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

Reforming 21st Century Peacekeeping Operations

Governmentalities of Security, Protection, and Police, 1st Edition

By Marc. G Doucet


140 pages

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Hardback: 9781138937260
pub: 2017-07-10
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315675596
pub: 2017-07-06
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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.


'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

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

About the Author

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.

About the Series


The Series provides a forum for innovative and interdisciplinary work that engages with alternative critical, post-structural, feminist, postcolonial, psychoanalytic and cultural approaches to international relations and global politics. In our first 5 years we have published 60 volumes.

We aim to advance understanding of the key areas in which scholars working within broad critical post-structural traditions have chosen to make their interventions, and to present innovative analyses of important topics. Titles in the series engage with critical thinkers in philosophy, sociology, politics and other disciplines and provide situated historical, empirical and textual studies in international politics.


We are very happy to discuss your ideas at any stage of the project: just contact us for advice or proposal guidelines. Proposals should be submitted directly to the Series Editors:

‘As Michel Foucault has famously stated, "knowledge is not made for understanding; it is made for cutting" In this spirit The Edkins - Vaughan-Williams Interventions series solicits cutting edge, critical works that challenge mainstream understandings in international relations. It is the best place to contribute post disciplinary works that think rather than merely recognize and affirm the world recycled in IR's traditional geopolitical imaginary.’

Michael J. Shapiro, University of Hawai'i at Manoa, USA


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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General