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      Peacekeepers Without Helmets: How Violence Shapes Local Peacebuilding by Civilian Peacekeepers

      1 , 2
      Comparative Political Studies
      SAGE Publications

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          Abstract

          While United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operations are increasingly deployed during ongoing violent conflict, they are also increasingly staffed with civilian personnel tasked with peacebuilding at the local level. How does violent conflict affect civilian peacekeepers’ peacebuilding efforts locally? Shifting the research focus from military to civilian peacekeepers, we argue that the latter have various incentives and the capacity to concentrate their local-level peacebuilding efforts in violence-affected areas. We test our argument using novel, georeferenced data on peacebuilding by “Civil Affairs” personnel of the peacekeeping operation in the Central African Republic. Consistent with our expectation, violence positively correlates with civilian peacekeepers’ peacebuilding interventions both within and across localities. Furthermore, mediation analyses suggest that this correlation is not merely due to greater UN military deployments in violence-affected areas. Instrumental variable regression supports a causal interpretation: violence leads to more efforts by civilian peacekeepers. These findings inform expectations and assessments of peacekeeping effectiveness.

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          Most cited references69

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          Unpacking the Black Box of Causality: Learning about Causal Mechanisms from Experimental and Observational Studies

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Comparative Political Studies
                Comparative Political Studies
                SAGE Publications
                0010-4140
                1552-3829
                May 29 2023
                : 001041402311787
                Affiliations
                [1 ]ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
                [2 ]University of St. Gallen and University of Zurich, St. Gallen, Switzerland
                Article
                10.1177/00104140231178740
                8b2a2676-92e2-497e-9ec2-b33aa75e6f4e
                © 2023

                https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

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