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Transitions to Democracy: Study Guide for Teachers and Students--National Peace Essay Contest
United States Institute of Peace
This teaching guide's principal objective is to engage students in thinking about the relationship among conflict, peace, political transition, and democracy in preparation for writing an essay on the National Peace Essay Contest's topic on "transitions to democracy." Specific objectives are: (1) to increase students' understanding of the nature of democracy and historic and contemporary efforts at democratization, especially after a conflict; (2) to make students aware of the essential elements that foster and maintain democratic governments and societies; (3) to develop students' analytical reading, writing, and research skills; (4) to reinforce students' abilities to collaborate and produce a work product with peers using traditional and electronic means of research, discussion, and document preparation; (5) to enable classroom teachers, students, and contest coordinators to write, edit, and submit their essay to the United States Institute of Peace (USIP); and (6) to provide teachers with lesson plans, worksheets, bibliographic sources, and factual material to assist them in preparing students to write essays for submission to the National Peace Essay Contest. It includes the 2004-2005 National Peace Essay Contest Question, six lessons, additional student handouts and resources, extension activities, tips for writing the essay, and national content standards.
United States Institute of Peace. 1200 17th Street NW #200, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-457-1700; Fax: 202-429-6063; Web site: http://www.usip.org
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Arabic Bulgarian Chinese Croatian Czech Danish Dutch English Estonian Finnish French German Greek Hebrew Hindi Hungarian Icelandic Indonesian Italian Japanese Korean Latvian Lithuanian Malagasy Norwegian Persian Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Serbian Slovak Slovenian Spanish Swedish Thai Turkish Vietnamesedefinition - United_States_Institute_of_Peace United States Institute of Peace
United States Institute of Peace
Think. Act. Teach. Train.
2301 Constitution Avenue NW, D.C.
The United States Institute of Peace was created by Congress as a non-partisan. federal institution that works to prevent or end violent conflict around the world. President Ronald Reagan signed the United States Institute of Peace Act that established the Institute in 1984.
According to its Web site, USIP employees study conflicts, then find ways to end or prevent violence through analysis and on-the-ground training. The group is prohibited by law from receiving private funding. The use of federal funds buffers it from special interests.
The group works to prevent, manage and resolve violent international conflict by “promoting post-conflict stability and development,” according to its Web site. USIP seeks to bridge its analysis with action, incorporating training on the ground to prevent violent conflict or identify ways to end conflict by convening warring groups or tribes.
The Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA) called USIP “an applied research facility” that “sponsors research and puts it to practice, training the next generation of professionals in the process.” [ 1 ] USIP’s Web site says its motto is to “think, act, teach and train.”
Because it is nonpartisan and federally funded, USIP builds its reputation as being a neutral government actor. The group has been called on to conduct so-called Track II diplomacy. in which USIP experts can engage in unofficial dialogue with diplomatic entities in a way that the official U.S. government can’t.
Richard Solomon. a former senior State Department official and ambassador to the Philippines, is the president of USIP. He has held that position since 1993.
On February 17, 2011, the House of Representatives for the 112th U.S. Congress voted to eliminate all funding to USIP in FY 2011 as part of a broader effort to cut federal spending. [ 3 ] [ 4 ]Contents History
The idea behind the formation of a peace organization in the United States dates to the first years of the republic. In 1783, George Washington called for the adoption of a "proper Peace Establishment ." Two-hundred years after Washington circulated his vision to the states President Ronald Reagan signed the United States Institute of Peace Act in 1984.
Prior to USIP's creation in 1984, there was a campaign to create a “Department of Peace ” by Sen. Jennings Randolph in 1946. In the 1970s and 1980s, Randolph joined Senators Mark Hatfield and Spark Matsunaga and Rep. Dan Glickman in an effort to form a national peace academy. That followed a recommendation of a commission appointed by President Jimmy Carter and chaired by Matsunaga.
The charter Congress wrote for the new Peace Institute said it must “serve the American people and the federal government through the widest possible range of education and training, basic and applied research opportunities, and peace information services on the means to promote international peace and the resolution of conflicts among the nations and peoples of the world without recourse to violence.”
