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Academic Year 2022-2023

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Flag of Sudan and bullet shells

Registration required

Sudan: Making Sense of a Senseless War

History, Resistance, Prospects

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

10:00am EST | 3:00 PST

Join co-authors of Sudan’s Unfinished Democracy: The promise and betrayal of a people’s revolution for a panel discussion on the crisis in Sudan today.


Justin Lynch, Researcher


Dr. Willow Berridge, Senior Lecturer, Newcastle University

Alex de Waal, Executive Director, World Peace Foundation at The Fletcher School

Raga Makawi, Democracy Activist and co-editor, African Arguments

Friday, June 16, 2023

Registration required

Humanitarian Congress Vienna

Full program 9:00 – 18:00

University of Vienna, Main Ceremonial Hall

The Humanitarian Congress Vienna brings together international stakeholders from humanitarian aid, politics, media, academia, civil society and business to engage in dialogue on policy, good practices, recent developments and future visions in the field of humanitarian aid. Join us to shape the debate on the future of the Humanitarian Imperative and the Humanitarian Principles, the guiding stars of our work and engagement. Engage with leaders, experts and practitioners, contribute your experiences and insights, and participate in peer-to-peer networking: 6th Humanitarian Congress Vienna.

Starvation as a Method of Warfare – As Old as War Itself, Outlawed but Deadly Popular and Creatively Used

16:00 – 17:30

Keynote speaker: Alex de Waal

Moderator: Elisa Vass

Panel members: Alex de Waal, Brian Lander, Lusine Stepanyan, Nyachangkouth Rambang Tai

Past Events

Thursday, April 6, 2023

Registration required

Traumatic Decarbonization: What happens in fragile states when oil revenues collapse?

12:00pm – 1:50pm EST

As the world transitions away from hydrocarbons, fragile states dependent on oil and gas revenues face a difficult adjustment. In the last decade we have witnessed the political systems of various countries. (among them South Sudan, Sudan and Venezuela) struggle with forced, long-term collapse in these revenues, while others (among them Ecuador, Iraq and Nigeria) try to cope with short-term downturns in oil prices and production. This panel explores the political implications of “traumatic decarbonization” in fragile countries, focusing on openings for political reform.


Katrina Burgess, Director of the Henry J. Leir Institute and Associate Professor of Political Economy at the Fletcher School, Tufts University
Aditya Sarkar, Ph.D student at the Fletcher School, Tufts University and independent researcher


Alex de Waal, Executive Director of the World Peace Foundation at The Fletcher School, Tufts University

Wednesday March 22, 2023

Registration required

Great Decisions | Global Famine

6:00pm – 7:00pm EST

Hosted by WorldBoston

Fears of global food shortages have followed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has disrupted grain shipments from the major grain producer. But what about countries and regions that were suffering before this impending shortage? How is famine defined, and how is it different from simple food shortages? What if any remedies are there?

Learn more about global famine and hunger by participating in this virtual discussion with Kimberly Flowers, international development consultant and former Director of Global Food Security at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and Alex de Waal, Executive Director of the World Peace Foundation.

Wednesday March 1, 2023

Registration required

Hunger in War Economies: Geo-Strategic Burden Shifting and the Politics of Faminogenesis

6:00pm GMP | 1:00pm EST

Annual Distinguished Lecture of the SOAS Food Studies Centre

Speaker: Professor Alex de Waal

Hunger is an instrument of war in diverse ways. This lecture examines contemporary world food crises as a product of three distinct kinds of war economy. At a geo-strategic level, the instruments used by the G-7 and its Chinese and Russian-led rivals are shifting the burden of war financing onto the Global South, in different ways. Rulers in poor countries, unable to deliver developmental outcomes, are reverting to the transactional politics of regime survival including seeking strategic patrons. This is akin to a war economy that deepens livelihood crisis and tolerates weaponized starvation.

Friday, February 24, 2023

world map filled with words

Registration required

What are Starvation Crimes?

