Cristin-prosjekt-ID: 2058372
Sist endret: 21. april 2020 13:59

Cristin-prosjekt-ID: 2058372
Sist endret: 21. april 2020 13:59

Using force to protect civilians in UN peace operations: a comparative analysis


Stian Kjeksrud
ved Seksjon for internasjonal virksomhet ved Forsvarets høgskole

prosjekteier / koordinerende forskningsansvarlig enhet

  • Stabsskolen ved Forsvarets høgskole



Internasjonal politikk • Demografi • Kvinne- og kjønnsstudier • Sosial- og arbeidspsykologi


Fredsoperasjoner • Beskyttelse av sivile • Tvangsbruk • Fredsbevarende operasjoner • Sivil militære relasjoner • Tvangsdiplomati



  • Anvendt forskning
  • Faglig utviklingsarbeid
  • Pedagogisk utviklingsarbeid
  • Bidragsprosjekt
  • Doktorgradsprosjekt


Start: 30. juni 2019 Slutt: 30. september 2021

Beskrivelse Beskrivelse


Using force to protect civilians in UN peace operations: a comparative analysis

Vitenskapelig sammendrag

This book is motivated by two research gaps.

First, while protecting civilians from physical violence is a priority task for almost every military UN peacekeeper, we still know little about how they have fared — in particular situations, across time, and in different UN missions — when force was used to protect.

Second, we are mostly unaware of the causal conditions leading to protection successes. These knowledge-gaps are largely attributable to the lack of updated event data suitable for systematically analyzing outcome variations in these operations across time and place.

To start bridging these gaps, this monograph addresses two related research questions: 
i) to what degree have UN military troops provided protection to civilians under imminent physical threat in Africa between 1999 and 2017? 


ii) what determines UN military troops’ ability to protect civilians from physical violence?

First, by building a new dataset capturing core characteristics of 200 military protection operations at the tactical and operational levels in ten UN missions across Africa from 1999 to 2017, the monograph starts bridging the gap of missing systematic event data. Besides describing the core characteristics of an understudied phenomenon, the empirical mapping also facilitates an evaluation of variations in outcomes of military efforts to protect across time and locations. In response to the first research question, the outcome estimations indicate that UN troops in Africa have used force to protect civilians effectively on 76 occasions, alongside an almost similar number of failures.

Second, the study explores causal conditions that foster successful outcomes when UN troops used force to protect. Rather than looking exclusively at failures, it seeks to understand cases with more fortunate outcomes – military operations in which UN troops did protect civilians from imminent threats.

Through a mixed-methods research design it finds that, once UN peacekeepers decide to intervene militarily, the ability to understand perpetrators’ motives and modus operandi for attacking civilians – and matching particular threats with tailored and timely military responses – often determine the extent to which UN troops achieve successful protection outcomes.  

Supported by three qualitative case studies from the DRC, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic the monograph also unearths other potential causal condition candidates, that facilitates UN troops ability to match the perpetrators of violence, including: host-nation support, force mobility and projection; the ability to escalate when deterrence fails; good troop-to-perpetrator ratios; and operational art.

While these conditions may be case-specific, they do provide stepping stones for future explorations of generalizable conditions that increase the UN’s ability to protect.  



Stian Kjeksrud

  • Tilknyttet:
    ved Seksjon for internasjonal virksomhet ved Forsvarets høgskole
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