In 1996, Congress authorized the Navy to transfer jurisdiction of the federal land – a portion of its Potomac Annex facility on what has been known as Navy Hill – to become the site of the permanent USIP headquarters, across the street from the National Mall at 23rd Street and Constitution Ave. NW, in Washington, D.C. Officials broke ground for the new headquarters building in 2008. President George W. Bush. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid attended the event. Pelosi quoted President John F. Kennedy ’s commencement speech to American University in 1963: "The United States, as the world knows, will never start a war," Kennedy told the crowd, as Pelosi recounted. "We shall be prepared if others wish it. We shall be alert to try to stop it. But we shall also do our part to build a world of peace where the weak are safe and the strong are just." George P. Shultz. former Secretary of State under Ronald Reagan, spoke about preventing war. As President Bush stood by his side, he said: “In your time, I think this is one important idea that has real legs and staying power.”Budget
USIP’s annual operating budget for fiscal 2011 is about $39.5 million. The Institute's request for 2012 is $42 million. USIP is not allowed to receive private funding for its operations. However, about $88 million was raised in private funds for the construction of its new headquarters building on the National Mall. The group spends the money on “national security priorities” in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, the Middle East and Northeast Asia, according to its budget documents. It also runs programs in Africa, including Sudan, Nigeria, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and in the Americas, including in Colombia and Haiti. [ 5 ]
USIP employs analysts and field workers to oversee programs in those countries to develop justice systems, improve health care, build the media and expand science and technology within those countries. [ 6 ] USIP employs approximately 320 people.Budget debate
An op-ed in The Wall Street Journal February 16, 2011, by Republican congressman Jason Chaffetz of Utah and former Democrat congressman Anthony Weiner of New York, attacked funding for USIP as part of the broader debate about federal spending.
“The USIP is a case study in how government waste thrives,” they wrote. “The idea began during the Cold War as a modest proposal with $4 million in seed money. But the organization received government funding year after year essentially because it had been funded the year before—and because it had important allies.” [ 7 ]
Former U.S. Central Command Commander Anthony Zinni wrote an op-ed. published in The New York Times March 7, 2011, in support of USIP. “Congress would be hard-pressed to find an agency that does more with less. The institute’s entire budget would not pay for the Afghan war for three hours, is less than the cost of a fighter plane, and wouldn’t sustain even 40 American troops in Afghanistan for a year. Within the budget, peace-building is financed as part of national security programs, and is recognized as an important adjunct to conventional defense spending and diplomacy. The institute’s share of the proposed international affairs budget, $43 million, is minuscule: less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the State Department’s budget, and one-hundredth of 1 percent of the Pentagon’s.” [ 8 ]
On February 17, 2011, the House of Representatives for the 112th U.S. Congress voted to eliminate all funding for the U.S. Institute of Peace in FY 2011 continuing resolution.USIP work Convened tribes in Iraq
In Iraq in 2007, USIP helped broker the initial peace agreement that is seen as the turning point in the war there. USIP experts were asked to assist the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division in the reconciliation effort in Mahmoudiya, located in what was known as “the Triangle of Death” in Iraq’s western Anbar province. USIP was seen as a neutral player that was able to convene Sunni tribal leaders, Iraq’s Shiite government leaders, and senior members of the U.S. military. Soon after the meeting, attacks and casualties declined significantly. The agreement led to a reduction of the U.S. military presence there from a brigade-level unit of about 3,500 soldiers to a battalion-level unit of about 650. Gen. David Petraeus, the senior commander in Iraq, noted that the turnabout was “striking.” Petraeus also said that USIP “is a great asset in developing stronger unity of effort between civilian and military elements of government.” [ 9 ]Hosted the Iraq Study Group
The U.S. government used USIP to help convene the bipartisan Iraq Study Group in 2006 that studied the conflict in Iraq and recommended ways forward. USIP facilitated the group’s trip to Iraq and hosted several meetings of the group. According to USIP, the group’s political neutrality made it an appropriate entity to host the group’s sensitive deliberations. The effort was undertaken at the urging of several members of Congress with agreement of the White House. A final report was released to Congress, the White House, and the public on December 6, 2006. [ 10 ]Convened the Genocide Prevention Task Force
In Fall 2008, U.S. Institute of Peace, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and the American Academy of Diplomacy jointly convened the Genocide Prevention Task Force to "spotlight genocide prevention as a national priority and to develop practical policy recommendations to enhance the capacity of the U.S. government to respond to emerging threats of genocide and mass atrocities." [ 10 ]
The 14-member task force, [ 10 ] co-chaired by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Defense Secretary William Cohen. outlined "a national blueprint to prevent genocide and mass atrocities." [ 11 ] In December 2008, the task force released its report "Preventing Genocide: A Blueprint for U.S. Policymakers" [ 12 ] detailing its recommendations and guidelines. The Economist called it a "report steeped in good sense." [ 13 ]
On August 4, 2011, U.S. President Barack Obama announced a proclamation suspending U.S. entry to individuals active in "serious human rights and humanitarian law violations" [ 14 ] and called for the creation of an Interagency Atrocities Prevention Board to review, coordinate and develop an atrocity prevention and response policy, and incorporate recommendations provided by the Genocide Prevention Task Force.Preventing electoral violence in Sudan
Ahead of Sudan’s April 2010 national elections – the first in the war-torn country since 1986 – and the January 2011 referendum, USIP staff traveled to some of the more unstable regions to help prepare people for the elections.
