Thematic Studies

Providing for Peacekeeping’s series of thematic papers examines key issues related to increasing and improving military and police contributions to UN peacekeeping.

No. 1: Broadening the Base of United Nations Troop- and Police-Contributing Countries (Alex J. Bellamy and Paul D. Williams) analyzes the practical steps needed to broaden the base of UN troop- and police-contributing countries. It identifies current trends, summarizes the main reasons why states contribute to UN missions, examines factors that might inhibit contributions, identifies potential future major contributors, and addresses some of the major challenges facing the UN as it seeks to find more high- quality peacekeepers.

No. 2: Rethinking Force Generation: Filling the Capability Gaps in UN Peacekeeping (Adam C. Smith and Arthur Boutellis) examines the UN force generation system, from planning through deployment. The authors identify key constraints to the current system in five areas: planning, communication, TCC/PCC selection, knowledge management, and performance/incentives. The paper recommends a set of technical proposals to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of UN force generation, as well as more fundamental reforms related to strategic planning and outreach, incentives, and mechanisms for greater accountability.

No. 3: Trends in Uniformed Contributions to UN Peacekeeping: A New Dataset, 1991-2012 (Chris Perry and Adam C. Smith) This brief paper describes the IPI Peacekeeping Database, relates a number of key findings from the data regarding overall trends in uniformed contributions to UN peacekeeping, and offers suggestions for future research using the data.  Among the key findings, the authors show that despite an increase in the number of countries contributing uniformed personnel to UN peacekeeping since 1990, contributions have become much less equally distributed. That is, there was a strong shift toward relatively fewer countries providing a relatively higher share of the total number of UN peacekeepers.

No. 4: Not Just a Numbers Game: Increasing Women’s Participation in UN Peacekeeping (Sahana Dharmapuri) argues that the focus on increasing the numbers of female uniformed personnel has obscured the equally important goal of integrating a gender perspective into the work of peace operations. Both goals have gone unmet due to three core issues: the lack of understanding about SCR 1325 and the UN policy on gender equality in peace operations; a gap in data and analysis about women’s participation in national security institutions globally and in UN peacekeeping in particular; and the prevalence of social norms and biases which promote gender inequality within the security sector.

No. 5: Deploying the Best: Enhancing Training for UN Peacekeepers (Alberto Cutillo) presents the main elements of the UN training strategy and evaluates the extent of recent progress in improving the training of UN peacekeepers.  The study also examines the role of UN member states in the training architecture through a case study of one international training center, the Center of Excellence for Stability Police Units (CoESPU) in Italy. The study identifies areas for further improvement in the cooperative effort to make training for UN peacekeeping more strategic and effective.

No. 6: Police in UN Peacekeeping: Improving Selection, Recruitment, and Deployment (William J. Durch and Michelle Ker) explores the challenges of selection, recruitment, and deployment of UN police. It looks at how the UN could broaden the available base of police-contributing countries and reviews different national models for making police-related expertise rapidly available internationally. The authors conclude with a number of recommendations for enhancing the effectiveness of selection and recruitment of future police peacekeepers, in order to achieve larger reserve cadres, better knowledge transfer in-mission, a consistent gender perspective in strategy and planning, and locally built alternatives to most formed-police units.

No. 7: The Political Economy of UN Peacekeeping: Incentivizing Effective Participation (Katharina P. Coleman) explores how UN financing mechanisms could incentivize timely state contributions of highly effective peacekeeping units willing to make full use of their capabilities. After reviewing the budget system and the disbursements made from it, the study identifies weaknesses in the financial incentive structure for troop- and police-contributing countries—from the way personnel and equipment costs are reimbursed to the structural obstacles preventing the UN from fully leveraging its resources to incentivize timely and effective contributions from states.

No. 8: Improving United Nations Capacity for Rapid Deployment (H. Peter Langille) assesses the UN’s capacity to rapidly deploy large peace operations by evaluating eight initiatives designed to reach this goal. It proposes the establishment of a UN “early mission headquarters” tool to expedite mission start-up and explores potentially promising partnerships for rapid deployment underway in Africa, Europe, and Latin America. Beyond individual initiatives, the author recommends realigning UN rapid deployment with the UN’s efforts to prevent conflict and protect civilians in order to broaden the constituency of support for a bolder, more comprehensive approach.