Maintaining peace has traditionally been the job of nations but, as populations grow, distances shrink, borders leak, and belief systems clash, it has increasingly become a multinational, collaborative task. As evidence, consider the number of peace support operations (PSOs) now working in the world’s least-well-governed, most-conflict-ridden regions and the growing number of institutions supporting them. These operations bring military, policing, and other resources to bear, under international mandate, in the wake of war. This volume offers a critical “institutional performance review” of PSO security providers—from the United Nations to the private sector—comparing them on many dimensions, from legitimacy and deployment agility to firepower and staying power. Its concluding observations stress the risks of either privatizing peace or of making its rebuilding a largely military enterprise.
Who Should Keep the Peace? was designed as a companion piece to the casebook Twenty-First-Century Peace Operations.