Global Conflict Tracker

Global Conflict Tracker

2015 Preventive Priorities Survey: Takeaways


The Center for Preventive Action (CPA) carried out the 2015 PPS in three stages:

Soliciting of PPS Contingencies 

CPA used a variety of social media platforms as well as CPA’s blog on to solicit suggestions for contingencies to include in the 2015 survey. With the help of the Council on Foreign Relations’ in-house regional experts, CPA distilled the hundreds of suggestions into thirty contingencies deemed both plausible over the next twelve months and also potentially harmful to U.S. interests. 

Polling of Experts

The survey was sent to more than 2,200 government officials, foreign policy experts, and academics. Respondents were asked to estimate the relative likelihood and potential effect of each of the contingencies on U.S. interests according to defined criteria.

Categorization of Contingencies

The survey results were uniformly scored and the contingencies subsequently sorted into one of three preventive priority tiers.

About the Center for Preventive Action

The Center for Preventive Action seeks to help prevent, defuse, or resolve deadly conflicts around the world and to expand the body of knowledge on conflict prevention. It does so by creating a forum in which representatives of governments, international organizations, nongovernmental organizations, corporations, and civil society can gather to develop operational and timely strategies for promoting peace in specific conflict situations. The center focuses on conflicts in countries or regions that affect U.S. interests, but may be otherwise overlooked; where prevention appears possible; and when the resources of the Council on Foreign Relations can make a difference. The center does this by:

  • Issuing Council Special Reports to evaluate and respond rapidly to developing conflict situations and formulate timely, concrete policy recommendations that the U.S. government, international community, and local actors can use to limit the potential for deadly violence.
  • Engaging the U.S. government and news media in conflict prevention efforts. The center’s staff members meet with administration officials and members of Congress to brief on CPA’s findings and recommendations; facilitate contacts between U.S. officials and critical local and external actors; and raise awareness among journalists of potential flashpoints around the globe.
  • Building networks with international organizations and institutions to complement and leverage the Council’s established influence in the U.S. policy arena and increase the impact of CPA’s recommendations.
  • Providing a source of expertise on conflict prevention to include research, case studies, and lessons learned from past conflicts that policymakers and private citizens can use to prevent or mitigate future deadly conflicts.

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Copyright © 2014 by the Council on Foreign Relations ® Inc.

This publication was made possible by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The statements made and views expressed are solely the responsibility of the authors.