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Fighting Serious Crimes: Strategies and Tactics for Conflict Affected Societies

Wednesday, October 4, 2017 / By: Colette Rausch

Fighting Serious Crimes provides us with reliable and analytical information covering many different facets of the problem of serious crimes. It also presents practical steps that we can take to build the rule of law in our countries.”

Surendra B. Shah, Additional Inspector General of the Nepal Police

“This handbook offers policymakers and practitioners an invaluable combination of breadth of coverage, pragmatic focus, and wealth of experience. Brimming with experience and brilliantly edited, this volume is truly a useful tool.”

Cherif Bassiouni, Emeritus Distinguished Research Professor of Law and President Emeritus, International Human Rights Law Institute, DePaul University College of Law

I am happy to announce the publication of a new book, Fighting Serious Crimes: Strategies and Tactics for Conflict Affected Societies. This work is a result of years of extensive collaboration between myself and over two dozen policymakers and practitioners working on the frontlines of serious crimes and conflict. It was such a privilege to work with an amazing and committed group of colleagues. 

For purposes of the book, “serious crimes” are defined by their impact. They are acts that can destabilize a conflict-affected society in a significant way, such as threatening peace and order or jeopardizing economic and political reform.  Organized crime, corruption, political, ethnic or religious violence – those are common forms of serious crimes.

Through our work in conflict-affected societies, those of us who put together the book witnessed firsthand the impact of serious crimes on people and communities seeking more peaceful and stable societies.  We shared the goal of producing a practical resource for those working to address the problem, including: practitioners and policymakers, police and other security forces, militaries, judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and human rights advocates. It’s for people working in government ministries, for the staff of UN missions working the field, and for people working for local and international non-governmental organizations.   The book gives readers a whole toolbox of practical ideas and suggestions including concrete examples from the field and checklists of things to consider and do.

We have several online resources available – including a podcast created by USIP’s Global Campus, author interview, and book trailer – to share for your viewing.

For more information or if you are interested in purchasing the book, please visit USIP’s bookstore.

About the book:

Serious crimes—such as violent extremism, political violence, organized crime, and corruption—fuel violent conflict and thwart peacebuilding efforts. Fragile states with weak institutions and governance are unable to stem the tide of threats that serious crimes pose to peace. The consequences are all too evident across the globe: countries engulfed in political turmoil, conflicts that spiral into devastating wars, and tides of refugees fleeing instability and violence.

Fighting Serious Crimes: Strategies and Tactics for Conflict-Affected Societies is an invaluable resource for anyone battling serious crimes in societies seeking to avoid conflict, to escape from violence, or to recover and rebuild. Packed with practical guidance, this volume includes real-world examples from more than twenty of today’s conflict zones, including Libya, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Colombia. All the major challenges are covered, from initial assessment to legal and institutional reform, investigation to prosecution, criminal intelligence to witness protection, the use of international tribunals to the role of international military forces. The volume draws on the firsthand experience of dozens of practitioners, distilling what they have learned into clearly organized and highly readable text that is supplemented by checklists and sidebars that help readers conduct assessments, identify international and regional legal instruments (such as treaties), and complete a host of other key tasks.


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