Australian Research Council awards Discovery Grant to evaluate the use of force in UN peacekeeping
APR2P Centre Director Alex Bellamy and Research Fellow Charles Hunt have been awarded an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant for their project on Evaluating the Use of Force in UN Peacekeeping.
To date, there has been little systematic evaluation of the impact of the use of force for civilian protection mandates on both immediate protection goals and the wider goals of peacekeeping. This new project aims to assess the impact of the implementation of mandates to use force to protect civilians. Through a focused comparison of six missions (Central African Republic, Cote d'Ivoire, Mali, South Sudan, Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo), this project will identify what works, what doesn't, and the factors that determine these outcomes in order to identify ways of improving performance in the future.
This project aims to:
- Understand how mandates to use force in order to protect civilians are implemented in UN peacekeeping operations.
- Assess, through systematic comparative research based on a new analytical framework, the principal advantages and problems associated with ‘robust’ peacekeeping to protect civilians.
- Identify the extent to which the use of force by UN peacekeepers for civilian protection purposes aids, or hinders, the pursuit of sustainable peace.
- Identify practices that might reduce the downside risks and increase the effectiveness of civilian protection mandates.
- Provide recommendations for policy development and practice in relation to the use of force for civilian protection purposes in UN peacekeeping operations.
This project is the first systematic evaluation of the use of force to protect civilians in UN peacekeeping. It will generate new knowledge about military operations that will directly inform practitioners about the strategies and tactics that have best effect and the impact of these on wider mission goals. As such, it will make an evidence based contribution to thinking about military doctrine and tactics, integration policies in large multinational operations, and future planning.
The Discovery Project will be hosted by the School of Political Science and International Studies at The University of Queensland, with work expected to begin in early 2016.
Image credit: United Nations Photo. Dadaab, Kenya