Cross-Cutting Work

Rural Radicalism

Six decades ago, in his book Political Protest in the Congo (Princeton University Press, 1967), Herbert Weiss first used the term “rural radicalism” to describe the rural dimensions of independence struggle in the Belgian Congo. Weiss overturned the conventional wisdom, as reflected in the arguments of Rupert Emerson and others during the “wave” of African independence, that “the rural masses supply neither leaders nor political impetus in African nationalist movements” (Bennett 1968). While peasant revolts in Asia were studied as such, most studies of independence movements in Sub-Saharan Africa in the 1950s and 1960s undervalued the role of the rural, as well as the fact that the rural masses did not consist only of peasants.

Women, Peace, and Security

Women, Peace, and Security is a theme across all of CPPF’s programming, especially under the framework of Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace, and security. CPPF investigates the role of women in peace and security issues and helps the United Nations translate this imperative into practice by promoting the inclusion of women in conflict prevention and resolution, peace negotiations, peace operations, peacebuilding, and post-conflict transitions.

The Politics of Return: DDR and Migration

CPPF has a long record of programmatic activity on Disarmament, Demobilization, Reintegration (DDR) in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Our work on migration, return, and DDR expands across most regions we work on with our UN counterparts. In addition to providing an evidence-based understanding of what has worked and not worked in DDR interventions, CPPF and UVC have led research collaborations in Central Africa that advance our understanding of where ex-combatants and displaced communities return to and why; and of the challenges that displaced people face in accessing systems of justice.

Human Rights

Human rights protection is a cross-cutting theme in all of CPPF’s work, ranging from targeted sessions on human rights and democratization throughout CPPF’s workshops and country deep-dives, to including the diverse perspectives of civil society organizations and human rights practitioners in all activities.

China and the Global South

China’s economic and geopolitical rise over the last two decades has included a growing presence and influence across the globe, not least in the Global South, where it is an important investor across multiple sectors. The UVC and CPPF, through a decade of activities, is a leading node for a growing, yet fragmented interest in China’s engagement with the world.

Academic Network on Peace, Security, and the United Nations

The SSRC Academic Network on Peace, Security, and the United Nations, an initiative of the Council’s Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum (CPPF) and its Understanding Violent Conflict Program (UVC), was established in 2019 out of a request from the United Nations Secretariat to provide UN entities and departments charged with responsibility for peace and security with better, more systematic access to new and emerging research in the academy.

Environment and Conflict

CPPF’s growing work on environment and conflict provides the UN with external expertise in the mapping of hotspots and priority areas, helps the UN better integrate environment and climate change into its prevention programming and planning, and promotes coherence and collaboration across the UN system to fill gaps and address overlaps in the UN’s environmental security initiatives. 

Disinformation and Hate Speech

CPPF helps deepen the UN’s and other multilateral stakeholders’ understanding of how disinformation impacts the UN prevention agenda, and how the UN system can better identify, track, and respond to the negative impacts of disinformation and hate speech where the UN is engaged. Disinformation and hate speech are raising urgent and complex geopolitical questions that challenge the UN and its international partners. These emerging challenges are transforming how societies grapple with democratic processes, as well as how and when violence emerges and occurs. 

Conflict Prevention

Prevention is at the core of CPPF’s work and activities. Renewed interest in getting prevention right, as outlined in the UN Secretary General’s Vision for Prevention, requires a deliberate effort that brings together multi-stakeholder and multi-level engagement that emphasizes early investment in community-based prevention supported by structural peacebuilding at the local level and reforms at the national level. 

Covid-19 in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Countries

Researchers and practitioners working in conflict-affected areas have long debated how to best manage the ethical, political, methodological, and technical challenges of working in insecure contexts. Under Covid-19 these challenges took on a redoubled importance given the constraints that the pandemic have had on fieldwork-based social research around the globe.