Beyond Keeping Peace: United Nations Effectiveness in the Midst of Fighting
39 Pages Posted: 15 Aug 2013
Date Written: 2013
UN peacekeeping missions are no longer intended solely to keep peace. Since the Cold War, most UN operations have been deployed to active conflicts. Yet, we know little about their ability to manage ongoing violence. We provide the first broad empirical examination of operational effectiveness in reducing battlefield violence in civil wars, arguing that peace operations more effectively reduce violence when deployed with larger numbers of personnel and equipped with armed troops. Examining post-Cold War civil conflicts in Africa, we employ unique data on monthly deployments of peacekeeping personnel and combine these with data on conflict violence. We find that while armed military troops effectively reduce combat hostilities between the belligerents, UN police and observers do not. Considering that the UN is often criticized for ineffectiveness, these results have important implications: if appropriately composed, UN peacekeeping reduces human suffering.
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