Books | Seminar Briefings | Occasional Papers | Staff Publications


Advocacy in Conflict: Critical Perspectives on Transnational Activism

Advocacy in Conflict book cover image

Conflicts in Africa, Asia and Latin America have become a common focus of advocacy by Western celebrities and NGOs. This provocative volume delves into the realities of these efforts, which have often involved compromising on integrity in pursuit of profile and influence.Examining the methods used by Western advocates, how they relate to campaigns in the countries concerned, and their impact, expert authors evaluate the successes and failures of past advocacy campaigns and offer constructive criticism of current efforts. Taking in a range of high-profile case studies, including campaigns for democracy in Burma and Latin America, for the rights of Palestinians in Gaza, and opposing the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda, the authors challenge the assumptions set forth by advocacy organizations.

Advocacy in Conflict was developed from the 2013 World Peace Foundation Student Seminar, Western Advocacy in Conflict: Methods, Impacts and Ethics, and is edited by Alex de Waal, with Jennifer Ambrose, Casey Hogle, Trisha Taneja and Keren Yohannes with contributions from many of the seminar participants. The seminar briefing full text available as a PDF download.

Listen to an interview "The Is Hell" conducted with Alex de Waal about the book.

Seminar Briefings

These briefings summarize and provide an overview of the issues and cases discussed in the WPF seminar series.

Patterns of Violence in Somalia

September 2013

Full text available as a PDF download.

We have also compiled a series of blog contributions from seminar participants, available as a PDF download.

Approaching the crisis in Somalia not through the lens of immediate problems and policy prescriptions, but from a starting point concerned with political economy and historic patterns of violence, the societal impacts and accounts of violence, and comparative analysis of changing frameworks of governance and conflict associated with the end of the Cold War and the growth of global governance. By taking history, literature and political theory seriously, and seeing Somalia as an exemplar of wider patterns in the contestation over governmental power and resources, the seminar generated important insights into the country’s current predicament.


How Mass Atrocities End, Iraq

May 2013

Full text available as a PDF download.

This seminar on mass atrocities in Iraq was a significant departure from the recent series of programs and reports marking ten years of direct U.S. military engagement in Iraq.  Placing violence within the country’s longer modern history, it explored the level, patterns, origins and endings of episodes of mass violence, especially mass atrocity against civilians.


Advocacy in Conflict

March 2012

Full text available as a PDF download.

International campaigns that advocate policies and actions in conflicts around the world have gained profile and impact in the last decade, most notably through new models that value mass mobilization of the American public, celebrity involvement, and marketing campaigns. The Advocacy in Conflict seminar addressed a discernible divergence between the goals, methods and impacts of these campaigns, and the requirements for resolving the political conflicts and empowering the affected people in the countries concerned.

Libya in the African Context

November 2012

Full text available as a PDF download.

In the flurry of assessments and debates about the 2011 war in Libya that overthrew the country’s longtime ruler, Muammar Gaddafi, there has been little scholarly or policy attention to Libya’s relationship with sub-Saharan Africa during and after the conflict. Convening area experts for a combination of public and closed-¬≠door discussions over two days, the World Peace Foundation aimed to reverse this neglect.

New War, New Peace: Security Perspectives

October 2012

Full text available as a PDF download,

Over recent decades, the intensity and incidence of war—and indeed the very nature of organized violence—have been changing. On the basis that Mary Kaldor’s New and Old War (first published in 1999) provided a seminal explication of these transformations, this seminar used the opportunity of the third edition of her book (2012) to explore important aspects of contemporary conflicts from a security perspective.


Occasional Papers

The World Peace Foundation hosts an Occasional Paper series to address topics related to our thematic research areas.  The first Occasional Paper, released in October 2013, is devoted to Gender, Conflict, and Peace.

Gender, Conflict, and Peace [PDF download]

Authored by Dyan Mazurana and Keith Proctor, this paper provides a summary of key literature, frameworks and findings in five topic areas related to Gender, Conflict, and Peace, as well as proposes opportunities for further research. Some of the questions the Occasional Paper addresses include: How does a gender analysis inform our understanding of armed conflict and peace-making? What are the gendered dimensions of war, non-violent resistance, peace processes, and transitional justice? The authors draw on interdisciplinary research in international security, political economy, anthropology, law, and other fields and make extensive references to case studies of armed conflict and peace processes worldwide.

About the authors

Dyan Mazurana, Ph.D., is Associate Research Professor at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University and Research Director of Gender, Youth and Community at the Feinstein International Center, Tufts University, USA. She is also the Cathy Cohen Lasry Visiting Professor of Comparative Genocide Studies at the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts. Mazurana’s areas of specialty include women, children and armed conflict, documenting serious crimes committed during conflict, and accountability, remedy and reparation. Her books include Research Methods in Conflict Settings: A View From Below (Cambridge University Press, 2013) with Karen Jacobsen and Lacey Gale, After the Taliban: Life and security in rural Afghanistan (Rowman & Littlefield, 2008) with Neamatollah Nojumi and Elizabeth Stites; Gender, conflict, and peacekeeping (Rowman & Littlefield 2005) with Angela Raven-Roberts and Jane Parpart; Where are the girls? Girls in fighting forces in Northern Uganda, Sierra Leone, and Mozambique (Rights & Democracy, 2004) with Susan McKay; and Women, Peace and Security: Study of the United Nations Secretary-General as pursuant Security Council Resolution 1325 (United Nations, 2002) with Sandra Whitworth. She has published more than seventy scholarly and policy books, articles, and international reports in numerous languages.

Mazurana works with a variety of governments, UN agencies, human rights and child protection organizations regarding improving efforts to assist youth and women affected by armed conflict, including those associated with fighting forces. She has written and developed training materials regarding gender, human rights, armed conflict, and post-conflict periods for civilian, police, and military peacekeepers involved in UN and NATO operations. In conjunction with international human rights groups, she contributed to materials now widely used to assist in documenting serious violations and abuses against women and girls during conflict and post-conflict reconstruction periods. She serves as an advisor to a number of governments, UN agencies and NGOs regarding protection of children and women during armed conflict. She has worked in Afghanistan, the Balkans, southern, west and east Africa, and Nepal.

Her current research focuses on efforts of war affected communities to heal (physically, mentally, spiritually), rebuild individual and societal relations, and restore moral boundaries in the midst or aftermath of extreme violence. Within this work, she has a strong focus on documenting serious crimes suffered and the necessary remedy and reparation for survivors that support recovery and healing.

Keith Proctor is a Visiting Fellow at the Feinstein International Center and a researcher on issues of transitional justice, memorialization, and mass violence in Northern Uganda. He is particularly interested in using a gender lens to evaluate cultural and institutional changes in the aftermath of conflict. In addition to regular collaborations with colleagues at the Feinstein International Center, he has consulted on projects for the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the World Peace Foundation. Keith also regularly contributes to Fortune. He has taught at New York University, worked in U.S. campaign politics, and was Director of Public Policy for the Americans for Cures Foundation. A recipient of David L. Boren, Truman Security, and Atlantik-Bruecke fellowships, Keith holds a Bachelor’s in Political Science from Stanford University, a Master’s in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, where he was an Overseers Scholar, and a Master’s in Comparative Religion from Harvard University, where he was a Presidential Scholar.

Staff Publications

For publications by Alex de Waal, click here.

For publications by Bridget Conley-Zilkic, click here.