1st Edition

Peacekeeping Under Fire
Culture and Intervention

ISBN 9781594515484
Published November 30, 2008 by Routledge
224 Pages

USD $49.95

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Book Description

The international community increasingly responds to civil wars, humanitarian crises, and other intrastate conflicts through the instrument of UN peacekeeping. Nearly all of these interventions take place in non-Western areas and involve interactions among militaries and nongovernmental organizations from all around the globe. In this wide-ranging book, Rubinstein draws on decades of his own research on peacekeeping, and on other current and historical cases, to develop a broad understanding of the roles that culture plays in peacekeeping's success or failure. Peacekeeping under Fire shows that cultural considerations are key elements at all levels of peacekeeping operations. Culture influences what happens between peacekeepers and local populations, how military and nongovernmental organizations interact, and even how missions are planned and authorized. Peacekeeping under Fire analyzes how political symbolism and ritual are critical to peacekeeping and demonstrates how questions of power, identity, and political perception emerge from the cultural context of peacekeeping.

Table of Contents

Preface Acknowledgments 1 Introduction 2 A Brief and Selective History of Peacekeeping 3 Culture and Peacekeeping: A Conceptual Framework 4 "Turn Left at the Mosque": Anthropological Fieldwork and Peacekeeping 5 Symbolic Construction of Community and Cooperation 6 "You Will Have to Kill Me to Get By": Individual Action and Peacekeeping 7 Organizational Cultures and Peacekeeping 8 Peacekeeping Under Fire 9 Intervention as Cultural Practice Notes References Index

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“In this readable and original book, Robert Rubinstein treats UN peacekeeping as a transnational social, as well as military, institution in which a wide variety of participants develop a shared identity and a common sense of purpose. Writing during the period before and after the end of the Cold War, he sees the expansion of both the challenges to, and the original concept of, peacekeeping, not as a radical break with previous practice but as a logical development of “classic” peacekeeping, the study of which is highly relevant to the understanding and improvement of contemporary operations. The result is a rich and original history of peacekeeping itself, with a new emphasis on the all-important, and hitherto much neglected, cultural aspects of international intervention. This book is an important contribution to the development of one of the UN’s most vital functions.”
—Brian Urquhart, Former Undersecretary-General of the United Nations

“Peacekeeping under Fire is a fascinating and thought-provoking investigation into how culture is critical to peacekeeping. Ethnographically rich and theoretically sophisticated, it is essential reading for anyone interested in peace and international security.”
—Carolyn Nordstrom, University of Notre Dame

“A significant contribution to understanding international peacekeeping, as well as an important demonstration of how the perspective of cultural anthropology can enrich our understanding of modern military operations.”
—David R. Segal, University of Maryland

“An engaging book that analyses the complex world of the peacekeeper and the ways in which culture plays a vital part in both a contextual and a personal sense.”
—Dr. Deborah Goodwin, Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, UK

“Peacekeeping under Fire gives the first extensive account of how culture directly impacts peacekeeping operations and sets the stage for a new field in 21st century peacekeeping interventions.”
—Tanja Hohe Chopra, The World Bank, Kenya

“In this absorbing new book by a leading anthropologist of peace and conflict, Robert Rubinstein places power and culture at the center of its analysis and recommendations.”
—Matthew Gutmann, Brown University