“Another Peacekeeping” Is Possible


Peacekeeping is a most essential link between peacemaking—that is, all the diplomatic negotiations and mediation work that results in signing peace treaties—and peacebuilding—that is, solving conflicts and addressing their deep causes that often have been missing in peace processes. Peacekeeping involves stopping the war and deterring violence during fragile ceasefires, and stabilizing the environment to make serious peace processes possible during these brief war-free periods. But in many situations, peacekeeping by armed people in military uniform may not be the most appropriate way to secure and sustain peace or protect civilians. This article makes the case for a new type of peacekeeping, one that is organized by unarmed global civilians who, by invitation only, come to help protect threatened local populations living in situations of war or violent conflict.  Among the different roles, strategies and capacities civil society organizations may bring to conflict situations and peace pro- cesses, the concept and practice of unarmed civilian peacekeeping is probably least understood or recognized. 

This article can be found in the Fall | Winter 2011 issue of Kosmos Journal or can be downloaded as a PDF here.

To download the article introduction and footnotes, please click here.