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.


Voices of Peace from Nigeria

Published April 21, 2014 | By Laura Brisard
From the outside, conflict dynamics can be bewildering in their complexity, particularly in a country as vast as Nigeria with telescoping fault-lines and polarities. After gaining independence from the United Kingdom in October 1960, the country fell into a civil war that killed over a million people before it finally ended in 1970. Military rule gave way to the Fourth Republic with the election of Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999. Since then conflict in Nigeria has included an insurgency in the Niger Delta which deescalated in 2009 as a result of an amnesty program for militants, periodic outbreaks of killing in the Middle Belt, and rising levels of violence in the Northeast.


The Price of the Recession: Social Resilience and National Resilience

Published April 3, 2014 | By Katherine Carter
The Failed States Index (FSI) uses political, economic, and economic indicators to determine the relative stability of a nation state and its resilience to potential unrest. The FSI examines how successfully states maintain legitimacy and cohesion in the face of internal or external pressures, but does not speak to how social trends in particular countries change in response to those pressures. In contrast to national resilience, social resilience refers to a community’s capacity to adapt and cope with significant adversity and to prepare for future challenges. As a ranking of states’ fragility, the indicators used in the FSI enable us to track countries’ progress from year to year, but do not easily convey the human cost of instability and how societies cope with instability on an emotional level.

Remembering Russell Hemenway, Former FFP Board Member

Published February 5, 2014 | By George Lehner
The Board of Trustees and staff of the Fund for Peace remember fondly our former Board member, Russell Hemenway, who passed away on January 30, at the age of 88. Russ joined the Board of FFP shortly after it was founded and ultimately was elected a life member of the FFP Board. Russ was also Chair of the Board of one of FFP's larger projects, the National Security Archive, now an independent organization. His commitment and dedication to the mission of the Fund for Peace were constant. His voice and commitment to the cause of peace will be missed.

January 2014 Conflict Bulletins Now Available for Niger Delta

Published February 4, 2014 | By Nate Haken
The Fund for Peace is pleased to advise that we now have new Conflict Bulletins, current for January 2014, available for all nine of the states that make up Nigeria's Niger Delta region. These Bulletins provide an overview of Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo, and Rivers states. These Conflict Bulletins draw upon data from ACLED, AOAV, Nigeria Watch, CFR's Nigeria Security Tracker, FFP's UNLocK, WANEP, and CSS/ETH Zurich. P4P compiles state and LGA-level conflict bulletins to highlight patterns and trends in conflict and peacebuilding.

Why We Renamed the Human Rights & Business Roundtable

Published January 14, 2014 | By J. J. Messner
When The Fund for Peace’s Human Rights & Business Roundtable was founded in 1996, the relationship between business and human rights was a hot topic, and one that called for much debate. Nearly two decades later, though human rights remains a core theme, the Roundtable has broadened its scope of issues, particularly around implementation and good practices. The Roundtable now examines issues as diverse as sustainable livelihoods and foreign direct investment – though these issues can certainly have a human rights angle, such topics are unarguably much broader than that.

Happy Holidays and a Collaborative New Year!

Published December 20, 2013 | By Krista Hendry
As we get ready to enjoy the holiday season with our friends and families and make plans for the New Year, we pause to take a look back from where we’ve come. The challenges of weak and failing states affect us all and we are all needed to make a difference. We need to work together even more this year to help those living under in abject poverty, harsh environments, and sometimes under cruel regimes. At The Fund for Peace, we began calling attention to the underlying conditions of weak and failing states many years ago in order to promote a more peaceful world. Building on our analysis of the risk to human security worldwide, but also human resiliency, we spent 2013 designing programs with partners on the ground to move from early warning to local and early response. We know that it is not enough to warn; we must also prevent.

M23's Surrender Brings Some Optimism to DRC... But Not Too Much.

Published December 17, 2013 | By Asibi Danjuma
Following nearly two years of a bloody insurgency, a sense of calm settled upon the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) after the M23 rebel group called a halt to its operations that have brought terror to the eastern part of the country since April 2012. The last strongholds of the armed group in Tshanzu and Runyoni were captured by the Congolese army, the Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC), in early November and talks shifted to hopes of sustained disarmament and peace.

The Central African Republic: A Failing State in Free Fall

Published November 27, 2013 | By Patricia Taft
Every year, when the Failed States Index is published, we are asked to provide an example of a state that is failing “quietly.” A state that, except perhaps for a handful of concerned parties and outside business interests, does not make most international priority lists. And every year we mention the Central African Republic (CAR). This impoverished, deeply underdeveloped, diamond-rich country is in a very bad neighborhood indeed. Now, however, the country has become a fulcrum of instability in its own right. One that, without some immediate efforts to stop what has been rightfully termed by the International Crisis Group as a “free fall,” is bound to set off a new wave of catastrophe in beleaguered Central Africa.

Liberia’s Political Wildcard: A Profile of Mary “General” Broh

Published November 26, 2013 | By Katherine Carter
Ten years into recovery from a horrific civil war, Liberia’s political leadership is often held up as a model of gender equality in West Africa. Elected in 2006, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is one of only two female African heads of state – President Joyce Banda of Malawi being the other. In 2011, President Sirleaf won the Nobel Peace Prize alongside another Liberian politician, Leymah Gbowee, for advancing women’s rights to participate peace-building work. In keeping with the recent tradition of having strong female peacemakers as politicians and heads-of-state, Sirleaf’s long-time friend and close political ally, Mary Tanyonoh Broh, seems poised to become Liberia’s next political magnate.

Liberia: Ten Years On

Published November 18, 2013 | By Patricia Taft
Monrovia, Liberia: Nearly ten years ago last month, in October of 2003, I first visited Liberia. Back then, the war that had consumed the country and killed and maimed thousands was only weeks in its ending. In the capital, Monrovia, children as young as six were standing on the side of the road holding rusted out AK-47s with twitchy fingers, eyes bloodshot from whatever combination of drugs their “commanders” had given them to compel their participation in horrible actions. Back then, the FFP was researching the willingness and ability of African nations to undertake peacekeeping and humanitarian intervention missions. Liberia was one of the early test cases and, by most lights, was a successful one.