Welcome to the PeaceGame...

The Alternative to War

A ground-breaking new event that challenges world leaders to game out real solutions for peace.

FP gratefully acknowledges support from the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates, which made these initiatives possible.

About PeaceGame

Imagine what foreign policy would look like if world leaders approached the achievement of peace with the same energy, resources, and realism with which they approach preparing for wars. What if we viewed peace not as the cessation of hostilities, but rather as the achievement of the political, economic, social, environmental, and cultural factors that lead to stability, organic growth, and conflict resolution within – instead of apart from - a system of laws?

This is the premise of a new series of ventures by Foreign Policy in collaboration with the United States Institute of Peace. Twice a year – once in United States and once in the Middle East – PeaceGame brings together the leading minds in national security policy, international affairs, academia, business, and media to "game" out how we can achieve peace, with as much creativity and seriousness as we currently devote to war games. In so doing, we hope to redefine how leaders think about conflict resolution and the possibility of peace.

Live Stream

Watch the 2014 PeaceGame live stream here.


Participants in 2013’s Inaugural PeaceGame and 2014’s spring event in Abu Dhabi envisioned a path to a peaceful Syria.

The latest chapter, held at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, DC will be focused on containing violent extremism. This will be done through two scenarios focusing on the situation in Nigeria as a prism through which to explore issues there and how they may be relevant in other regions facing similar challenges. In addition, this PeaceGame will feature open roundtable conversations framing the discussion and seeking universal lessons in efforts to combat extremism.

How to Participate

You can email Grace Rooney, FP’s Vice President of Events, if you have questions about participating in PeaceGame at grace.rooney@foreignpolicy.com.


Friday December 5

Great Hall, United States Institute of Peace
2301 Constitution Avenue NW

  • 7:30-8:30AM
    Breakfast and Registration
  • 8:30-8:45AM
    Welcome and Introduction George Moose, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, United States Institute of Peace David Rothkopf, Editor & CEO, Foreign Policy
  • 8:45-9:45AM
    Framing Discussion: “The Economic Roots of Extremism” Dr. Pauline Baker, The Fund For Peace
    Dr. Raymond Gilpin, National Defense University
    Dr. Paul Lubeck, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies

    The morning panel will feature experts on the economic roots of extremism. We will discuss the rise of extremism and Boko Haram and the economic roots of extremism in Nigeria, including poverty, unemployment, and economic inequality. Drawing from the example of Nigeria, the discussion will explore how economic drivers of support for Boko Haram are similar (or different) to those that gave rise to radicalized groups in other countries (e.g. Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Somalia). The economic issues identified in the panel will be the centerpieces of the scenario to follow.
  • 9:45-10:00AM
    Break and Refreshments
  • 10:00-12:15AM-PM
    Scenario I: Exploring the Economic Drivers of Radicalization and Extremism The first scenario will focus on the economic roots of extremism in northern Nigeria. It will bring together experts playing the role of Nigerian and international actors who can play an active role in quelling the rise of Boko Haram via programs that focus on economic issues, such as job creation, entrepreneurship, or engaging the international and local private sector.
  • 12:15-12:45PM
    Lunch Break
  • 12:45-1:45PM
    Framing Discussion: “Exploring Political Drivers of Radicalization and Extremism” Dr. Mohammad Barkindo, Nigeria LNG Limited
    Dr. Martha Crenshaw, Center for International Security and Cooperation
    Stanford University Dr. Christopher Fomunyoh, National Democratic Institute
    Dr. John Paden, George Mason University

    The second panel will be a discussion on how political factors, including political marginalization, ethnic and tribal dynamics, or human rights abuses by the security forces are fueling the rise of extremism. It will be similar in format to the first panel with two experts on extremism from other parts of the world and Nigeria experts. The panelists will also focus on how several key regional dynamics, such as international Islamist movements or cross–border links between ethnic or tribal groups can fuel extremism among politically marginalized populations.
  • 1:45–4:00PM
    Scenario II: Exploring Political Drivers of Extremism and Radicalization The afternoon scenario will explore the political discord underlying the situation in Nigeria, examining issues around inclusion, marginalization, and security in the context of the 2015 election. At play is the tension between the democratic process and Boko Haram’s basic premise that democracy is a tool of western oppression and that an Islamic caliphate is the only system that will genuinely address their grievances.
  • 4:00-4:15PM
    Break and Refreshments
  • 4:15–5:00PM
    Concluding Discussion: “Lessons for the World: Opening New Fronts for Peacemakers” Ambassador Johnnie Carson, United States Institute of Peace
    Ambassador James Jeffrey, Washington Institute for Near East Policy
    H.E. Maqsoud Kruse, Hedayah, The International Center of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism

    In this last session, the Nigerian and extremism expert observers will identify the most important lessons of both scenarios, not just for Nigeria but for other specific situations in which they may be expert, including but not limited to, elsewhere in Africa, Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. They will give concrete ideas about what can be done to counter the rise of radicalized groups around the world.
  • 5:00-6:30PM
    Reception International Women’s Commons, U.S. Institute of Peace


Contact us

If you have questions regarding the event, please contact grace.rooney@foreignpolicy.com.


The FP and USIP PeaceGame partnership will include FP's new Peace Channel, a forum for cutting-edge analysis and reporting on how to build peace; PeaceGame, a counterpoint to Washington's traditional emphasis on war games; and an educational outreach initiative to engage young people who are the natural constituents of peace. Our goal is to reintroduce peace not only as an idea, but also as a pragmatic policy option.

FP gratefully acknowledges support from the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates, which made these initiatives possible.