Conflict Prevention: Toward More Effective Multilateral Strategies
December 5, 2011
How well do multilateral institutions perform in preventing armed conflict? What challenges exist in tapping into their full potential, and how can these stumbling blocks be overcome? This paper analyzes the implications of recent changes in the capabilities, working methods, and normative framework of multilateral institutions for the prospects of successful conflict prevention. Following a brief overview of the concept and politics of multilateral conflict prevention, the paper identifies timely and accurate early warning and assessment as a precondition for effective preventive action. The paper subsequently addresses perennial obstacles, current shortcomings, and potential paths for two sets of instruments for multilateral conflict prevention, namely preventive diplomacy and structural prevention. Coordination within and between governments and international organizations undertaking conflict prevention is identified as a particularly salient challenge. Three case studies of recent and ongoing efforts to prevent conflict in Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, and Kyrgyzstan are presented in an annex to the paper.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 32
Keywords: conflict prevention, United Nations, armed conflict, civil war, preventive diplomacy, structural prevention, early warning, conflict management, peacebuilding, international organizations, international institutionsworking papers series
Date posted: December 9, 2011
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