When Do UN Peacekeeping Operations Implement Their Mandates?

33 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2020 Last revised: 2 Nov 2020

See all articles by Robert Blair

Robert Blair

Brown University; Brown University - Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Jessica Di Salvatore

University of Warwick

Hannah Smidt

University of Zurich

Date Written: September 27, 2020

Abstract

Under what conditions do UN peacekeeping operations (PKOs) implement the tasks in their mandates? Contemporary PKOs are expected to fulfill increasingly fragmented mandates in active conflict zones. Drawing on principal-agent and constructivist accounts of the performance of international organizations, we argue that these two trends---increasingly fragmented mandates, increasingly implemented amidst violence---hinder PKOs from pursuing mandated tasks, undermining their legitimacy in the eyes of the Security Council, troop-contributing countries, and host-governments. Combining new datasets on PKOs activities and mandates in Africa (1998-2016) and using instrumental variables and two-way fixed effects models, we find that that mandate fragmentation is negatively correlated with mandate implementation, especially for peacebuilding tasks. Ongoing violence is also negatively correlated with the implementation of peacebuilding, but not with security-related tasks. We show that this is likely due to the offsetting effects of violence perpetrated by governments and rebels, as PKOs are better equipped to respond to the latter.

Keywords: peacekeeping; international organizations; implementation

Suggested Citation

Blair, Robert and Di Salvatore, Jessica and Smidt, Hannah, When Do UN Peacekeeping Operations Implement Their Mandates? (September 27, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3529177 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3529177

Robert Blair

Brown University ( email )

Box 1860
Providence, RI 02912
United States

Brown University - Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

111 Thayer Street
Box 1970
Providence, RI 02912-1970
United States

Jessica Di Salvatore (Contact Author)

University of Warwick ( email )

University of Warwick
Social Science Building
Coventry, Warwickshire CV47AL
United Kingdom

Hannah Smidt

University of Zurich ( email )

Rämistrasse 71
Zürich, CH-8006
Switzerland

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
178
Abstract Views
764
rank
207,800
PlumX Metrics