Civil wars pose some of the most difficult problems in the world today and the United Nations is the organization generally called upon to bring and sustain peace. Lise Morjé Howard studies the sources of success and failure in UN peacekeeping. Her in-depth 2008 analysis of some of the most complex UN peacekeeping missions debunks the conventional wisdom that they habitually fail, showing that the UN record actually includes a number of important, though understudied, success stories. Using systematic comparative analysis, Howard argues that UN peacekeeping succeeds when field missions establish significant autonomy from UN headquarters, allowing civilian and military staff to adjust to the post-civil war environment. In contrast, failure frequently results from operational directives originating in UN headquarters, often devised in relation to higher-level political disputes with little relevance to the civil war in question. Howard recommends future reforms be oriented toward devolving decision-making power to the field missions.
Award: 2010 Best Book Award from the Academic Council on the UN System (ACUNS)
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United Nations peacekeeping has proven remarkably effective at reducing the death and destruction of civil wars. But how peacekeepers achieve their ends remains under-explored. This book presents a typological theory of how peacekeepers exercise power. If power is the ability of A to get B to behave differently, peacekeepers convince the peacekept to stop fighting in three basic ways: they persuade verbally, induce financially, and coerce through deterrence, surveillance and arrest. Based on more than two decades of study, interviews with peacekeepers, unpublished records on Namibia, and ethnographic observation of peacekeepers in Lebanon, DR Congo, and the Central African Republic, this book explains how peacekeepers achieve their goals, and differentiates peacekeeping from its less effective cousin, counterinsurgency. It recommends a new international division of labor, whereby actual military forces hone their effective use of compulsion, while UN peacekeepers build on their strengths of persuasion, inducement, and coercion short of offensive force.
Award: 2021 Book Award, International Security Studies Section (ISSS), International Studies Association
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