Reforming 21st Century Peacekeeping Operations : Governmentalities of Security, Protection, and Police book cover
1st Edition

Reforming 21st Century Peacekeeping Operations
Governmentalities of Security, Protection, and Police

ISBN 9781032096728
Published June 30, 2021 by Routledge
148 Pages

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Book Description

This book considers contemporary international interventions with a specific focus on analyzing the frameworks that have guided recent peacekeeping operations led by the United Nations. Drawing from the work of Michel Foucault and Foucauldian-inspired approaches in the field of International Relations, it highlights how interventions can be viewed through the lens of governmentality and its key attendant concepts. The book draws from these approaches in order to explore how international interventions are increasingly informed by governmental rationalities of security and policing.

Two specific cases are examined: the UN's Security Sector Reform (SSR) approach and the UN's Protection of Civilians agenda. Focusing on the governmental rationalities that are at work in these two central frameworks that have come to guide contemporary UN-led peacekeeping efforts in recent years, the book considers:

  • The use in IR of governmentality and its attendant notions of biopower and sovereign power

  • The recent discussion regarding the concept and practice of international policing and police reform

  • The rise of security as a rationality of government and the manner in which security and police rationalities interconnect and have increasingly come to inform peacekeeping efforts

  • The Security Sector Reform (SSR) framework for peacebuilding and the rise of the UN's Protection of Civilians agenda.

This book will be of interest to graduates and scholars of international relations, security studies, critical theory, and conflict and intervention.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Reforming 21st-century peacekeeping operations: governmentalities of security, protection, and police

Chapter 2: Governmentality, sovereign Power, and contemporary international peacekeeping operations


The mentality of government

Governmentalizing the state

Sovereign power, biopower, and state sovereignty

Sovereign power and states of emergency


Chapter 3: Police, security, and resilience


International police and international policing

Police as a figuration of sovereign power

Police as regulation mania

Security and police

The police-security project of resilience


Chapter 4: Local ownership: the police-security project of security sector reform (SSR)


Security Sector Reform (SSR): a summary

The governmentality of SSR

Operationalizing resilience through local ownership


Chapter 5: The UN’s protection of civilians agenda



Civilis legalis

The new lawfare of protecting civilians

The UN’s PoC agenda

Rationalizing protection at its point of application

The necropolitics of protection


Chapter 6: Conclusion: reforming UN peacekeeping operations: security, protection, and police

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Marc G. Doucet is an Associate Professor at Saint Mary’s University, Canada. He is the co-editor of Security and Global Governmentality and has published articles in Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding; Security Dialogue; Theory & Event; Contemporary Political Theory; Millennium; Alternatives; and Global Society.


'Marc Doucet’s book, Reforming 21st Century Peacekeeping Operations: Governmentalities of Security, Protection, and Police, drawing from the work of Michel Foucault, theorizes about the relationship between the governmental rationality and the UNPKO reform agenda in recent decades. He chooses two specific cases: the SSR model and the UNSC Protection of Civilians (PoC). In one of the chapters entitled Governmentality, sovereign power, and contemporary international peacekeeping operations, Doucet explores key Foucauldian notions, like governmentality, population, biopower and sovereign power.'

Ricardo Oliveira dos Santos, Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, 2019