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Blue helmets as targets: A quantitative analysis of rebel violence against peacekeepers, 1989-2003
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research.
2013 (English)In: Journal of Peace Research, ISSN 0022-3433, E-ISSN 1460-3578, Vol. 50, no 6, 707-720 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A majority of UN peacekeeping operations deployed to civil wars face violent attacks by rebel groups. To date, the academic study of this type of violence has been very limited. This article is a first attempt to fill this gap. In particular, I aim to examine why rebel groups fight against peacekeepers in some cases, while not in others. I argue that since peacekeepers are mostly impartial but not neutral, they become an actor in a conflict and tend to protect the weaker side from total defeat. This implies that on the one hand, relatively weaker rebels will seek protection from the government by peacekeepers. On the other hand, relatively stronger rebels will challenge the peacekeepers in order to restrict their behavior and/or make them withdraw. If stronger rebels are successful in targeting the peacekeepers and the peacekeepers withdraw or alter their behavior, a victory for these rebel groups should become easier. Using novel data on violence against UN peacekeepers, I find that indeed, stronger rebel groups are more likely to fight against peacekeepers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 50, no 6, 707-720 p.
Keyword [en]
civil war, civil war dynamics, peacekeeping, rebellion, rebels
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-211013DOI: 10.1177/0022343313498764ISI: 000326012100004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-211013DiVA: diva2:665485
Available from: 2013-11-20 Created: 2013-11-19 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Complex Conflicts: Causes and Consequences of Multiparty Civil Wars
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Complex Conflicts: Causes and Consequences of Multiparty Civil Wars
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Civil wars are inherently complex and often feature a myriad of actors, whose interactions influence the intensity, duration and outcome of the conflict. The larger the number of actors involved in a conflict, the more complex it gets. While civil wars are often portrayed as a dyadic interaction between the government and a single rebel group, this is far from the reality. Between 1946 and 2015, more than half of those countries that experienced civil wars saw two or more active rebel groups. Understanding multiparty conflicts better is important, as they are deadlier, more difficult to solve and more dangerous for civilians. This dissertation studies the causes and consequences of multiparty civil wars. It suggests that all actors in a conflict system with several actors influence each other, which impacts conflict dynamics. Four essays shed light on different aspects of these civil wars. Essay I studies the differences in formation rates of rebel groups across the states of Northeast India. It finds that potential rebel groups will only form when rebellion is perceived as a legitimate way to address grievances and when competition from already existing groups is not too high. Essay II looks at rebel group splintering: It focusses on relationships within rebel groups and finds that both vertical and horizontal relations affect the likelihood of splintering. Essay III studies violent interactions between rebel groups and investigates how different conflict dynamics influence interrebel fighting. It demonstrates that interrebel fighting is more likely when one of the rebel groups is more successful against the government and when negotiations are ongoing. Finally, Essay IV widens the scope of conflict actors by studying why rebels decide to fight against UN peacekeeping operations. It shows that only relatively strong rebel groups are likely to attack blue helmets. Taken together, this dissertation furthers our understanding of the causes and consequences of multiparty civil wars. It highlights the intricate web of relations that form between actors and that influence civil war dynamics. These relations matter not only for studying civil wars, but also for preparing negotiations or planning a peacekeeping mission.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Institutionen för freds- och konfliktforskning, Uppsala universitet, 2017. 44 p.
Series
Report / Department of Peace and Conflict Research, ISSN 0566-8808 ; 115
Keyword
rebel groups, civil war, UN peacekeeping, non-state violence, splintering, fragmentation, formation, dynamics
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Peace and Conflict Research
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-328463 (URN)978-91-506-2656-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-11-18, Sal IX, Universitetshuset, Biskopsgatan 3, Uppsala, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-10-26 Created: 2017-09-29 Last updated: 2017-10-26

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