Does Peacekeeping Work?: Shaping Belligerents' Choices after Civil War

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Overview

"Virginia Page Fortna has written a compelling and courageous book—compelling in the reinforcing comparisons that it makes between aggregate data and case-based research, and courageous in its first-person interviews, conducted with those who perpetrated as well as ended civil wars. The book bridges the worlds of the high-flying 'quant' who sees only forests of data, and the ground-based case researcher knee-deep in political leaf litter. Drawing particular strength from the oft-ignored perspective of those on whose behalf peacekeepers do their work, Fortna's convergent analyses advance our understanding not only of how peacekeeping works but why."—William J. Durch, Henry L. Stimson Center

"Does Peacekeeping Work? is well crafted, tightly argued, intelligent, and thorough. Fortna makes her case for peacekeeping as a successful tool very well. Germane to the important issues, this book will be widely cited and widely employed."—Robert I. Rotberg, Harvard University

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Editorial Reviews

Perspectives on Politics
This book is an outstanding illustration of how research should be carried out: careful conception of the research problem, scrupulous data analysis, and subtle examination of case studies to better understand and delineate the causal foundations of the results. . . . Scholars and policymakers should pay close attention to these findings, and to her more detailed discussions of how the various capacities of peacekeeping missions can best be tailored to the conditions of specific conflicts.
— Jack A. Goldstone
International Journal
Students of politics have much to learn from the author's seamless integration of current international debates into [her] work.
— Nicholas Gammer
International Journal on World Peace
Does Peacekeeping Work is readable, rigorous, and covers an important topic in the fields of international relations and conflict resolution. The text would be an excellent choice for graduate-level research methods classes to demonstrate the use of both qualitative and quantitative techniques in a problem-driven format; it also would work well in courses on international conflict management or international relations more broadly.
— Maia Carter Hallward
Choice - N. Entessar
In this well-researched and solidly argued book, Fortna examines the casual relationship between peacekeeping and durable peace in a number of different settings. . . . Using quantitative analysis and qualitative case analysis of conflicts of Bangladesh, Mozambique, and Sierra Leone, the author provides detailed information on international peacekeeping.
Review of International Organizations - David E. Cunningham
This is an excellent book which addresses an interesting, important, and understudied issue. . . . Does Peacekeeping Work? is a very important study and a model of social science research that makes a major contribution and that should be read, and assigned, widely. Peacekeeping is an important topic with academic and policy relevance, and scholars interested in working in this area should start with Fortna's book.
Perspectives on Politics - Jack A. Goldstone
This book is an outstanding illustration of how research should be carried out: careful conception of the research problem, scrupulous data analysis, and subtle examination of case studies to better understand and delineate the causal foundations of the results. . . . Scholars and policymakers should pay close attention to these findings, and to her more detailed discussions of how the various capacities of peacekeeping missions can best be tailored to the conditions of specific conflicts.
International Journal - Nicholas Gammer
Students of politics have much to learn from the author's seamless integration of current international debates into [her] work.
International Journal on World Peace - Maia Carter Hallward
Does Peacekeeping Work is readable, rigorous, and covers an important topic in the fields of international relations and conflict resolution. The text would be an excellent choice for graduate-level research methods classes to demonstrate the use of both qualitative and quantitative techniques in a problem-driven format; it also would work well in courses on international conflict management or international relations more broadly.
From the Publisher
"In this well-researched and solidly argued book, Fortna examines the casual relationship between peacekeeping and durable peace in a number of different settings. . . . Using quantitative analysis and qualitative case analysis of conflicts of Bangladesh, Mozambique, and Sierra Leone, the author provides detailed information on international peacekeeping."—N. Entessar, Choice

"This is an excellent book which addresses an interesting, important, and understudied issue. . . . Does Peacekeeping Work? is a very important study and a model of social science research that makes a major contribution and that should be read, and assigned, widely. Peacekeeping is an important topic with academic and policy relevance, and scholars interested in working in this area should start with Fortna's book."—David E. Cunningham, Review of International Organizations

