This book 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. Authors 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 undertakien 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.
Keeping the Peace explores the new multidimensional role that the United Nations has played in peacemaking, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding over the last few years. By examining the paradigm-setting cases of Cambodia and El Salvador, and drawing lessons from these UN ‘success stories’, the book seeks to point the way toward more effective ways for the international community to address conflict in the post-Cold War era. This book is especially timely given its focus on the heretofore amorphous middle ground between traditional peacekeeping and peace. It provides the first comparative, in-depth treatment of substantial UN activities in everything from the demobilization and reintegration of forces, the return of refugees, the monitoring of human rights, and the design and supervision of constitutional, judicial, and electoral reforms, to the observation and even organization and conduct of elections, and the coordination of support for economic rehabilitation and reconstruction of countries torn by war.