14:00-15:00 GMP | 9:00am-10:00am EST

Hosted by the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University

Dr Bridget Conley, Research Director of the World Peace Foundation at The Fletcher School and a Research Associate Professor at the Fletcher School, Tufts University

Beginning in the 1990s, there was a revolution in political, public and legal understanding of and willingness to prosecute violations of international humanitarian law and the laws of war. But it did not treat all crimes equally. One area that was largely left behind were starvation crimes – various acts that intentionally produce conditions in which people are deprived of not just food and water, but also other objects and activities indispensable for life. Yet starvation is weaponized in many conflicts. Political and military actors know well the power and influence they can wield through systematic deprivations. This talk will provide a conceptual and historical overview of starvation, addressing the uses of starvation, how these acts are already criminalized, and why they have not been prosecuted.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Yemen’s starving mothers -- Hagar Yahia, a Yemeni woman, shows the amount of flour she uses to make a loaf of bread, in the photo taken in Abyan, Yemen

Registration required

What you should know about starvation crimes: Advancements, strategies, and tools

09:00 – 10:00 EST

Hosted by the Feinstein International Center

An expert panel will explore recent developments in recognizing and addressing mass starvation. They will look at issues related to law, humanitarian response, protection, gender and sexual-based violence, and documenting and prosecuting starvation crimes. Cases from Yemen and Ethiopia will be used to illustrate the current challenges and advances.


  • Bridget Conley (moderator), Research Director, World Peace Foundation
  • Alex de Waal, Executive Director, World Peace Foundation at the Fletcher School, Tufts
  • Catriona Murdoch, Partner, Global Rights Compliance
  • Dyan Mazurana, Research Professor Fletcher School and Friedman School; Research Director Feinstein International Center, Tufts University USA
  • Ali Jameel, Accountability and Redress Director, Mwatana for Human Rights 
  • Tom Dannenbaum, Associate Professor of International Law, The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, Tufts

Photo: Starvation in Yemen, Felton Davis | Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Monday, November 7, 2022

O’Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance 

University Rd University Road H91 T8WR Galway Ireland

Registration required

IFIAD Annual Conference

A food secure future for everyone

09:00 – 21:00 GMT

IFIAD Annual World Food Day Conference 2022

2022 marks the 175th anniversary of Black ’47 of the Great Irish Famine, and its dramatic impact on the course of Ireland’s political and social development. In 2022, issues of conflict, inequality, and climate change continue to drive food insecurity and famine. 828 million people were affected by hunger in 2021 and it is projected that 8% of the world’s population will face hunger by 2030.

In partnership with the Irish Forum for International Agricultural Development (IFIAD), Self Help Africa, and University of Galway, Galway City will host a conference on global food security. Looking from the past to the present, and forwards to 2030 and beyond, the conference will provide perspectives on hunger and food security from leading Irish and international speakers and experts.


Alex de Waal, Tufts University

Prof. Sayed Azam-Ali, Crops for the Future

Breandán MacSuibhne, University of Galway

Dina Esposito, USAID

Theresa Liebig, CGIAR Climate Security Program

Lalini Veerassamy, IOM Chief of Mission in Ireland

Ronald Vargas, FAO

Kevin O’Sullivan, University of Galway

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Registration required

What Justice for Famine Crimes?

Annual Harrell-Bond Lecture 2022

5:00pm-6:30pm GMT

Hosted by Refugee Studies Center


Alex de Waal is executive director of the World Peace Foundation and a research professor at The Fletcher School at Tufts University, USA. Considered one of the foremost experts on Sudan and the Horn of Africa, his scholarship and practice has also probed humanitarian crisis and response, human rights, HIV/AIDS and governance in Africa, and conflict and peacebuilding.

September 27, 2022

Registration required

Accountability for Mass Starvation: Testing the Limits of the Law

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

5:30-7:00pm EST

Join us to mark the publication of our new volume, “Accountability for Starvation: Testing the Limits of the Law” (Oxford University Press, 2022), eds. Bridget Conley, Alex de Waal, Catriona Murdoch, and Wayne Jordash. The book demonstrates how international law might be brought to bear on situations of mass starvation. Addressing the law, cross-cutting themes and key cases, the volume provides a timely overview of one of today’s most pressing issues.

It is the culmination of a multi-year research project that involved several Tufts colleagues.

Light catering will be provided.


