This paper examines the conviction that robust peacekeeping—a strong and forceful peacekeeping force—works better than traditional UN peacekeeping mechanisms in reducing human rights violations, specifically, civilian killing, in areas of deployment. I seek to analyze both the operational and internal characteristics of UN peacekeeping operations in an effort to understand the hindrances to achieving the objective of protecting human rights. Specifically, the study examines the contributions of key structural variables, including the mission type, weapon type, rules of engagement, mission strength, and major power participation controlling for other intervening variables using negative binomial and logit regression models. The empirical results indicated that the core variable ―robust peacekeeping‖ has impact on civilian killings, namely that it lowers civilian killings. The key factor seems to be strength of mission size associated with lower numbers of civilian killings. Great power participation, peacekeeper diversity and affinity with the host state, along with identity conflicts and at least proto-democratic status of the host state appear to be harbingers of potentially higher deliberate civilian killing totals. The findings thus have both theoretical and policy implications in the field of peacekeeping.

Author Bio(s)

Kofi Nsia-Pepra is an Assistant Professor of Political Science (International Relations/Comparative Politics) at Ohio Northern University. Kofi was a former Air Force Officer of the Ghana Air Force (1990-1999). He served with the United Nations‘ Assisted Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR). He also served with the Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) as the Ghana Air Force detachment commander during the Sierra Leonean War. His research interests are conflict analysis and resolution, international security, human rights, international organizations and governance. His article, ―Official and Illicit Arms Transfer Data in Southeast Asia‖ was published in the Journal of Peacebuilding and Development in 2009. Email: k-nsia-pepra@onu.edu.


Brahimi Report (formally the Report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations), human rights violations, robust peacekeeping, traditional peacekeeping, UN peacekeeping mechanisms

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