United Nations (UN) peacekeeping missions are complex social organizations, with soldiers coming from several countries. In this environment, effective communication and interactions with local populations are often difficult, and establishing essential local support can be jeopardized when soldiers are culturally distant from local communities. At the same time, however, when local populations perceive peacekeepers as sufficiently distant or unbiased, the promotion of cooperation is enhanced. We explore whether cultural distance—in terms of geography, language, and religion—and social distance—in terms of economy and institutions—between the peacekeepers and the local population improve the operational capabilities of a mission. We use monthly information on UN peacekeeping missions’ composition from 1990 to 2015. We find that higher geographic and cultural distances correspond to higher levels of violence against civilians and higher battle deaths, whereas institutional and economic differences have the opposite effects, although these are less robust.

Peacekeeping Effectiveness and Blue Helmets’ Distance from Locals

Bove V.
;
2019

Abstract

United Nations (UN) peacekeeping missions are complex social organizations, with soldiers coming from several countries. In this environment, effective communication and interactions with local populations are often difficult, and establishing essential local support can be jeopardized when soldiers are culturally distant from local communities. At the same time, however, when local populations perceive peacekeepers as sufficiently distant or unbiased, the promotion of cooperation is enhanced. We explore whether cultural distance—in terms of geography, language, and religion—and social distance—in terms of economy and institutions—between the peacekeepers and the local population improve the operational capabilities of a mission. We use monthly information on UN peacekeeping missions’ composition from 1990 to 2015. We find that higher geographic and cultural distances correspond to higher levels of violence against civilians and higher battle deaths, whereas institutional and economic differences have the opposite effects, although these are less robust.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/3718018
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