GPS Presents- Professor Jake Kathman- Cut Short? United Nations Peacekeeping and Civil War Duration to Negotiated Settlements

February 16, 2018
4500 WW Posvar Hall from 12:00-1:30

Cut Short? United Nations Peacekeeping and Civil War Duration to Negotiated Settlements

 

Abstract: 

 

While much literature on peacekeeping seeks to determine the effect of UN intervention on post-conflict peace processes, most peacekeeping operations (PKOs) are deployed to active conflicts. The limited research on peacekeeping in active civil conflicts suggests that robust PKOs reduce hostilities. Yet, if PKOs serve to extend conflict duration, even lowered hostilities can yield greater destruction over time. We thus explore the effect of peacekeeping on conflict duration. We argue that PKOs with larger troop deployments are better able to increase the cost of combat, improve information sharing between belligerents, and provide security guarantees, thus reducing the time to negotiated resolutions. Using fine-grained data on monthly peacekeeping personnel commitments and observations of ongoing conflict between combatants, we examine how variations in mission deployments affect the success of UN peacekeeping in ending civil conflicts. As expected, our findings indicate that larger troop deployments shorten war duration to negotiated resolution.