Peace Operations Seen From Below
UN Missions and Local People
‘An innovative piece of work which analyses a facet of peacekeeping that is often ignored or underplayed … Pouligny provides a perspective that is both detailed and wide-ranging.’ –– Dr Claire Heristchi, Portsmouth University
Cambodia, Somalia, Mozambique, Bosnia, Haiti, Sierra Leone—all have been the subjecct of interventions by armed UN units sent to stabilise societies riven by political and ethnic antagonism. Apart from anecdotal reportage, little is known or has been investigated about how local inhabitants in these and other cities interact with and respond to peacekeepers in their midst. Most studies of post-conflict situations focus on political elites, the demobilisation of armed groups and the question of whether externally determined criteria for state reconstruction have been met. In Peace Operations Seen From Below, Béatrice Pouligny argues that much of what is being re- built in societies emerging from war – or in some cases what is continuing to be destroyed – often lies in the ‘ordinary’ daily lives of both local populations and the staff of UN missions. These on-the-ground realities are often overlooked by outsiders, yet they may prove to be as important as political negotiations at the ‘centre’, debates in the UN Security Council or hearings before an International Criminal Court. Central to Pouligny’s study is the key role played by local interlocutors. Her close analysis of several UN interventions, based on first hand observation of how local people intermingle with UN soldiery and civilians, sheds light on a neglected but crucial dimension of international peace enforcement.
Béatrice Pouligny is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for International Studies and Research (CERI - Sciences Po) and a professor at IEP (the Institute of Political Science). She has worked with the UN and NGOs in various theatres.
‘An innovative piece of work which analyses a facet of peacekeeping that is often ignored or underplayed. […] Pouligny has conducted a project on perceptions and strategies “from below” through her work in peacekeeping, providing the reader with a perspective that is both detailed and wide-ranging.’ –– Dr Claire Heristchi, Portsmouth University
‘Fills a gap in the literature on U.N. peacekeeping. It looks not only at U.N. peace operations and what they face, but more specifically focuses on the interlocutors in the mission countries and the local societies where these missions are present. This is an under-researched area and this book is therefore very important in this respect. Its publication will enhance the discourse on U.N. peace operations and what they face […] and establishes a new way of thinking about peace operations.’ –– Dr Eirin Mobekk, University of Bradford