The World Square Blog is The Fund for Peace's international marketplace of ideas. At World Square, we aim for open dialogue on the key issues that FFP works on, including fragile states, conflict, security & human rights, and transnational threats.
 
World Square is also a venue for issues to be brought to FFP: If you would like to discuss an issue with FFP, tweet us at @fundforpeace.

 

How Renewable Energy Can Learn from the Carbon-Based Energy Sector

Published June 10, 2015 | By Hannah Blyth and J.J. Messner

On Monday, the leaders of the G7 made clear that our future will strongly be based on clean energy. In their meeting in the Bavarian Alps, the world’s largest industrialized economies pledged to dramatically reduce or altogether eliminate greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the century, a commitment likely to be solidified in December in Paris. As pressure builds for the world economy to expedite a shift away from coal, oil, and natural gas in order to avert the effects of climate change, attention will turn to cleaner energy, such as wind, solar, and hydro power. This should be applauded. But we should not kid ourselves that clean energy will be completely free of challenges. Despite the many positive elements that renewable energy can bring to these countries, the construction and operation of these major projects does not render them immune from the challenges of implementation.

The Military is Not the Answer to South Africa's Xenophobic Violence

Published April 22, 2015 | By Ania Skinner and J.J. Messner

A rapid rise in anti-immigrant violence has emerged in South Africa, with at least seven people killed and many more local immigrants’ properties and businesses destroyed. In response to this wave of xenophobic crime, the South African government announced the deployment of troops to areas that have been most affected by the violence, including parts of Durban in Kwa-Zulu Natal and the impoverished district of Alexandra in Johannesburg.

Beyond the Presidential Elections: Hopes and Challenges for Nigeria’s Budding Democracy

Published April 10, 2015 | By Katie Cornelius

After two days of voting in the most closely contested presidential election in Nigeria’s history, Attahiru Jega, the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), announced the final electoral results in favor of opposition candidate and former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. Buhari’s victory marks a historic occasion for the country considering an opposition candidate has never before defeated the ruling party in a presidential election. At last count, Buhari claimed 15.4 million votes over incumbent president Goodluck Jonathan’s 13.3 million. Despite some technical issues with electronic card readers as well as insecurity arising from the sporadic targeting of voters by Boko Haram militants in the Northeast, the National Democratic Institute’s international elections observers overall hailed the presidential election as smooth and orderly in a preliminary statement offered on March 30.

The Rising Trend of Female Suicide Bombers in Nigeria

Published March 28, 2015 | By Ania Skinner

Jamāʻat Ahl as-Sunnahlid-daʻwa wal-Jihād (JAS), known widely as Boko Haram, has employed suicide bombers as a terrorist tactic in their insurgency against the Nigerian government since 2011. As of mid-2014, however, reports began to emerge of an alarming new dimension: the use of young women and girls in suicide missions. The first reported case of a female suicide bomber occurred on June 8, 2014, when a woman detonated her bomb near army barracks in Gombe state of Nigeria. Since that time, the rate of suicide bombings carried out by women has steadily increased.

Gender Violence Spikes in Nigerian Election Run-Up

Published March 25, 2015 | By Hannah Blyth

As the tense countdown continues to the Nigerian elections – scheduled to take place this Saturday, March 28 – gender based violence is on the rise. This is not just endemic to Nigeria, but can be linked to wider issues of negative gender attitudes and wider violence in the region. Recent data complied as part of the Violence Affecting Women and Girls (VAWG) program, a collaboration between FFP and local partner NSRP, suggests that gender-based violence has been steadily rising in the pre-2015 Nigerian election period. This is consistent with the rise in general violence and insecurity in the lead up to the Nigerian elections, as detailed a recent FFP Election Violence Update.

Preventing Election-Related Violence in Nigeria: What is Still Possible?

Published February 6, 2015 | By The Fund for Peace and Search for Common Ground

Nigeria’s national elections take place exactly ten days from today, with state-level elections two weeks thereafter. Below are six policy actions that we believe can be taken today, and every day, from now through the election and post-election period to mitigate violence within and between communities.

Happy Holidays from The Fund for Peace

Published December 20, 2014 | By J. J. Messner and George Lehner

From all of us at The Fund for Peace, we wish you and your loved ones a joyful holiday and peaceful, prosperous, and happy new year. For over fifty years the Fund for Peace has worked with governments, international organizations, businesses, civil society groups, and committed individuals around the world to advance the cause of peace and sustainable security. That work continues today.

Lessons from Nigeria’s Successful Ebola Containment

Published November 12, 2014 | By Sofia Scott

With the arrival of the first case of Ebola in the United States in September, panic spread nationwide. Meanwhile Nigeria, located much closer to three main epicenters of Ebola in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, managed to stop the spread of the disease in a nation numbering more than 170 million people. Indeed, Nigeria was declared Ebola free by the World Health Organization (WHO) on October 20, 2014.

“The Eyes of the World Are Watching.” They Sure Are, Governor.

Published August 20, 2014 | By J. J. Messner

It is easy to view the unfolding events in Ferguson, Missouri as an inherently domestic issue. Much of the domestic analysis so far has characterized this violence as reminiscent of decades past – or lands far away. In the words of Governor Jay Nixon of Missouri, “The eyes of the world are watching.” Governor Nixon was right to say so – but maybe not in the way he intended.

The MDGs: Paving the Way to Human Security

Published August 14, 2014 | By Krista Hendry

As we approach the last 500 days to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), I want to reflect upon what they actually mean for our work at The Fund for Peace. Our mission is to understand the underlying conditions of conflict in order to build practical solutions to address them with all actors, as well as measure our combined successes and failures in doing that. The MDGs have provided development actors, politicians, and many others with targets on issues that we often identify as putting pressure on a country and its citizens. If these are left unaddressed, they often lead to conflict, either within communities, across communities, or even against the state itself.

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