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Does Peacekeeping Work? A Disaggregated Analysis of Deployment and Violence Reduction in the Bosnian War

Abstract

Cross-country empirical studies have reviewed many aspects of peacekeeping missions, but the findings on their effectiveness diverge. This article draws on recent empirical literature on civil wars using a disaggregated approach, addressing the effectiveness of peacekeeping by examining the local variation in UN troop deployment and violence in the Bosnian civil war. The relationship between the intensity of local violence and troop deployment across Bosnian municipalities and peacekeeping effects on the intensity of subsequent violence are examined with a matching approach. The results indicate that although peacekeeping ‘works’, since it is deployed where the most severe violence takes place, peacekeepers have little effect on subsequent violence. This is consistent with research highlighting the obstacles to UN missions in addressing their objectives.

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Department of Political Science, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan (email: Stefano.costalli@unicatt.it). The author thanks Lars-Erik Cederman, Govinda Clayton, Francesco N. Moro, Andrea Ruggeri, Kaat Smets, as well as the Editor of the British Journal of Political Science, Kristian Skrede Gleditsch, and four anonymous reviewers for helpful comments on previous versions of this article. An appendix and data replication sets are available at http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1017/S0007123412000634.

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Manuel Arellano Olympia Bover . 1995. Another Look at the Instrumental Variables Estimation of Error-Components Models. Journal of Econometrics 68:2951.

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Stefano Costalli Francesco Niccolò Moro . 2012. Ethnicity and Strategy in the Bosnian Civil War: Explanations for the Severity of Violence in Bosnian Municipalities. Journal of Peace Research 49 (6):801815.

Virginia Page Fortna Lise Morjé Howard . 2008. Pitfalls and Prospects in the Peacekeeping Literature. Annual Review of Political Science 11:283301.

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British Journal of Political Science
  • ISSN: 0007-1234
  • EISSN: 1469-2112
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-political-science
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