Making War and Building Peace: United Nations Peace Operations

Princeton University Press
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Making War and Building Peace examines how well United Nations peacekeeping missions work after civil war. Statistically analyzing all civil wars since 1945, the book compares peace processes that had UN involvement to those that didn't. Michael Doyle and Nicholas Sambanis argue that each mission must be designed to fit the conflict, with the right authority and adequate resources. UN missions can be effective by supporting new actors committed to the peace, building governing institutions, and monitoring and policing implementation of peace settlements. But the UN is not good at intervening in ongoing wars. If the conflict is controlled by spoilers or if the parties are not ready to make peace, the UN cannot play an effective enforcement role. It can, however, offer its technical expertise in multidimensional peacekeeping operations that follow enforcement missions undertaken by states or regional organizations such as NATO. Finding that UN missions are most effective in the first few years after the end of war, and that economic development is the best way to decrease the risk of new fighting in the long run, the authors also argue that the UN's role in launching development projects after civil war should be expanded.
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About the author

Michael W. Doyle is Harold Brown Professor of Law and International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. Nicholas Sambanis is Associate Professor of Political Science at Yale University.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Apr 22, 2011
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Pages
424
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ISBN
9781400837694
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / International Relations / Diplomacy
Political Science / International Relations / General
Political Science / Peace
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Does the United States have the right to defend itself by striking first, or must it wait until an attack is in progress? Is the Bush Doctrine of aggressive preventive action a justified and legal recourse against threats posed by terrorists and rogue states? Tackling one of the most controversial policy issues of the post-September 11 world, Michael Doyle argues that neither the Bush Doctrine nor customary international law is capable of adequately responding to the pressing security threats of our times.

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After explaining how the UN can again play an important role in enforcing international law and strengthening international guidelines for responding to threats, he describes the rare circumstances when unilateral action is indeed necessary. Based on the 2006 Tanner Lectures at Princeton University, Striking First includes responses by distinguished political theorists Richard Tuck and Jeffrey McMahan and international law scholar Harold Koh, yielding a lively debate that will redefine how--and for what reasons--tomorrow's wars are fought.

In the last fifteen years, the number, size, and scope of peacekeeping missions deployed in the aftermath of civil wars have increased exponentially. From Croatia and Cambodia, to Nicaragua and Namibia, international personnel have been sent to maintain peace around the world. But does peacekeeping work? And if so, how? In Does Peacekeeping Work? Virginia Page Fortna answers these questions through the systematic analysis of civil wars that have taken place since the end of the Cold War. She compares peacekeeping and nonpeacekeeping cases, and she investigates where peacekeepers go, showing that their missions are crucial to the most severe internal conflicts in countries and regions where peace is otherwise likely to falter.

Fortna demonstrates that peacekeeping is an extremely effective policy tool, dramatically reducing the risk that war will resume. Moreover, she explains that relatively small and militarily weak consent-based peacekeeping operations are often just as effective as larger, more robust enforcement missions. Fortna examines the causal mechanisms of peacekeeping, paying particular attention to the perspective of the peacekept--the belligerents themselves--on whose decisions the stability of peace depends. Based on interviews with government and rebel leaders in Sierra Leone, Mozambique, and the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh, Does Peacekeeping Work? demonstrates specific ways in which peacekeepers alter incentives, alleviate fear and mistrust, prevent accidental escalation to war, and shape political procedures to stabilize peace.

Does the United States have the right to defend itself by striking first, or must it wait until an attack is in progress? Is the Bush Doctrine of aggressive preventive action a justified and legal recourse against threats posed by terrorists and rogue states? Tackling one of the most controversial policy issues of the post-September 11 world, Michael Doyle argues that neither the Bush Doctrine nor customary international law is capable of adequately responding to the pressing security threats of our times.

In Striking First, Doyle shows how the Bush Doctrine has consistently disregarded a vital distinction in international law between acts of preemption in the face of imminent threats and those of prevention in the face of the growing offensive capability of an enemy. Taking a close look at the Iraq war, the 1998 attack against al Qaeda in Afghanistan, and the Cuban Missile Crisis, among other conflicts, he contends that international law must rely more completely on United Nations Charter procedures and develop clearer standards for dealing with lethal but not immediate threats.

After explaining how the UN can again play an important role in enforcing international law and strengthening international guidelines for responding to threats, he describes the rare circumstances when unilateral action is indeed necessary. Based on the 2006 Tanner Lectures at Princeton University, Striking First includes responses by distinguished political theorists Richard Tuck and Jeffrey McMahan and international law scholar Harold Koh, yielding a lively debate that will redefine how--and for what reasons--tomorrow's wars are fought.

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