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date: 07 October 2022

Research Findings on the Evolution of Peacekeepinglocked

Research Findings on the Evolution of Peacekeepinglocked

  • Theodora-Ismene Gizelis, Theodora-Ismene GizelisDepartment of Government, University of Essex
  • Han DorussenHan DorussenDepartment of Government, University of Essex
  •  and Marina PetrovaMarina PetrovaDepartment of Government, University of Essex

Summary

Peacekeeping has evolved both in its focus and in setting increasingly ambitious goals. In effect, the referent object of peacekeeping—what and whose peace is to be kept—has changed. The peace that is to be kept has evolved from a negative conception of peace to an increasingly positive understanding of peace. Similarly, the object of the peace has shifted from the global to the national and ultimately to the local. In effect, this has raised the bar for peacekeeping.

Peacekeeping research has mirrored these changes in the expectations and practice of peacekeeping, and the (in)effectiveness of peacekeeping has remained a constant concern. The evaluation has shifted from the authorization and organization of peacekeeping missions to the impact of peacekeepers in avoiding the recurrence of conflict and ultimately to the ability of peacekeepers to change the situation on the ground as well as the interaction between peacekeepers and the local population.

Research on peacekeeping has become increasingly methodologically sophisticated. Originally, qualitative case studies provided a largely critical evaluation of the effect of peacekeeping. Large-n quantitative studies have reassessed where peacekeepers are deployed and who provides peacekeepers. Controlling for selection bias and possible endogeneity, quantitative research finds that peacekeeping makes the recurrence of conflict less likely. Disaggregate data on peacekeeping confirm that peacekeeping contains local conflict and protects local civilian populations. At the same time, recent research suggests that peacekeepers have had notable success in positively affecting conflict societies by means of security sector reform and building state capacity. There is also preliminary evidence that peacekeeping is able to support democratization and economic development.

Subjects

  • Contentious Politics and Political Violence

Updated in this version

Citations and bibliography expanded and updated. Text amended to reflect new findings in the literature.

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