This edited volume provides a detailed and nuanced analysis of UN peacekeeping and the use of force, to inform a better understanding of the complex and interconnected issues at stake for the UN community. Peacekeeping is traditionally viewed as a largely passive military activity, governed by the principles of impartiality, consent, and the minimum use of force. Today, most large UN Peacekeeping Operations are only authorized to use force in defence of their mandates and to protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence.

Recently, with the deployment of the Force Intervention Brigade in the DRC, the UN has gone beyond peacekeeping and into the realm of peace-enforcement. These developments have brought to the fore questions regarding the use of force in the context of peacekeeping. The key questions addressed in this book examine not only the utility of force, but also the dilemmas and constraints inherent to the purposive use of force at a strategic, operational and tactical level.

  • Should UN peacekeepers exercise military initiative?
  • Is UN peacekeeping capable of undertaking offensive military operations?
  • If so, then under what circumstances should peacekeepers use force?
  • How should force be wielded? And against whom?

With chapters written by experts in the field, this comprehensive volume will be of great use and interest to postgraduate students, academics and experts in international security, the UN, peacekeeping and diplomacy.

chapter |8 pages


ByPeter Nadin

part I|187 pages

Questions of doctrine

chapter 1|26 pages

The case of East Timor

Ancient history or the shape of things to come?
ByJim Della-Giacoma

chapter 2|30 pages

Action adapted to circumstance

Peacekeeping doctrine and the use of force
ByMark Malan

chapter 3|19 pages

Between absolute war and absolute peacekeeping

The question of the use of force in peacekeeping
ByCarlos Chagas Vianna Braga

chapter 5|24 pages

The utility of military force to protect civilians in UN peace operations

ByAlexander William Beadle, Stian Kjeksrud

chapter 6|21 pages

Protecting civilians with force

Dilemmas and lessons from the UN stabilization mission in Haiti
ByWalter A. Dorn

chapter 7|24 pages

The unintended consequences of the use of force by UN peacekeepers

ByCharles T. Hunt

chapter 8|27 pages

The logic of force in UN peacekeeping

A policy primer
ByPeter Nadin

part II|104 pages

Questions of practice

chapter 9|24 pages

Leadership in UN missions

ByTim Ford

chapter 10|24 pages

The use of force and the civil–military dimension

ByDavid Curran

chapter 11|20 pages

Generating the ability

The challenges of force generation
ByDarryl Watters

chapter 12|27 pages

UN peacekeeping and international law

ByJames Sloan

chapter |8 pages


ByPeter Nadin