Peacekeeping, Peacemaking, and Patronage Politics in Non-State Conflicts

UN military and civilian staff support a local peace process

Non-state conflict between communal groups, armed militias, or armed opposition groups is pervasive in locations where contemporary peacekeeping operations are deployed. Peacekeepers are typically deployed to support the resolution of major national-level conflicts, but once they deploy, they are often confronted with a variety of locally-driven conflicts between non-state armed groups in addition to these overarching international or national-level conflicts they were mandated to address. Accordingly, understanding how peacekeepers contribute to the termination and resolution of non-state conflicts is of crucial importance.

However, relatively little attention has been given to the role of peacekeeping staff in conflict management efforts in non-state conflicts. Most research to date focuses on how peacekeeping influences fighting between government forces and rebel groups in the context of civil wars.

In order to fill this gap in research, the central question that guides this book is as follows: how effective are peacekeeping missions in contributing to the termination and resolution of non-state conflicts? This book looks at both military and diplomatic functions of UN peacekeeping staff to assess how peacekeeping operations contribute to the termination and resolution of non-state conflicts.

Another major contribution of this book is that it takes the national context in which non-state conflicts take place into account. UN peacekeeping operations are typically deployed in countries in which patronage-based systems are dominant. UN peace operations become enmeshed in these patronage-based systems when they deploy. This book looks at how the effectiveness of peacekeeping efforts is conditional on the existence of patron-client relations between national-level elites and non-state conflict parties.

I use a mixed methods strategy to examine the effectiveness of peacekeeping efforts in the context of patronage networks. A quantitative analysis, based on a unique dataset on peacekeeping efforts, peace processes, and patron-client connections assesses the impact of peacekeeping support on the prospects for non-state conflict resolution. A series of case studies examine the causal mechanisms driving the quantitative findings.

Allard Duursma
Allard Duursma
Assistant Professor

My research interests include mediation, peacekeeping and the links between patronage politics and political order.