Promoting peace is something everyone endorses – from the United Nations to rich foundations to idealistic schoolchildren. But what is peace? How does it unfold? How can those who want to promote it help? In a book that is more revolutionary than its straightforward language belies, Séverine Autesserre wants to change how we answer each of these questions.
Peacekeeping was born in 1948, in the midst of the American civil rights and anti-colonial movements. The basic thrust of the idea was to resolve violent conflict without resorting to violence. In that sense, peacekeeping is unlike other forms of military intervention because of its foundational principles: consent, impartiality, and the use of force in self-defense (and later in defense of the mandate). These guiding principles continue to anchor peacekeeping today, even if some of the mechanisms and goals have changed over time.
In this article Marina Henke takes an interest in force generation processes in European Union (EU) peacekeeping operations. Even though the EU is the subject of the research, force generation in multilateral peacekeeping operations is indeed an overlooked phenomenon in general. As such, and beyond the carefully studied and researched case that Henke examines here, her findings and the network theory of force generation that she offers have great potential for further empirical testing and validation in the framework of the operations of other organizations such as the United Nations or NATO.