Blue helmets as targets: A quantitative analysis of rebel violence against peacekeepers, 1989-2003
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
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.
civil war, civil war dynamics, peacekeeping, rebellion, rebels
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-211013DOI: 10.1177/0022343313498764ISI: 000326012100004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-211013DiVA: diva2:665485