War and Peacebuilding

by Milt Lauenstein

Image by Christian Wiediger


This Website

Throughout history, warfare has caused untold human suffering and economic cost. In recent times, many organizations have attempted to reduce political violence. While they have achieved some successes, overall their work has not reduced the level of political violence, which is forecast to rise still further in the years ahead. This website is intended to stimulate thinking about how members of the peacebuilding community can achieve better results, individually and collectively.

 Suggestions for improving the effectiveness of peacebuilding activities will be welcome.


Milt Lauenstein


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Better Evidence Project

Much peacebuilding work is done with little or no hard evidence that it should be expected to be cost-effective.  As a result, the efforts of the peacebuilding community have not succeeded in stemming the trend toward increasing armed conflict. To develop evidence that will be useful to donors and practitioners in deciding where and how to allocate their resources for best results, the Better Evidence Project (BEP) was established at George Mason University (GMU) in 2020. It will encourage and support research to develop such evidence.


The Better Evidence Project is a collaborative undertaking. In an initial meeting of a group of over 35 leaders in the field, priorities for research projects were established, according to which projects are now being implemented.  Working groups of collaborators have been established to recommend additional projects. Larger meetings are planned to facilitate collaboration and to solicit suggestions about how the Project can contribute more to the activities of the peacebuilding community.

Click Here to know more about the Better Evidence Project

Increasing Effectiveness

The peacebuilding community can make use of several approaches to increase its effectiveness. One is for peace building organizations to collaborate in developing shared strategies, priorities, and plans. Read More..

Image by Jungwoo Hong


While here and there, peacebuilders have demonstrated that they can prevent and even stop wars, their successes have been more or less at random. Read More..

Researching and Writing


In the peacebuilding community, practitioners and funders largely act independently. They have no generally accepted strategy.  Read More..


Local Leadership

Each situation involving actual or threatened political violence is unique. Stopping or preventing bloodshed requires in-depth knowledge of the conflict, the people, and the culture. Read More..

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