Keeping Peace while Under Fire: The Causes, Characteristics and Consequences of Violence against Peacekeepers

  • Datum:
  • Plats: Sal IX, Universitetshuset, Biskopsgatan 3, Uppsala
  • Doktorand: Lindberg Bromley, Sara
  • Om avhandlingen
  • Arrangör: Institutionen för freds- och konfliktforskning
  • Kontaktperson: Lindberg Bromley, Sara
  • Disputation

Peacekeepers are widely viewed as being at growing risk of direct and deliberate violence. This dissertation seeks to advance the understanding of such violence, studying its causes, characteristics and consequences.

Attacks are recorded in many and diverse contexts, targeting interventions deployed by both the United Nations and other organisations. This dissertation seeks to advance the understanding of such violence, studying its causes, characteristics and consequences. The impact of deliberate violence against peacekeepers can be severe; it often extends past those immediately affected and impacts interveners’ ability to accomplish their aims. As a topic of scientific inquiry, however, violence against peacekeepers has only recently seen a growth in interest, and systematic study has so far been sparse. This dissertation makes a number of theoretical and empirical contributions to this emerging area of research. The dissertation contains four individual essays. To set the stage and provide foundations for further studies, Essay I specifies key concepts and maps the research field to date. It promotes a wider, and arguably more theoretically appropriate, conceptualisation of violence against peacekeepers than used in earlier studies. Essay II presents new, systematically collected event data on violence against UN and non-UN peacekeepers deployed to conflict-affected countries in sub-Saharan Africa between 1989 and 2009. Patterns from the data demonstrate that, while widely prevalent, violence against peacekeepers is not ubiquitous to peacekeeping and displays considerable variation within and across interventions. Drawing on this novel data, Essay III provides one of the first systematic studies on the time-varying determinants of rebel attacks on peacekeepers, showing its occurrence to be closely linked to rebel performance on the battlefield. Finally, Essay IV explores how operating in a challenging security environment can affect peacekeepers’ ability to perform core mission functions, drawing on the case of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). The analysis illustrates how such an environment may expose and further constrain already limited capabilities and willingness for robust and armed action in UN peacekeeping operations. Taken together, the essays advance our understanding of the causes, characteristics and consequences of violence against peacekeepers.