The New World of UN Peace Operations
Learning to Build Peace?
Thorsten Benner, Stephan Mergenthaler, and Philipp Rotmann
Reviews and Awards
"A longstanding wisdom is that 'UN' and 'learning' should never be used in the same sentence. The New World of UN Peace Operations give us evidence for why some wisdoms have the mark of truth. It also gives us reason for hope. This sober, hard-headed, deeply researched exploration of the education of UN peace operations reveals: why the UN's culture makes learning so difficult; why the failure of states to support reforms and innovation is a big reason for that difficulty; and how the UN is, at times, able to overcome its own limitations and constraints imposed by states to improve its operations. This is the rare volume that contributes both to policy and scholarly debates. Practitioners should take seriously the volume's lessons learned. Scholars will appreciate the rigorous treatment of organizational learning."--Michael Barnett, University Professor of International Affairs and Political Science, George Washington University
"This innovative work provides up-to-date and in-depth analysis for one of the most pressing questions of the UN community: how to better build peace? The authors deserve great credit for widening the scope well beyond classical peacekeeping--and to have produced a thorough study rich with empirical data that makes it valuable both for reading and reference."--Peter Wittig, German Ambassador to the United Nations (and Chair of the UN Peacebuilding Commission 2010-2011)
"After the cold war, the United Nations attempted to ratchet up UN peacekeeping into a military more robust instrument, often with deleterious consequences for all involved. This study traces how the UN learned from those failures: to use, not abuse, peacekeeping, turning it into a core component of more comprehensive peace operations in battered societies, in order to protect civilians and help build sustainable institutions. It is the best book on UN peace operations in a very long time."--John G. Ruggie, Berthold Beitz Professor in Human Rights and International Affairs, Harvard University