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April Newsletter – Is a Post Just a Post? Social Media’s Role in Peace and Conflict
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons, license here

Is a Post Just a Post?
Social Media’s Role in Peace and Conflict

For many, social media is simply a way to communicate and connect. We share lighthearted things, like photos of our pets or the latest memes. But we also use social media to learn about and share our thoughts on matters with more serious implications, like issues pertaining to peace and conflict. Social media is a powerful influencer that has direct implications for both. By developing a false narrative, for instance, social media content can perpetuate the spread of misinformation that contributes to both virtual and real conflicts. On the flip side, social media can also promote peace by opening up dialogue between different users and encouraging tolerance, unity, and changes in perception.  

Utilized by governments, movements, politicians, leaders, insurgents, and protestors (not to mention a gazillion others), social media is the influencer of choice, so we think it’s a good idea to take a closer look at its role vis-à-vis conflict and peace. In this quarterly* newsletter, we explore social media as a tool for promoting conflict and peace. In the virtual world of hashtags, followers, and likes, how do conflict and peace play out? 

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January Newsletter: Women: Influencers of Extremism
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Women: Influencers of Extremism

Conflict on a battlefield is what usually comes to mind when we think about warfighting, but it’s only one type of combat. Information operations is another. Also known as influence operations, it includes the collection of tactical information about an adversary as well as the dissemination of propaganda in pursuit of a competitive advantage over an opponent. And women members of extremist organizations are some of the most active and effective operators in this domain.

Using propaganda to recruit in-person and online, women’s ability to detect the early signs of radicalization better and faster than men makes them highly effective at targeting potential recruits. Gender bias works in their favor as well. Considered by many in the security sector to be less prone to engage in violent conflict, women can spread extremist messages fomenting violence without raising suspicion.

Take a look at the January newsletter to gain greater insight into the critically important role women extremists have as influencers both on the ground and online. They are a force to be reckoned with.

Read the November Newsletter | Click Here to Subscribe

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Qiu Jin

Qiu Jin

(b. November 8, 1875 – July 15, 1907)

Qiu Jin was a Chinese writer who’s publications advocated for her feminist and revolutionist ideas. She was executed after a failed rebellion against the Qing Dynasty, and is considered in China a heroine and martyr for women’s rights and republicanism.

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U.S. Army Gender Integration Study

As part of the U.S. Army’s Soldier 2020 effort, the Army TRADOC Analysis Center (TRAC) was tasked with determining institutional and cultural barriers to the integration of women into military occupational specialties, units, and positions from which they were previously barred. Based on extensive research and analysis, TRAC’s study team recommends full gender integration in the Army. Risks to unit morale, cohesion, and readiness will be moderate after implementing mitigation controls, so long as the Army can successfully address high-risk concerns about sexual harassment and sexual assault. Finally, the report identifies barriers to successful integration and recommends strategies for reducing those barriers. Read the full study here.

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Tegla Loroupe

Tegla Loroupe
(b. 1973)

Tegla Loroupe uses her success as a professional runner to promote peace in her home-country of Kenya. She has founded the Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation and the 10km Peace Race, both of which bring together members of warring tribes to initiate peacebuilding. She is also involved in initiatives to empower and build opportunities for Kenyan women.

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The World Justice Project

The World Justice Project® (WJP) is an independent, multidisciplinary organization working to advance the rule of law around the world.

The World Justice Project engages citizens and leaders from across the globe and from multiple work disciplines to advance the rule of law. Through Research and Scholarship, the WJP Rule of Law Index, and Engagement, WJP seeks to increase public awareness about the foundational importance of the rule of law, stimulate policy reforms, and develop practical programs at the community level.

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GameChangers 360 Capabilities

GameChangers 360 helps our clients and partners deepen and expand their understanding of the human domain and its relationship to violent conflict and extremism by highlighting the role of under-recognized populations and issues. We do this by employing multiple approaches to our research, analysis, planning, assessments, and program design, e.g.:

  • Gendered approach: taking into account behaviors, tasks, and responsibilities that a society considers appropriate for men, women, boys and girls as well as the rights and opportunities afforded to them.
  • Identity-focused approach: considering an individual’s or group’s sense of self that can be influenced by a range of factors including: ethnicity, tribe/clan, politics, religion, social and economic status, age, etc.
  • Social structure approach: examining local practices, customs, and systems to determine how they prevent and/or contribute to instability, extremism, and conflict.

Analyzing conflict, extremism, and instability through the perspectives of gender, identity, and social structures not only enhances situational awareness, but also helps to determine viable courses of action to prevent/counter them by revealing:

  • power dynamics
  • local needs and priorities
  • the impact of male-female relations and gender roles
  • groups’ and individuals’ access to resources and opportunities

We have experience working with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), the United Nations (UN), Defense Institute of International Legal Studies (DIILS), and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), among others.


Research & Analysis
Training and education
Project, exercise, and workshop design

Areas of expertise

Gender/UNSCR 1325 Women, Peace                         Civil Society
and Security                                                                         Informal justice
Youth                                                                                       Refugees & IDPs
Governance                                                                          Countering Violent Extremism
Civil-military operations                                                 Stabilization
Peace building                                                                    Human rights


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SecurityWomen is an organization that advocates for the inclusion of women in security sector institutions, such as military and police forces. It does so by highlighting items such as news, academic papers, and other publications on the topic of Women Peace and Security. It also tracks developments in gender equality within security institutions.


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