"This book is an outstanding illustration of how research should be carried out: careful conception of the research problem, scrupulous data analysis, and subtle examination of case studies to better understand and delineate the causal foundations of the results. . . . Scholars and policymakers should pay close attention to these findings, and to her more detailed discussions of how the various capacities of peacekeeping missions can best be tailored to the conditions of specific conflicts."—Jack A. Goldstone, Perspectives on Politics

"Students of politics have much to learn from the author's seamless integration of current international debates into [her] work."—Nicholas Gammer, International Journal

"Does Peacekeeping Work is readable, rigorous, and covers an important topic in the fields of international relations and conflict resolution. The text would be an excellent choice for graduate-level research methods classes to demonstrate the use of both qualitative and quantitative techniques in a problem-driven format; it also would work well in courses on international conflict management or international relations more broadly."—Maia Carter Hallward, International Journal on World Peace

Choice
In this well-researched and solidly argued book, Fortna examines the casual relationship between peacekeeping and durable peace in a number of different settings. . . . Using quantitative analysis and qualitative case analysis of conflicts of Bangladesh, Mozambique, and Sierra Leone, the author provides detailed information on international peacekeeping.
— N. Entessar
Review of International Organizations
This is an excellent book which addresses an interesting, important, and understudied issue. . . . Does Peacekeeping Work? is a very important study and a model of social science research that makes a major contribution and that should be read, and assigned, widely. Peacekeeping is an important topic with academic and policy relevance, and scholars interested in working in this area should start with Fortna's book.
— David E. Cunningham
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691136714
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Virginia Page Fortna is associate professor of political science at Columbia University. She is the author of "Peace Time: Cease-Fire Agreements and the Durability of Peace" (Princeton).

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Read an Excerpt

Does Peacekeeping Work? Shaping Belligerents' Choices after Civil War
By Virginia Page Fortna Princeton University Press
Copyright © 2008
Princeton University Press
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-691-13671-4


Chapter One Peacekeeping and the Peacekept

QUESTIONS, DEFINITIONS, AND RESEARCH DESIGN

The Questions

IN COUNTRIES WRACKED BY CIVIL WAR, the international community is frequently called upon to deploy monitors and troops to try to keep the peace. The United Nations, regional organizations, and sometimes ad hoc groups of states have sent peacekeepers to high-profile trouble-spots such as Rwanda and Bosnia and to lesser-known conflicts in places like the Central African Republic, Namibia, and Papua New Guinea. How effective are these international interventions? Does peacekeeping work? Does it actually keep the peace in the aftermath of civil war? And if so, how? How do peacekeepers change things on the ground, from the perspective of the "peacekept," such that war is less likely to resume? These are the questions that motivate this book.

As a tool for maintaining peace, international peacekeeping was only rarely used in internal conflicts during the Cold War, but the number, size, and scope of missions deployed in the aftermath of civil wars has exploded since 1989. Early optimism about the potential of the UN and regional organizations to help settle internal conflicts after the fall of the Berlin Wall was soon tempered by the initial failure of the mission inBosnia and the scapegoating of the UN mission in Somalia. The United States in particular became disillusioned with peacekeeping, objecting to anything more than a minimal international response in war-torn countries (most notoriously in Rwanda). Even in Afghanistan and Iraq, where vital interests are now at stake, the United States has been reluctant to countenance widespread multilateral peacekeeping missions. But the demand for peacekeeping continues apace. In recent years, the UN has taken up an unprecedented number of large, complex peacekeeping missions, in places such as the Congo, Liberia, Haiti, and Sudan.

