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Resisting War: How Communities Protect Themselves

  • U.S. Institute of Peace 2301 Constitution Avenue Northwest Washington, DC, 20037 United States (map)
Mayerlis Angarita, an activist who visits remote villages encouraging people to make land claims, meets with people displaced by paramilitaries from their land in Sucre, Colombia, Nov. 2012. Photo Courtesy of the NYT/Stephen Ferry

Mayerlis Angarita, an activist who visits remote villages encouraging people to make land claims, meets with people displaced by paramilitaries from their land in Sucre, Colombia, Nov. 2012. Photo Courtesy of the NYT/Stephen Ferry

Research by USIP fellow Oliver Kaplan is documented in a new book, Resisting War. It explores how unarmed civilians pressure government troops, or paramilitary or insurgent fighters to limit violence. Former combatants who faced dissent from local citizens told Kaplan that when deciding whether to use repression they weighed, in part, the solidarity of a community and the moral and reputational risks of committing a massacre.

In this event, panelists will discuss the implications of the new research for preventing violence and protecting communities during conflict—and for countering violent extremism and stemming refugee crises. They will specifically examine the success of some communities in protecting themselves during Colombia’s half-century of civil war. The discussion will consider what the findings mean for U.S. foreign policy as the United States confronts continued war in Afghanistan and the need to promote peace and security in Syria.


Event Details

  • Date: October 2, 2017

  • When: 3:00 - 4:30 PM

  • Where: U.S. Institute of Peace 

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