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Does Blue Helmet heterogeneity influence peacekeeping effectiveness?

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Indonesia's UN Peacekeeper troops in Java

In 2016 alone, over 105,000 military personnel, from over 100 countries, were deployed across 16 international peace missions. While peace operations help save lives, very little is known about why this is the case and how UN peace operations can be made more efficient on the ground.

Andrea Ruggeri, Professor of Political Science and International Relations, co-leads this three-year study with Uppsala University into how the composition of peace missions affects effectiveness.

Researchers will explore four key ways in which peacekeeping personnel can be defined—namely military culture, identity, interests, and unit capabilities—and how they contribute to the effectiveness of the mission.

The project’s analytical framework fuses military sociology and military psychology within the field of peacekeeping studies. From this framework the team will extract and test hypotheses, using Lebanon, Central African Republic and Mali as real cases.

Applying strategies to the different scenarios, the project hopes to discover potential causes for peacekeeping success and failure at both the unit and mission levels. These findings promise to be of great policy significance and could help shed light on how to improve peacekeeping operations.

Project Outputs

Composing Peace: Mission Composition in UN Peacekeeping is about mission composition in peacekeeping operations and asks how diversity of mission composition influences the ability of a peace mission to keep the peace. This book focuses on four types of mission composition—diversity among peacekeepers, within the mission leadership, between mission leaders and peacekeepers, and between peacekeepers and locals. It is the first book to explore mission composition and its consequences, unpacking a concept hitherto unexplored and empirically combining quantitative and qualitative methods. It makes an important contribution to the fields of peace research, security studies, and international relations at large.

Principal Investigator

Chiara Ruffa

Co-Investigator

Professor Andrea Ruggeri

Vincenzo Bove (Wariwck)

Project Start / End

Apr 2020 - May 2021

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