Through these ups and downs, scholars and practitioners of peacekeeping have debated the merits of the new wave of more "robust" and complex forms of peacekeeping and peace enforcement developed after the Cold War, and even the effectiveness of more traditional forms of peacekeeping. However, this debate is hampered by shortcomings in our knowledge about peacekeeping. Despite a now vast literature on the topic, very little rigorous testing of the effectiveness of peacekeeping has taken place. We do not have a very good idea of whether it really works. Nor do we have an adequate sense of how exactly peacekeeping helps to keep the peace.

Casual observers and many policymakers opposed to a greater peacekeeping role for the international community can point to the dramatic failures that dominate news coverage of peacekeeping, but rarely acknowledge the success stories that make less exciting news. Meanwhile, most analysts of peacekeeping draw lessons from a literature that compares cases and missions, but with few exceptions, examines only cases in which peacekeepers are deployed, not cases in which belligerents are left to their own devices. This literature therefore cannot tell us whether peace is more likely to last when peacekeepers are present than when they are absent. Surprisingly little empirical work has addressed this question. Moreover, the few studies that do address it, at least in passing, come to contradictory findings. Some find that peacekeeping makes peace last longer, some find that it does not, and some find that only some kinds of peacekeeping are effective. A closer look is clearly needed.

The literature on peacekeeping is also surprisingly underdeveloped theoretically. Causal arguments about peacekeeping are therefore often misinformed. Opponents of intervention dismiss peacekeeping as irrelevant, or worse, counterproductive. Proponents, on the other hand, simply list the functions of peacekeeping (monitoring, interposition, electoral oversight, etc.), describing its practices with little discussion of how exactly the presence of peacekeepers might influence the prospects for peace. Little theoretical work has been done to specify what peacekeepers do to help belligerents maintain a cease-fire, or how peacekeepers might shape the choices made by the peacekept about war and peace.

Further, most existing studies of peacekeeping focus almost exclusively on the perspective of the peacekeepers or the international community. In discussions of mandates, equipment and personnel, relations among national contingents or between the field and headquarters, and so on, it is easy to lose track of the fundamental fact that it is the belligerents themselves who ultimately make decisions about maintaining peace or resuming the fight. Only by considering the perspective of the peacekept-their incentives, the information available to them, and their decision making-can we understand whether and how peacekeeping makes a difference.

In short, our current understanding of peacekeeping suffers from three gaps: we know too little about whether or how much peacekeepers contribute empirically to lasting peace, we lack a solid understanding of the causal mechanisms through which peacekeepers affect the stability of peace, and we know too little about the perspective of the peacekept on these matters. This project aims to rectify these shortcomings. The book draws on theories of cooperation and bargaining in international relations to develop the causal mechanisms through which peacekeepers might affect the decisions belligerents make about maintaining peace or returning to war. It assesses the empirical effects of peacekeeping by comparing (both quantitatively and qualitatively) civil conflicts in which peacekeeping was used to conflicts in which peacekeepers were not deployed. And it evaluates the causal mechanisms of peacekeeping by drawing on the perspective of the belligerents themselves.

Two simple questions drive this study: does peacekeeping work? And if so, how? Answering these questions is not so simple, however. To know whether peace lasts longer when international personnel are present than when belligerents are left to their own devices, we need to compare both types of cases. But we also need to know something about where peacekeepers tend to be deployed. Unlike treatments in a controlled laboratory experiment, peacekeeping is not "applied" to war-torn states at random. If the international community follows the common policy prescriptions to send peacekeepers when there is strong "political will" for peace and where the chances for success are high (that is, to the easy cases), then a simple comparison of how long peace lasts with and without peacekeeping would misleadingly suggest a very strong effect for peacekeeping. If, on the other hand, peacekeepers are sent where they are most needed-where peace is otherwise hardest to keep, then a simple comparison would lead us to conclude, again incorrectly, that peacekeeping is useless or even counterproductive. To address whether and how peacekeeping works, I must first answer the question of why peacekeepers deploy to some cases and not others. The first empirical step in this project must therefore be to examine where peacekeepers go. The book therefore addresses three questions: Where do peacekeepers go? Do they make peace more likely to last? Through what causal mechanisms do they operate?

