How Nations Succeed: Reducing Extreme Violence


  • Rachel Kleinfeld


From El Salvador to Pakistan, high levels of internal violence characterize a growing number of poorly consolidated electoral democracies. Gangs, violent criminals, insurgents, and low-intensity conflict seem to entrench in many of these countries for decades. But some countries have managed to reduce extreme levels of violence. How did they succeed? And why were other, similarly situated countries unable to achieve similar success? Based on current and historical case studies, this upcoming book identifies continuities that suggest why these countries are so violent, and commonalities in the paths countries have taken to reduce violence. The findings are policy-focused and unexpected, even undesired. But they offer ideas to policy-makers based on the reality of what has worked, rather than the hopes of what might be achieved.


Speaker Bio:

Dr. Rachel Kleinfeld is a Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where she focuses on the rule of law, security, and governance. She previously served for nearly ten years as the founding CEO of the Truman National Security Project, a movement to promote U.S. security policies that advance stability, security, and human dignity worldwide, for which Time Magazine named her one of the top 40 under 40 political leaders in the United States. From 2011-2014 she was chosen by Hillary Clinton to serve on the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board, which advises the Secretary of State quarterly. Rachel has consulted on governance, security, and the rule of law for the U.S. and other governments, and international, nonprofit, and private organizations. She appears regularly in national and international media, and is the author of multiple books and articles, including Advancing the Rule of Law Abroad: Next Generation Reform, which was named one of the best foreign policy books of 2012 by Foreign Affairs magazine. She received her M. Phil and D. Phil from St. Antony’s College, Oxford, which she attended as a Rhodes Scholar, and her B.A. from Yale University. Rachel was born in a log cabin on a dirt road in her beloved Fairbanks, Alaska.