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Shifting practices of peace: What is the current state of unarmed civilian peacekeeping?
The Peace Studies Journal
Unarmed civilian peacekeeping (UCP) has grown in recognition and practice in the past several decades. Evidence suggests that UCP is as effective as traditional military peacekeeping operations, but is more cost-effective and more likely to assist local civil society organizations to build long lasting peace. However, a comprehensive account of the state of UCP, including location, organizations, activities, training and risks remains elusive. This paper offers a description and analysis of unarmed civilian peacekeeping activities from 1990 to the present, by gathering information from the literature, organizational websites and from a survey sent to organizations. Notable findings include: UCP has grown significantly since 1990, as evidenced by widening geographical presence and growth of UCP organizations. Additionally, while there have been injuries and fatalities, the rate is lower than for traditional military peacekeeping. Finally, information regarding training, principles and activities prompts reflections on issues such as appropriate and best practices, challenges in defining UCP, and the implications of core values.
Central New York Peace Studies Consortium