Join us for the next lecture in our Global Politics Seminar series.
Dr. Sabrina Karim (Cornell) will be discussing a paper entitled "Keeping the Peace after Peacekeeping: How Peacekeepers Resolve the 'Goldilocks Problem' in Post-Conflict States."
Abstract: Previous research has shown that rebuilding the coercive capacity of post-conflict states--creating a deterrent---contributes to longer-term peace. This research, however, does not account for the security dilemma that arises from increased militarization. We posit that peacekeeping missions are uniquely positioned to help rebuild the state's coercive capacity in a way that mitigates the security dilemma from increased militarization because they directly professionalize the buildup of coercive capacity and locals value professionalization, and peacekeeping missions, themselves, are often trustworthy institutions and this trust could transfer to their state building activities. As such, peacekeepers help resolve both deterrence failure and the security dilemmas that arise in post-conflict states, which could help create longer lasting peace. Using original data from the Institutional Changes to the Security Sector Dataset, we show that peace duration is longest when peacekeeping missions implement coercive capacity reforms. Moreover, as proof of concept that peacekeeping missions ameliorate the security dilemma, through an original survey experiment in rural Liberia, we show that (1) perceptions of security force professionalization; (2) information about UN-led professionalization of coercive capacity; and (3) positive perceptions of UNMIL all impact individuals' willingness to accept coercive capacity. Our results shed important light on the role peacekeepers play in state building activities in post-conflict states.