swisspeace is an action-oriented peace research institute with headquarters in Bern, Switzerland. It aims to prevent the outbreak of violent conflicts and to enable sustainable conflict transformation. swisspeace sees itself as a center of excellence and an information platform in the areas of conflict analysis and peacebuilding. We conduct research on the causes of war and violent conflict, develop tools for early recognition of tensions, and formulate conflict mitigation and peacebuilding strategies. swisspeace contributes to information exchange and networking on current issues of peace and security policy through its analyses and reports as well as meetings and conferences. swisspeace was founded in 1988 as the “Swiss Peace Foundation ” with the goal of promoting independent peace research in Switzerland. Today swisspeace engages about 35 staff members. Its most important clients include the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Swiss National Science Foundation. Its activities are further assisted by contributions from its Support Association. The supreme swisspeace body is the Foundation Council, which is comprised of representatives from politics, science, and the government. FAST – Early Analysis of Tensions and Fact-Finding FAST, swisspeace's early warning system, was developed in 1998 for the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). In the meantime the Swedish, Austrian, Canadian, and US development agencies have joined what is now known as FAST International. FAST focuses on the early detection of critical political developments to allow for the prevention of violent conflicts or the mitigation of their consequences. FAST monitoring is, however, not limited to anticipating adverse developments: The system also highlights windows of opportunity for peacebuilding. Currently, FAST covers 25 countries in Central and South Asia as well as Africa and Europe. For more detailed information on FAST International, please refer to: www.swisspeace.org/fast.