Enforcing the Peace: Learning from the Imperial Past

Overview

Anarchy Makes it Easy for terrorists to set up shop. Yet the international community has been reluctant to commit the necessary resources to peacekeeping-with devastating results locally and around the globe. This daring new work argues that modern peace-keeping operations and military occupations bear a surprising resemblance to the imperialism practiced by liberal states a century ago. Motivated by a similar combination of self-interested and humanitarian goals, liberal democracies in both eras have wanted to ...
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Enforcing the Peace: Learning from the Imperial Past

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Overview

Anarchy Makes it Easy for terrorists to set up shop. Yet the international community has been reluctant to commit the necessary resources to peacekeeping-with devastating results locally and around the globe. This daring new work argues that modern peace-keeping operations and military occupations bear a surprising resemblance to the imperialism practiced by liberal states a century ago. Motivated by a similar combination of self-interested and humanitarian goals, liberal democracies in both eras have wanted to maintain a presence on foreign territory in order to make themselves more secure, while sharing the benefits of their own cultures and societies. Yet both forms of intervention have inevitably been undercut by weak political will, inconsistent policy choices, and their status as a low priority on the agenda of military organizations. In more recent times, these problems are compounded by the need for multilateral cooperation-something even NATO finds difficult to achieve but is now necessary for legitimacy.

Drawing lessons from this provocative comparison, Kimberly Zisk Marten argues that the West's attempts to remake foreign societies in their own image-even with the best of intentions-invariably fail. Focusing on operations in Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, and East Timor in the mid- to late 1990s, while touching on both post-war Afghanistan and the occupation of Iraq, Enforcing the Peace compares these cases to the colonial activities of Great Britain, France, and the United States at the turn of the twentieth century. The book weaves together examples from these cases, using interviews Marten conducted with military officers and other peacekeeping officials at the UN, NATO, and elsewhere. Rather than trying to control political developments abroad, Marten proposes, a more sensible goal of foreign intervention is to restore basic security to unstable regions threatened by anarchy. The colonial experience shows that military organizations police effectively if political leaders prioritize the task, and the time has come to raise the importance of peacekeeping on the international agenda.

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Editorial Reviews

International Journal - Andrew Preston

It is a book that every student of world politics should read.

Journal of Peace Research - Kristoffer Liden

Enforcing the Peace is well written, combining high academic quality with popular relevance and accessibility.

Political Science Quarterly - David Edelstein

Marten offers an invaluable analysis of the challenges of contemporary peacekeeping.

Perspectives on Politics - Tony Smith

Instructive.

H-War - Satish P. Joshi

An important, useful, and timely contribution to our understanding of peacekeeping.

International Journal
It is a book that every student of world politics should read.

— Andrew Preston

Journal of Peace Research
Enforcing the Peace is well written, combining high academic quality with popular relevance and accessibility.

— Kristoffer Liden

Political Science Quarterly
Marten offers an invaluable analysis of the challenges of contemporary peacekeeping.

— David Edelstein

Perspectives on Politics
Instructive.

— Tony Smith

H-War
An important, useful, and timely contribution to our understanding of peacekeeping.

— Satish P. Joshi

Asia Times - David Isenberg

Brief and compelling book.

Foreign Affairs - Salaman Ahmed

Marten draws a sharp distinction between when the international community should assert a heavy hand and when it should tread lightly.

Asia Times
Brief and compelling book.

— David Isenberg

Foreign Affairs
Marten draws a sharp distinction between when the international community should assert a heavy hand and when it should tread lightly.

— Salaman Ahmed

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231129138
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 9/22/2004
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.36 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet the Author

Kimberly Zisk Marten is a professor of political science at Barnard College, Columbia University. Her previous books include Engaging the Enemy: Organization Theory and Soviet Military Innovation (1993), which won the Marshall Shulman Prize, and Weapons, Culture, and Self-Interest: Soviet Defense Managers in the New Russia. She lives in New York City.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

1 Peace, or change? 1
2 Peacekeeping and control 21
3 State interests, humanitarianism, and control 59
4 Political will and security 93
5 Military tasks and multilateralism 119
6 Security as a step to peace 145
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