Amid heightened tensions, USIP experts focused on improving cultural awareness, citizenship skills, and training Sudanese on electoral violence triggers – all critical steps to ensure that the polls did not turn violent. The elections and referendum were held with relatively no bloodshed and were widely deemed a success. Building upon USIP’s successful electoral violence prevention training, USIP is implementing a series of violence prevention workshops throughout the country post-election and post-referendum.The Iran Primer
According to its website, The Iran Primer: Power, Politics, and U.S. Policy "offers a comprehensive but concise overview of Iran 's politics, economy, military, foreign policy, and nuclear program."
The Iran Primer convenes 50 experts to discuss Iran’s evolving relationship with the West and "chronicles U.S.-Iran relations under six American presidents and probes five options for dealing with Iran." The Iran Primer is edited by USIP Expert Robin Wright .
Iran Primer authors include:Additional USIP work
The institute has also served U.S. government officials and policymakers.
USIP organizes its work in accordance with the three phases of conflict: prevention, mediation and resolution, and post-conflict stabilization. The Institute is made up of three centers, with a fourth set of centers whose issues cross each phase of conflict.
Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention (CAP): [ 15 ] This team works where the threat to peace is most acute, conducting research and analysis and bringing together civil society groups, government leaders, academics and others for dialogue and to promote collaboration.
Center for Mediation and Conflict Resolution (CMCR): [ 16 ] USIP experts work on active conflicts, supporting training and education, developing tools for practitioners and identifying best practices for ending violence.
Center for Post-Conflict Peace and Stability Operations (PPSO): [ 17 ] This team works to advise newly-forming governments and institutions, promote and maintain community reconciliation, and help different groups on the ground to coordinate their efforts to maintain security and provide services.
Centers of Innovation (COI): [ 18 ] USIP identifies and applies best practices in seven topical areas whose issues cross each phase of conflict:
The Institute is governed by a Board of Directors, with an equal number of Republican and Democratic directors appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the Senate. [ 19 ] The president and executive officers of the Institute are in turn selected by the Board of Directors. [ 20 ]
Board of Directors
Members ex officio
Headquarters United States Institute of Peace, 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, D.C.
In March 2011, USIP moved into a new, permanent facility at the northwest corner of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Designed by Moshe Safdie Architects and Buro Happold. the LEED -certified building aims to serve as a dynamic symbol of America's commitment to peacebuilding. It includes a Global Peacebuilding Center for public education and an Academy for International Conflict Management and Peacebuilding.Academy
The Academy for International Conflict Management and Peacebuilding [ 21 ] is the education and training arm of the United States Institute of Peace. The Academy offers practitioner-oriented courses at the Institute’s headquarters in Washington and elsewhere, conducts conflict management workshops and training in conflict zones abroad, and serves as an education resource for professionals, teachers, and students around the world preparing to work in and on conflict zones.USIP National Peace Essay Contest
The USIP sponsors an annual national peace essay contest (NPEC) for high school students. The 2011-2012 topic addresses the impact of new media on peacebuilding and conflict management.Jennings Randolph Senior Fellowship
USIP provides scholars, policy analysts, policymakers, and other experts with opportunities to spend time in residence at the Institute to reflect and write on international peace and security challenges.
The Institute's Jennings Randolph Program awards fellowships to enable outstanding scholars, policymakers, journalists, and other professionals from around the world to research and reflect on international peace and security challenges. According to its website, the Insittute offers between eight and 12 fellowships each year. They are open to citizens of any nation.
The program is named after U.S. Senator Jennings Randolph who played a key role in the passage and enactment of the United States Institute of Peace Act in 1984.
Notable current and past USIP senior fellows include:Global Peacebuilding Center
According to its website, the Global Peacebuilding Center (GPC) is "designed to engage visitors in the work of the Institute and excite them about the role that they, as individuals, can play in the peacebuilding process."
The Global Peacebuilding Center aims to increase public understanding—especially among students and teachers—of international conflicts and nonviolent approaches that can be used to resolve them. It offers resources for educators, including a Peacebuilding Toolkit for Educators, along with onsite programs for school groups and an interactive website at http://buildingpeace.org .Works
Submission Deadline: June 15 2015
This annual essay contest is organized in an effort to harness the energy, imagination and initiative of the world’s youth in promoting a culture of peace and sustainable development. It also aims to inspire society to learn from the young minds and to think about how each of us can make a difference in the world. Marking the 70th anniversary of UNESCO, the theme of this year’s contest is “Building Peace in Our Hearts and Minds.”
