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Lisa Hultman, Jacob D. Kathman and Megan Shannon: Peacekeeping in the Midst of War


Are United Nations peacekeeping missions effective at reducing violence in
civil wars? Although UN peacekeeping is a notable intervention tool, the
international community lacks systematic knowledge of how well it
mitigates civil war violence. Given that UN peacekeeping is increasingly
used in the midst of war, this is a significant research gap with direct policy
relevance. This book systematically explores if and how the capacity and
constitution of UN peacekeeping missions a!ect the amount of violence in
civil conflicts. It argues that peacekeeping e!ectiveness needs to be
assessed in relative terms, theorizing that more robust missions are
increasingly capable of addressing combatant incentives for employing
violence. The authors conduct large-n analyses of the number of
combatants and civilians killed during each month for all civil wars globally
from 1992 to 2014, measuring the capacity and constitution of UN missions
with unique data on the number and type of peacekeeping personnel
deployed. The analyses reveal that increasing UN military troop and police
personnel deployed to a conflict significantly reduces violence against
civilians, and increasing UN military troop personnel significantly mitigates
battle-related violence. By contrast, smaller missions and missions
composed of observers are not associated with reduced violence. The book
complements the large-n analyses with qualitative explorations of
peacekeeping mechanisms on violence in Côte d’Ivoire and the Democratic
Republic of Congo. The authors conclude that while peacekeeping is not
without detriments, it is an effective tool of violence reduction.

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Author Biography

Barbora Valíková

Barbora Valíková is a PhD candidate in Political Science at Central European
University, where she also works as a teaching assistant. Furthermore, she
pursues a minor in Social Science Methodology. Barbora graduated from
Masaryk University and as a part of working toward her degree, she also
studied at the University of Essex. In terms of research, Barbora focuses on
conflict prevention and resolution, peacebuilding, and set-theoretic methods. Her dissertation deals with the context-dependent impact of
territorial/personal autonomy and central power-sharing on ethnic war
recurrence and peace survival.