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  • Author: Arthur Boutellis, Adam C. Smith
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Why.Is.Management.Important? The UN field mission is a complex beast. From the smallest political mission to the largest peacekeeping operation, it employs a uniquely diverse staff and performs a broad array of tasks in an environment that is sometimes dangerous, often unstable, and always challenging. Resources are scarce and inflexible. Internal regulations and procedures are cumbersome, and, at times, can impede rather than facilitate success. On top of it all, success is often hard to measure or even recognize. Unlike the private sec-tor, success in the field does not come from increased quarterly profits, but rather from a conflict prevented, the perception of a peace dividend, or the renewed optimism of a host population. Unfortunately, UN staff can only contribute to these goals, as so many factors are beyond the mission's control.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Security, International Organization, United Nations, Peacekeeping
  • Author: Jean Ping
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Everyone knows that Africa, cradle of humanity, land of the Pharaohs and human civilization, and vast reservoir of human and natural resources, is not doing well. She crosses the deepest crisis that has shaken her since the end of colonial times. The specter of chaos lurks everywhere. She is now seen as the continent of “collapsing states” and “zombie nations”; the continent of extreme poverty, misery, and injustice; the continent of horrors, of the Rwandan genocide and of the worst atrocities committed in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Darfur and elsewhere. This brutal reality has been, for quite some time now, analyzed by most observers and experts with certain fatalism, as testified by these book titles with pessimistic or even alarmist tones: “Black Africa Started on the Wrong Foot” (René Dumont), “Can Black Africa Take Off?” (Albert Meister); “And What If Africa Refused Development” (Axelle Kabou); “Africa Down” (Jacques Giri). By now, it is just a chorus of permanent lamentations about the “lost continent,” the “damned continent,” or the “cursed continent” whose past is not passing. And the rest of the world, which sees us as negligible, even contemptible (“all corrupt and all dictators,” they say), consider that henceforth, they no longer need us.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Economics, Post Colonialism, Natural Resources, Fragile/Failed State, Neoimperialism
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, Darfur, Liberia, Sierra Leone
  • Author: Neclâ Tschirgi (ed.), Michael S. Lund (ed.), Francesco Mancini (ed.)
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Academic research bears some good news: the number of wars and the lethality of warfare have been declining since 1992. This includes civil wars, which decreased from a high of forty-six in 1992 to twenty-one in 2006. In the same stretch of time, the most severe conflicts declined by 80 percent. Yet deeper analysis of these trends provides disturbing findings. The University of Maryland's report Peace and Conflict 2008 notes that the downward trend in conflict is not the result of effective prevention of new conflicts but rather the termination of ongoing wars. The report confirms that the number of ongoing active conflicts dropped significantly over the post–Cold War period. Meanwhile, there has been no discernible change in the number of newly initiated conflicts. In fact, in the report's words, “for the past sixty years, the rate at which new armed conflicts emerge each year has been essentially unchanged.” This suggests that, despite almost two decades of research, advocacy, and action, international efforts to prevent violent conflicts have seriously lagged behind efforts to resolve existing conflicts. If the steady out-break of new wars is to be arrested and reversed, the conflict prevention agenda that gained prominence in the immediate post–Cold War years needs to be revitalized. This requires deeper investigation of the sources of violent intrastate conflicts that threaten both human and international security.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War, Development, Peace Studies
  • Author: James Cockayne (ed.)
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: In late 2008, seventeen states, including the US, UK, China, Iraq, Afghanistan, and others, endorsed the Montreux Document on Pertinent International Legal Obligations and Good Practices for States related to Operations of Private Military and Security Companies during Armed Conflict (2008). This provides important guidance to states in regulating private military and security companies (PMSCs). However, there is a need to do more, to provide increased guidance to the industry and ensure standards are enforced.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Markets
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, China, Iraq