THEME: “Building Peace in Our Hearts and Minds”
UNESCO was created 70 years ago to build peace in the minds of men and women as a way to attain lasting peace in the world. What does it mean to build peace in our hearts and minds? How does it relate to the world around us? Please illustrate your ideas with your personal experience.
1. Essays may be submitted by anyone up to 25 years old (as of June 15, 2015) in one of the following age categories:
a) Children (ages up to 14)
b) Youth (ages 15 – 25)
2. Essays must be 700 words or less in English, French, Spanish or German, or 1600 characters or less in Japanese, excluding essay title. Essays may be typed or printed.
3. Essays must have a cover page indicating
(1) category (Children or Youth) (2) essay title (3) your name (4) address (5) phone number (6) e-mail (7) nationality (8) age as of June 15, 2015 (9) gender (10) school name (if applicable) (11) word count.
Teachers and youth directors may submit a collection of essays from their class or group.
Please enclose a list of participants’ names, ages and the name and contact information of the submitting teacher or director.
* Entries missing any of the above information will not be considered.
* Please note that the organizer is unable to confirm receipt of essays or answer individual inquiries concerning contest results.
4. Entries may be submitted by postal mail or online.
* IMPORTANT: To send your essay online, you must go to the online registration page at www.goipeace.or.jp and follow the required steps.
5. Essays must be original and unpublished.
6. Essays must be written by one person. Co-authored essays are not accepted.
7. Copyright of the essays entered will be assigned to the organizer.
The following awards will be given in the Children’s category and Youth category respectively:
Honorable Mention: Certificate and gift … 25 entrants
* 1st prize winners will be invited to the award ceremony in Tokyo, Japan scheduled for December 2015. (Travel expenses will be covered by the organizer.)
* Additional awards (Recognition for Effort, Best School Award, School Incentive Award) will be given if applicable.
* All prize winners will be announced by the end of October 2015 on the Goi Peace Foundation web site (www.goipeace.or.jp). Certificates and gifts will be mailed to the winners in November 2015.
How to Send your Entry:
International Essay Contest c/o The Goi Peace Foundation
1-4-5 Hirakawacho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0093 Japan
For More Information:
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The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) organizes an annual essay contest that provides prize money that helps high school students pursue a college education. This contest is called the National Peace Essay Contest. The contest is open to students from grades 9 through 12. The aim of this contest is to ensure that students are aware of the importance of international peace and to find solutions to conflicts in the present day and in the future. Students who wish to take part in this essay contest should be aware of how to write essay for this type of contests, to be eligible for the scholarship.About the Contest
Each year more than 1,100 students submit their applications to take part in this essay contest. This contest requires students to submit an essay of more than 1,500 words on a provided topic. The topic for 2012-2013 essay contests was “Controlling the Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons”. Students wishing to apply should be nominated by a sponsor or contest coordinator within the school. Three awards are given at national level and 53 awards are given to the state winners of the individual states. The first place winner receives $10,000, the second place winner receives $5,000, and the third place winner receives $2,500. Every winner from the 53 states receives $1,000. The first place state winners are invited to the awards program in Washington. All expenses incurred during this trip are paid by the institute. Winners get the opportunity to meet government officials and leaders to widen their exposure.How to Write the Essay
As with international essay competitions. the National Peace Essay Contest has extremely strict rules and regulations. Therefore, you need to ensure that you meet these rules and regulations without fail. If you wish to be selected for this contest, you need to ensure that you are familiar with these requirements. Failure to meet the requirements means disqualification. The rules specify that your essay should contain an essay introduction complete with a thesis statement. You should provide your understanding of the topic clearly. Develop the arguments and assertions through sound research and analysis. All sources used should be acknowledged according to the specified writing style. Ensure that you know the style of writing before beginning the essay writing process. Provide a reference list and limit your essay number of words to 1,500.Importance of Taking Part in this Contest
This essay contest aims at increasing the students’ awareness of the importance of peace and the role the US plays in bringing about peace and solving conflicts. The five day awards program enables the winning students to meet political leaders and to see the world in a different light. The scholarship money received also makes a substantial difference to these students as it can help them with their higher education expenses.
If you are interested in taking part in the National Peace Essay Contest for next year, start practicing now. If you need assistance with your writing and require samples, you can visit our sample gallery where you will find a plethora of various types of essays that will educate you on how to write essay for the essay contest.Leave a Reply Cancel reply