This project aims to have a direct impact on the policy debates over peacekeeping. It furthers our understanding of why some conflicts draw in international peacekeepers while others do not. It goes on to provide clear evidence that this policy tool is indeed extremely effective at maintaining peace, substantially reducing the risk of another war. And it spells out how peacekeeping works, so that more effective strategies for maintaining peace can be developed by the international community.

Scope and Definitions

This study encompasses civil wars, those with peacekeeping and those without, in the post-Cold War period. Peacekeeping during the Cold War was used primarily in interstate conflicts. In the few exceptional cases of peacekeeping in civil wars prior to 1989 (for example, Cyprus and the Congo), the primary purpose was less to prevent the resumption of war than to contain the conflict to prevent direct superpower intervention. Examining civil wars that ended before 1989 thus sheds little additional light on analysis of peacekeeping as a tool for maintaining peace, while restricting the time period covered in the study allows me to focus more attention on the cases covered. Much of the theory proposed and tested here would apply to interstate conflicts as well as to conflicts within states. But maintaining peace after civil conflicts presents particular challenges, as recent enemies generally have to disarm, agree to a single legitimate government and a unified army, and live alongside one another. Some of the causal mechanisms discussed here, for example, managing electoral processes in an impartial manner, maintaining law and order, and helping former belligerents transform into political parties, apply only to civil conflicts. Wars within states have become the most common type of war, and create almost all of the current need for peacekeeping in the international system. The burgeoning literature on peacekeeping has brought with it a proliferation of definitions, distinctions, and taxonomies of the concept. Some clarification of what I mean by the term is thus in order. I use the term peacekeeping to refer to the deployment of international personnel to help maintain peace and security in the aftermath of war. All peacekeeping missions involve military personnel, though they may or may not be armed, and many missions include substantial civilian components as well. This study encompasses peacekeeping performed by the UN and by regional organizations or ad hoc groups of states. While it is possible that a unilateral intervention could perform a peacekeeping role, peacekeeping has in practice been a multilateral activity. The multilateral nature of peacekeeping arguably helps to ensure its impartiality and to bolster its legitimacy, both in the eyes of the peacekept and in the eyes of the rest of the international community. This definition includes both operations based on the traditional principles of peacekeeping, specifically the consent of the belligerents themselves and the defensive use of force, as well as peace enforcement missions that relax these conditions considerably. Some studies use the term peace operations to encompass both consent-based and enforcement missions, reserving the term peacekeeping solely for the former. I use the term peacekeeping to encompass both types of mission, in part because it allows me to refer to those keeping the peace as subjects-peacekeepers, rather than the awkward "peace operators," but also because much of what I have to say about the effect of peacekeeping on the duration of peace is applicable to both types of mission. When I need to distinguish between them, I refer to consent-based peacekeeping, and to peace enforcement missions. As shorthand, I also sometimes follow the UN lingo, using the terms Chapter VI and Chapter VII missions, respectively, though these are technically misnomers. Until recently, it was rare for the mandates of peacekeeping missions to make explicit reference to the UN Charter, and even Chapter VII-mandated missions rely to some extent on the consent of the belligerents. While I use the term peacekeeping quite broadly, this study does not examine all types of peace operations. I do not assess the effects of humanitarian intervention during warfare, for example. And because I am interested in the effect of peacekeeping on the duration of peace, I study cases in which a cease-fire has been reached, however tenuous and temporary it might prove to be. This means that the peacemaking, or more accurately, the cease-fire-making, efforts of the international community are not examined in this study. I do not assess the effects of preventive deployment to keep war from breaking out in the first place, nor the effects of mediation missions sent when the fighting is still raging, nor military interventions that attempt to bring about a cessation of hostilities. Many of these latter missions stay on once a cease-fire is in place, and these peacekeeping missions are included in this study. But I am examining their effects on whether peace lasts, not on whether peace is achieved in the first place. The latter is an important topic in its own right, but it is beyond the scope of this work. In other words, this is not a study of all of the effects of peace operations; it is a study of the effects of peace operations on only one of their possible goals-that is, maintaining peace. Similarly, I do not include in this study international efforts to wage war in the name of collective security, as in Korea or the 1991 Gulf War. Of the range of operations covered by the term peacekeeping, not all missions are alike, of course. This study distinguishes among four types of peacekeeping operation (the first three of which are consent-based, Chapter VI missions, while the fourth is Chapter VII missions):

