Issues in Third-Party Intervention Research and the Role of Destruction in Conflict

Interest in peacekeeping has blossomed since the end of the cold war. However, academics have only recently begun to study third-party interventions in conflict. We review the flourishing new literature on third-party intervention and point to areas of research in which economic theory may be useful to enhance scholars’ and laymen’s understanding. Our review highlights three aspects of the literature on thirdparty intervention. First, what are the goals of third parties who intervene and do they achieve those goals? Second, we review academic work concerning United Nations interventions. And third, paying attention to the recent extension of theory that models conflict as destructive, we suggest that this theory might be usefully grafted onto the theory of third-party intervention.