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 focus is on the world’s most difficult places, especially in Africa, but also in Asia and Latin America
Current Research Programs:
Famine Research: This program includes historical, analytical and data analysis related to decline and recent upsurge in global famines. Program director Alex de Waal.
Mass Atrocity Research Program: This includes two primary research areas, one on memories of violence and the other analyzing how mass atrocities end. Program Director Bridget Conley.
Global Arms Trade and Corruption: Focusing on the ways that the global arms business corrupts democratic practices in both selling and purchasing countries, this program is developed in collaboration with a group of research collaborators and partner, Corruption Watch UK. It includes research and public outreach components. Program director Sam Perlo-Freeman.
Political Markets and Conflict Research Program: This program includes several initiatives related to Alex de Waal’s conceptualization of the political marketplace, that explores patronage markets and hybrid political orders, asking how fragile and conflict-ridden countries really function in fragile and conflict-affected states. Program Director Alex de Waal.
African Peace Research Program: Projects in this program include research on security sector governance and state legitimacy, in partnership with The Fletcher Schools’ Institute on Human Security, and the African peace missions project. Program Director Mulugeta Gebrehiwot Berhe.
Children and Youth Staying Safe in Violence: Children and youth’s self-protection strategies are more complex, multi-layered and fluid than generally understood, and extend well beyond how `protection’ is defined and approached by humanitarian or child protection actors. This research program will examine in cross-case studies the protection strategies, goals and tactics of children and youth. Program Director Dyan Mazurana.