The Promise of Peacekeeping: Protecting Civilians in Civil Wars

34 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2017

See all articles by Allison Carnegie

Allison Carnegie

Columbia University - Department of Political Science

Christoph Mikulaschek

Harvard University, Department of Government

Date Written: February 1, 2017

Abstract

Do peacekeepers protect civilians in civil conflict? Securing civilian safety is a key objective of contemporary peacekeeping missions, yet whether these efforts actually make a difference on the ground is widely debated. This paper argues that because peacekeeping forces often need to maintain close ties with host governments, peacekeepers reduce civilian fatalities inflicted by rebels, but not those caused by governments. To test our claim, we overcome common problems of endogeneity and selection bias by using a novel natural experiment. Specifically, we leverage exogenous variation in which countries hold power in the United Nations Security Council to show that states that wield more power send more peacekeepers to their preferred locations, and that these peacekeepers in turn help to protect civilians from rebel factions. Using new data on the location of each conflict event, we also provide support for the mechanisms at work.

Keywords: civil war, conflict, instrumental variable, international institutions, United Nations, peacekeeping, natural experiment

Suggested Citation

Carnegie, Allison and Mikulaschek, Christoph, The Promise of Peacekeeping: Protecting Civilians in Civil Wars (February 1, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2909822 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2909822

Allison Carnegie (Contact Author)

Columbia University - Department of Political Science ( email )

1331 International Affairs Bldg.
420 W. 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States

Christoph Mikulaschek

Harvard University, Department of Government ( email )

1737 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.christophmikulaschek.com

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
106
rank
248,121
Abstract Views
366
PlumX Metrics