Noted: New publication from the Department using UCDP data

Lisa Hultman (2013) “UN Peacekeeping and Protection of Civilians: Cheap Talk or Norm Implementation?”, Journal of Peace Research 50(1): 59-73.



“Protection of civilians is now at the forefront of the responsibilities of the international community. There is a strong international norm that civilian populations should be protected from violence. But how committed is the United Nations to acting in line with this norm? I argue that the UN Security Council (UNSC) has an interest in demonstrating that it takes violence against civilians seriously. Through a broadened security agenda including human security, the legitimacy and the credibility of the UNSC hinges on its ability to act as a guarantor of civilian protection. As a consequence, the UN is more likely to deploy peace operations in conflicts where the warring parties target the civilian population. The argument is supported by a statistical examination of all internal armed conflicts in 1989–2006. The results show that the likelihood of a UN peace operation is higher in conflicts with high levels of violence against civilians, but this effect is mainly visible after 1999. This year marked a shift in the global security agenda and it was also when the UNSC first issued an explicit mandate to protect civilians. Conflicts with high levels of violence against civilians are also more likely to get operations with robust mandates. This suggests that the UNSC is not just paying lip service to the protection norm, but that it actually acts to implement it.”


About uppsalaconflictdataprogram
Published by UCDP (Uppsala Conflict Data Program), the world's leading resource on conflict data. Posts are not reflective of the official views of either the Uppsala Conflict Data Program, the Department of Peace and Conflict Research or Uppsala university. Views posted reflect only the opinions and ideas of each respective signatory.

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