Our research programs aim to be innovative and provocative, marrying commitment to rigorous, interdisciplinary research with creative questioning in order to spark new conversations about we might understand and respond to the challenges of armed conflict today. Methodologically inductive, all of our programs are founded on analysis into the questions of the nature and causes of violent conflicts and mass atrocities, and how they are ended.

Our policy engagement is integrated with our research, in two senses. First, our policy engagement provides materials for innovative research. Second, our policy engagement in turn derives from the research directions of the WPF program.  Drawing on the WPF’s unique access to political leaders and institutions, the programs aim to bring the qualities of innovation and creativity to its support of political processes for peace.

Our projects are divided into three program areas:

Our work aims to chart global drivers of peace and conflict, revealing how emergent trends require us to reimagine policy, scholarship and activism. WPF projects examine the politics of how public health, climate change, the law, economics, and corruption intersect with the possibility for peace and threats of conflict across borders.

War Secrets, laughing skeleton & soldier


Over the course of the twentieth century, one of the most dramatic changes to the concept of peace was the idea that it must include the experiences of civilian populations, not just interstate relations. One outcome of this shift was the development of a civilian protection paradigm, that has both made significant contributions and been sorely tested. A key challenge today is applying a critical lens to the politics and activism around protection policies, with the goal of invigorating new approaches.


The Africa peace program builds upon the WPF engagement with the African Union, including our 2016 report ‘African Politics, African Peace,’ and Alex de Waal’s expertise and engagement on a broad range of issues related to African peace and security. The WPF opportunistically sponsors research, programming and outputs when we can make an impact on discussions about African Peace issues.

photo of African Union headquarters