New ESRC-funded project to explore what happens to countries after peacekeepers leave

20 February, 2019

Associate Professor John Gledhill is co-investigator on a new project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) which will explore what happens to countries after United Nations peacekeepers withdraw.

Professor Richard Caplan of the Department of Politics and International Relations is principal investigator on the project, which is titled 'After Exit: Assessing the Consequences of United Nations Peacekeeping Withdrawal'. The other co-investigators are Dr Andrea Ruggeri (University of Oxford), Dr Sabrina Karim (Cornell University) and Dr Athena Kolbe (University of North Carolina Wilmington). 

The project will explore how the withdrawal of UN peacekeepers (and associated resources) affects state capacity and the delivery of public services in formerly 'peacekept' states. To answer this, it is necessary to know whether states that have hosted UN peacekeeping missions maintain peace and effectively perform state functions following that withdrawal. At present, however, academics and policy actors alike have limited knowledge of conditions on the ground ‘after exit’ – simply because there has been no systematic attempt to record, report, and explain what happens to peacekept states and their citizens after UN peacekeeping missions close and peacekeepers go home. The new research project seeks to redress this deficiency.

The project will document state functionality in formerly peacekept states across four domains: the provision of security; governance/administration; production/extraction; and foreign relations. The project will gather and analyse quantitative and qualitative data in each of these four domains at the cross-national level and within two states that are in the midst of transitions from peacekeeping – Liberia and Haiti.