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Lecture 26

POLI 2403 Lecture Notes - Lecture 26: Humanitarian Intervention, Gestation, New Imperialism

Political Science
Course Code
POLI 2403

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Peacekeeping and Security
Factors in changing peacekeeping operations since the end of WWII
Cold war/ post- cold war shift in balance of power
Shifting types of conflict (interstate vs. Intrastate wars, non-state actors/terrorist groups)
WMD (after WWII), particularly atomic, chemical, and biological weapons
Increasing shift away from charter principle of non interference (shouldn't interfere in domestic
issues of states)
Growing norm of Right to Protect (R2P)- move away from the idea that security is state based,
towards a principle that human rights must be respected
o Can intervene for humanitarian reasons even without the permission of the state in question
The Conflict Cycle: how you're going to address a particular conflict/ intervention depends on where the
country is in their conflict cycle
1. Potential conflict: conflict is present but at a very low level of intensity; structural factors and
underlying causes are fueling divisions between groups/states; elites within countries start
mobilizing discontent but without organized groups; preventive action at this point is not risky and
fairly low cost, with high potential pay off
2. Gestation Phase: contended issues and conflicting groups are more defined; intergroup relations are
politicized; popular mobilization is such that the elites must react to popular discontent; as
polarization between different groups in society increases, the possibility of violence rises; small
scale incidents begin to occur; cross cultural ties and group connections are still present, so
negotiation is still possible; rising cost of intervention but still fairly low cost to intervene here
because there's no widespread violence
3. Triggering/Escalation: there's a real or perceived change in groups socioeconomic/political
standards that trigger escalation; organized violence occurs as group ties break down; political
exchanges between groups disappear; violence increases; diplomatic intervention has significant
costs because it takes intensive intervention (maybe combined with sanctions) to deescalate
conflict; widespread violence is possible
a. Can lead to unofficial phase of Intrastate war: war between different groups of society
4. Post-Conflict Phase: the period once you have decided to move away from intrastate war into short
term peace keeping and longer term peacebuilding activities
5. If not done correctly, phase 4 can lead either to stage 1 or intrastate war; If done correctly, can step
out of this cycle into sustainable peace
UN is main provider for peace and security in theory, in part because even when main actors in a
particular intervention are from a particular country or from a regional organization, in theory all
interventions must be authorized by UNSC (under Chapter VII)
But many exceptions: UNSC can be ineffective, and regional security organizations or individual
countries may intervene
UN created new type of peace and security operations that didn't require UNSC approval after the
inefficiency of the SC was apparent in the Cold War- peacekeeping
o Rely on the consent of the state where the mission takes place, not on the UNSC
o Since the 1990s and the increasing efficacy of the UNSC, a number of peacekeeping operations
are actually approved by the UNSC
Peaceful settlement of dispute: creation of good offices or 3rd party intervention
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