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Evaluating Peacekeeping Missions : A Typology of Success and Failure in International Interventions
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This book offers a new perspective on peace missions in intra-state wars, based on comparative field research.
When the government of a country collapses, states and international organizations are confronted with a situation in which one option is to intervene. Within 20 years, 11 peace operations took place in intra-state wars waged in three different African countries: Somalia, Sierra Leone and Liberia. In theoretical terms, this book puts forward a new definition of peace operation success based on two crucial elements: the (re)establishment of order and the accomplishment of the mandate. It is a conundrum of peace operations that the means for accomplishing mandates are not necessarily those that will contribute to achieving order. The focus on ‘blurry’ outcomes provides a clearer theoretical framework to understand what constitutes successful peace operations. The book outlines a new typology for better assessing and classifying peace operations, as failures, partial failures, partial successes, or successes. It explains the different outcomes of peace operations (based on the type of success/failure) by outlining the effect(s) of the combination of the key ingredients-strategy and the type of interveners.
Empirically, this book tests the saliency of the theoretical framework by examining the peace operations which took place in Somalia, Sierra Leone and Liberia. All three fall into what has been qualified as the ‘worst’ context for ‘transitional politics.’ However, this book refutes the pessimism about peace operations in these contexts and demonstrates that 1) even if the three countries represent challenging contexts, peace operations may succeed, partially or totally; and that 2) the diverse outcomes are better explained by the type of intervener and the strategy employed than by the type of context. It shows that, for a peace operation in an intra-state war, the adoption of a deterrence strategy works best for re-establishing order while the involvement of a great power facilitates the accomplishment of the mandate. The book thus shows how effective international peace operations can be, even in the toughest cases.
This book will be of much interest to students of peacekeeping, conflict resolution, civil wars, security studies and IR in general.