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Power in Peacekeeping
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Book description

United Nations peacekeeping has proven remarkably effective at reducing the death and destruction of civil wars. But how peacekeepers achieve their ends remains under-explored. This book presents a typological theory of how peacekeepers exercise power. If power is the ability of A to get B to behave differently, peacekeepers convince the peacekept to stop fighting in three basic ways: they persuade verbally, induce financially, and coerce through deterrence, surveillance and arrest. Based on more than two decades of study, interviews with peacekeepers, unpublished records on Namibia, and ethnographic observation of peacekeepers in Lebanon, DR Congo, and the Central African Republic, this book explains how peacekeepers achieve their goals, and differentiates peacekeeping from its less effective cousin, counterinsurgency. It recommends a new international division of labor, whereby actual military forces hone their effective use of compulsion, while UN peacekeepers build on their strengths of persuasion, inducement, and coercion short of offensive force.


‘The concept of power is often seen as antithetical to peacekeeping, but Howard makes a compelling case that there is much to learn when we combine the two. This book will make the reader think about peacekeeping in new ways.'

Paul F. Diehl - Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning and Ashbel Smith Professor of Political Science, University of Texas, Dallas

‘Power in Peacekeeping provides an empirically grounded theory of how peacekeepers actually exercise power. It offers a new typology that explains how peacekeeping differs from other forms of intervention and makes an important contribution to the use of force debate. The clear causal framework makes it easy for others to test and further develop the model, and for peacekeepers to use it to plan, manage and assess operations.'

Cedric de Coning - Effectiveness of Peace Operations Network (EPON), Norsk utenrikspolitisk institutt (NUPI) Center for UN and Global Governance

'Lise Morjé Howard has written a much-needed and timely intervention in the study of peacekeeping. We have lots of studies of why and how peacekeeping fails. We have fewer studies that provide good news … fewer still that explore how peacekeeping works, when it works. Howard points to the role of power, but a power that falls well short of actual force. … A major contribution to our understanding of peacekeeping.'

Michael Barnett - University Professor of International Affairs and Political Science, George Washington University

'In this important book, Howard articulates a useful typology of the ways in which peacekeepers can influence the peacekept, illustrating the mechanisms of persuasion, inducement, and coercion. As she argues, peacekeeping and counter-insurgency operate in very different ways, and blurring the lines between them will only undermine the effectiveness of peacekeeping.'

Page Fortna - Harold Brown Professor of US Foreign and Security Policy, Columbia University, New York

'If you want to understand how UN peacekeeping operations work on the ground, why they succeed, and why they fail, this is the book to read. The research is exhaustive; the insights telling.'

Robert J. Art - Christian A. Herter Professor of International Relations, Brandeis University, Massachusetts

‘[Howard] provides in-depth qualitative empirical material on UN operations deployed in Namibia, Lebanon, and the Central African Republic. This book is also a strikingly effective (and all-too-rare) example of using ethnographic methods to establish cause-effect relationships.’

Andrea Ruggeri Source: Journal of Peace Research

'This is one of the most important books ever written on UN peacekeeping. It succeeds in the somewhat rare endeavor of being both a classic - in its clear and lucid engagement with previous literature - and highly innovative, thereby breaking new ground.'

Chiara Ruffa Source: H-Diplo

‘In this brilliant book, Lise Morjé Howard performs critical conceptual housekeeping and crisp theorizing for how we study peace operations - an area where theories tend to be imported from conflict research. She picks intellectual fights with different approaches and challenges their assessments of peacekeeping according to causal mechanisms based on military security guarantees and explanations on local ownership. She shows that the question of whether peacekeeping works has been clearly and systematically answered and scrutinizes a crucial question: how does peacekeeping work?’

Andrea Ruggeri Source: Journal of Peace Research

‘… the book’s main contribution is the helpful typology of three types of power and their respective casual mechanisms that explain how UN peacekeeping works.’

Paul D. Williams Source: International Peacekeeping

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