Bridget Conley is the Research Director of the World Peace Foundation and Associate Research Professor at The Fletcher School. At WPF, she is the lead researcher on WPF’s program, “Protecting Vulnerable Groups,” and program manager for the Global Arms and Corruption projects. She works closely with the Executive Director on project development, fundraising and strategic vision for WPF. Currently, her research focuses on “Tracking COVID-19 in Detention”. She is lead editor on the Accountability for Starvation volume. Her previous research examined memory following mass atrocities, which culminated in her book, Memory from the Margins: Ethiopia’s Red Terror Martyrs Memorial Museum (Palgrave 2019), and comparative studies of how mass atrocities end. She is the editor of How Mass Atrocities End: Studies from Guatemala, Burundi, Indonesia, the Sudans, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Iraq (Cambridge University Press 2016). She has also published on issues related to starvation crimes, the 1992 – 1995 war in Bosnia, mass atrocities and genocide, and how museums can engage on human rights issues.   Full bio here.

Alex de Waal is the Executive Director of the World Peace Foundation at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and Professorial Fellow at the London School of Economics. Considered one of the foremost experts on Sudan and the Horn of Africa, his scholarly work and practice has also probed humanitarian crisis and response, human rights, HIV/AIDS and governance in Africa, and conflict and peace-building. His latest book is New Pandemics, Old Politics: Two Hundred Years of War on Disease and its Alternatives. He is also the author of Mass Starvation: The History and Future of Famine and The Real Politics of the Horn of Africa (Polity Press, 2015).  Full bio here.

Aditya Sarkar is a Ph.D student at the Fletcher School, Tufts University and an independent researcher. He has advised the Governments of Sudan, Somalia and Ethiopia on developing National Employment Policies and similar issues, and has worked with the World Bank, the International Labour Organization, and the Open Society Foundations. Aditya is qualified as a lawyer in India and in England and Wales. He is a graduate of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and the National Law School of India University in Bangalore, India. Aditya’s research focuses on the political economy of transactional political systems and its connections to labour and migration/ displacement.

Dyan Mazurana, Ph.D., is Research Professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and at the Fletcher School at Tufts University. At Fletcher, she co-directs the Gender Perspectives in International Studies field of study. She is also research director at the Feinstein International Center and a research fellow at the World Peace Foundation. Her areas of focus include women’s and children’s rights during armed conflict and post conflict, serious crimes and violations committed during armed conflict and their effects on victims and civilian populations, armed opposition groups and remedy and reparation. She works with a number of governments, U.N. agencies and NGOs on these areas. Full bio here.

Daniel Maxwell is the Henry J. Leir Professor in Food Security at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, with a secondary appointment at the Fletcher School. He is also the program director of the Master of Arts in Humanitarian Assistance (MAHA) at the Friedman and Fletcher Schools; and Research Director at the Feinstein International Center, where he leads the research program on food security and livelihoods in complex emergencies. In 2016-2017, he served as the Acting Director of the Feinstein International Center. His recent research focuses on the re-emergence of famines in the 21st century and the politics of analyzing and declaring famine, as well as food security and resilience programming and measurement, and livelihood systems under stress. He teaches humanitarian action, humanitarian policy, and famine and food insecurity in situations of crisis.


Tom Dannenbaum is Associate Professor of International Law at the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy. Prior to joining Fletcher, he taught at University College London and Yale Law School. Dannenbaum writes on the law of armed conflict, the law governing the use of force, international criminal law, human rights, shared responsibility, and international judging. His articles have appeared in a range of leading journals and have received multiple awards, including the International Legal Theory Scholarship Prize from the American Society of International Law (ASIL) in 2022 and ASIL’s Lieber Prize in 2017. His book, The Crime of Aggression, Humanity, and the Soldier, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2018. In 2021, Dannenbaum was awarded the James L. Paddock Teaching Award at Fletcher.  Full bio here.

As director, Paul Howe is responsible for the overall strategy and administration of the Feinstein International Center. Paul’s career has focused on addressing the problems of hunger and famine. He worked with the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) for more than 17 years. In his last WFP assignment, he served as Country Director in Nigeria. Prior to that, he worked with WFP in Afghanistan, Uganda, and Laos and at the headquarters in Italy. Even while serving as a senior leader in WFP, Paul kept up his research and publication activities on these topics.  Full bio here.