Published: April 3, 2020

Peacekeeping in the midst of War

About the book: Civil wars have caused tremendous human suffering in the last century, and the United Nations is often asked to send peacekeepers to stop ongoing violence. Yet despite being the most visible tool of international intervention, policymakers and scholars have little systematic knowledge about how well peacekeeping works. Peacekeeping in the Midst of War offers the most comprehensive analyses of peacekeeping on civil war violence to date. With unique data on different types of violence in civil wars around the world, Peacekeeping in the Midst of War offers a rigorous understanding of UN intervention by analyzing wars with and without UN peacekeeping efforts. It also directly measures the strength of UN missions in personnel capacity and constitution. Using large-n quantitative analyses and two case illustrations, the book finds that UN peacekeeping missions with appropriately constituted force capacities mitigate violence in civil wars. By analyzing the broader context of UN intervention effectiveness, the book concludes that peacekeeping is an effective way to reduce the human suffering associated with civil war.

About the author: Megan Shannon is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her research studies how international institutions influence human and interstate security. Her work has been published in the American Political Science ReviewAmerican Journal of Political Science, and Journal of Politics. She has received funding for her research from the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at Notre Dame and the Folke Bernadotte Academy of Sweden.Praise:

"Hultman, Kathman, and Shannon extend and sharpen our understanding of peacekeeping effectiveness thanks to this innovative book. Their bargaining theoretical framework highlights mechanisms of peacekeeping that can mitigate incomplete information and commitment problems among belligerents. They systematically and convincingly show that the capacity of a peace operation - deployment size - and its constitution - type of personnel - are crucial factors to shape conflict dynamics between combatants and saving civiliansâ lives. This book is a crystalline example of careful and relevant research. Peacekeeping in the Midst of War will become a reference point for scholars and, I truly hope, for policymakers working on peace operations and conflict resolution."

- Andrea Ruggeri, Professor of Political Science and International Relations, University of Oxford

"This work produces new findings that change the way we think about peacekeeping. It makes a strong case that increasing force capacity can lead to fewer civilian deaths. The authors also demonstrate that the composition of the peace operation (troops, observers, civilian police) influences outcomes; most previous research ignored this distinction. The book is as strong theoretically as it is empirically, with the latter relying on advanced data analysis and compelling case illustrations."

- Paul F. Diehl, Ashbel Smith Professor of Political Science, University of Texas at Dallas

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