Observation missions are small deployments of military and sometimes civilian observers to monitor a cease-fire, the withdrawal or cantonment of troops, or other terms of an agreement, such as elections. They are unarmed, and their main tasks are simply to watch and report on what they see. The peacekeepers deployed in Angola in 1991 (UNAVEM II) or in the Western Sahara (MINURSO) are examples, as are the missions led by New Zealand and then Australia in Papua New Guinea in 1997-98 (the Truce Monitoring Group and Peace Monitoring Group, respectively).

Interpositional missions (also sometimes referred to as traditional peacekeeping missions) are somewhat larger deployments of lightly armed troops. Like observer missions, they are meant to monitor and report on compliance with an agreement, but they also often serve to separate forces by positioning themselves in a buffer zone or to help demobilize and disarm military factions. Examples include the UN missions in Angola in 1994 (UNAVEM III) and in Guatemala in 1996 (MINUGUA).

Multidimensional missions consist of both military and civilian components helping to implement a comprehensive peace settlement. In addition to the roles played by observer or interpositional missions, they perform tasks such as the organizing of elections, human rights training and monitoring, police reform, institution building, economic development, and so on. The missions in Namibia (UNTAG), El Salvador (ONUSAL), and Mozambique (ONUMOZ) fall in this category.

Peace enforcement missions involve substantial military forces to provide security and ensure compliance with a cease-fire. They have a mandate to use force for purposes in addition to self-defense. Examples include the West African and UN missions in Sierra Leone in 1999 (ECOMOG and UNAMSIL) and NATO missions in Bosnia (IFOR and SFOR). Some peace enforcement missions are also multidimensional in nature, including substantial military force as well as many of the civilian components of multidimensional missions. Most Chapter VII missions do enjoy the consent of the belligerents, at least at the beginning of the mission. But unlike Chapter VI missions, they are not obligated to depart should they lose that consent. Other peace enforcement missions enjoy the consent of one side (most often the government), but not necessarily the other. In other words, Chapter VII missions may have the consent of the belligerents, but it is not a necessary condition for their operation.

In the empirical analyses that follow, I pay particular attention to the difference between consent-based Chapter VI missions and Chapter VII enforcement missions because both the selection process by which they deploy to some cases and not others, and the causal mechanisms through which they operate may be very different.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Does Peacekeeping Work? by Virginia Page Fortna
Copyright © 2008 by Princeton University Press. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Table of Contents

LIST OF FIGURES, MAPS, AND TABLES ix
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS xi
CHAPTER ONE: Peacekeeping and the Peacekept Questions, Definitions, and Research Design 1
CHAPTER TWO: Where Peacekeepers Go I Hypotheses and Statistical Evidence 18
CHAPTER THREE: Where Peacekeepers Go II Evidence from the Cases 47
CHAPTER FOUR: A Causal Theory of Peacekeeping 76
CHAPTER FIVE: Peacekeeping Works Evidence of Effectiveness 104
CHAPTER SIX: How Peacekeeping Works Causal Mechanisms from the Perspective of the Peacekept 127
CHAPTER SEVEN: Conclusion and Implications 172
APPENDIX A: The Data 181
APPENDIX B: Predicting the Degree of Difficulty of Maintaining Peace 187
REFERENCES 191
INDEX 207

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