Director, Conflict Research Programme – Syria


Law, Justice and Civicness: lessons from South Sudan

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Hosted by the Conflict and Civil Society Research Unit
London School of Economics
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building

The panel will discuss the efforts of civil society actors campaigning for systematic change despite being a part of a system that profits from their oppression.

Panel:
Alex de Waal, Executive Director, World Peace Foundation,  Research Programme Director, Conflict Research Programme
Rachel Ibreck, Lecturer in Politics and International Relations, Goldsmiths University
David Deng, Human Rights Lawyer


Red Flags and Red Diamonds: the warning signs and political drivers of arms trade corruption

Thursday, September 19, 2019
The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
160 Packard Ave., Mugar Room 231
Medford, MA 02155

Why is corruption so prevalent in the international arms trade? And what are the key warning signs or “Red Flags” that an arms deal might be corrupt? Dr. Samuel Perlo-Freeman, Program Director of the World Peace Foundation program on Global Arms Business and Corruption presents his latest report for World Peace Foundation, “Red flags and Red Diamonds – the warning signs and political drivers of arms trade corruption”, which discusses some of the key red flags relating to the buyer, the seller, and the details of the deal itself; but also challenges the discourse of corruption “risk” or “vulnerability”, which often seems to present corruption as a pitfall into which companies and governments may accidentally stumble. On the contrary, it is often an active choice by both arms companies and recipient governments, and in “Red Flags and Red Diamonds”, Perlo-Freeman analyses the political and economic drivers that make this a choice they are all too often willing to make.


Memory from the Margins:
Ethiopia’s Red Terror Martyrs Memorial Museum

This book asks the question: what is the role of memory during a political transition? Drawing on Ethiopian history, transitional justice, and scholarly fields concerned with memory, museums and trauma, the author reveals a complex picture of global, transnational, national and local forces as they converge in the story of the creation and continued life of one modest museum in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa—the Red Terror Martyrs Memorial Museum. It is a study from multiple margins: neither the case of Ethiopia nor memorialization is central to transitional justice discourse, and within Ethiopia, the history of the Red Terror is sidelined in contemporary politics. From these nested margins, traumatic memory emerges as an ambiguous social and political force. The contributions, meaning and limitations of memory emerge at the point of discrete interactions between memory advocates, survivor-docents and visitors. Memory from the margins is revealed as powerful for how it disrupts, not builds, new forms of community.

Book events:

August 21, 2019
Hilton Addis Ababa
Menelik II Ave, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

August 23, 2019
Mekelle University
Adihaki Campus


‘The Missing Picture’: Rethinking Genocide Studies & Prevention

14th Conference of the International Association of Genocide Scholars

July 14 – 19, 2019 Phnom Penh, Cambodia
https://www.iags2019.com/

July 16, 2019  15:30 – 17:00
Panel: Missing Pictures: Critical Genocide Studies and Prevention, ‘Missing the Point: Deconstructing Genocide Memory’
Bridget Conley, World Peace Foundation, Tufts University

July 17, 2019  9 – 10:30
Panel: Representing Violence and Suffering: Linguistic, Artistic and Conceptual Frameworks as Limits and Opportunities
Chair: Alex de Waal, World Peace Foundation; Tufts University

July 18, 2019  11:00 – 12:30
Panel: Starvation Crimes as Part of the Missing Picture in Genocide Studies and International Criminal Justice
The Fear of Famine: Why do International Criminal Justice Actors Avoid Addressing Starvation Crimes Randle DeFalco, University of Liverpool
The Seven Uses of Mass Starvation Bridget Conley, World Peace Foundation, Tufts University
Starvation Crimes Alex de Waal, World Peace Foundation; Tufts University

Academic Year 2018-2019

The End of Famine? Prospects for the elimination of mass starvation by political action

October 25, 2018
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
John Snow Lecture Theater
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)


CAS Lecture Series: Pax Africana or Middle East Strategic Alliance in the Red Sea

October 10, 2018
Council on African Studies Lecture Series, Yale University
Henry R. Luce Hall (LUCE )
34 Hillhouse Avenue
New Haven, CT 06511

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