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Adapting to the challenges of UN peacekeeping : protection of civilians and the use of force in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

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Adapting to the challenges of UN peacekeeping : protection of civilians and the use of force in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Zbikowski, Kristen (2009) Adapting to the challenges of UN peacekeeping : protection of civilians and the use of force in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Since the end of the Cold War, the United Nations (UN) has been assigned a growing number of tasks in its peacekeeping missions with which the international organization (10) has had little or no previous experience. Among the most controversial components of contemporary multidimensional peacekeeping mandates are protection of civilians (POC) and the use of force (UOF), and yet they have been added to the agenda of UN peacekeeping tasks with increasing frequency over the past decade. In this thesis, I investigate whether the UN has learned from its ten years of experience in applying the protection of civilians concept in the field. I then examine the influence of norms on this learning process. Using the ongoing United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) as a case study, I analyze what the mission has learned from its experience in the field and explore how shared understandings and standards of appropriate behavior have impacted the process of learning. Applying Lise Morjé. Howard's descriptive model of organizational learning, the study seeks to contribute to the burgeoning research on organizational learning in peace operations. Drawing on primary data from more than 30 interviews with UN officials and MONUC staff, I trace the evolution of the POC mandate in the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 2000 to 2009 and find that norms are an important factor in improving learning within peace operations. Considering the lack of clarity and consensus regarding the POC concept and UOF at the international level as well as the numerous actors on the ground coming from diverse cultural backgrounds and holding diverging beliefs, this thesis suggests that shared norms playa unifying role in clarifying the grey areas of POC and UOF and as such promote learning within peacekeeping missions.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Political Science
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Zbikowski, Kristen
Pagination:x, 154 leaves : map ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Political Science
Date:2009
Thesis Supervisor(s):Stoett, Peter
ID Code:976706
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 16:31
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:43
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