Election Accomplished: Democracies and the Timing of Peacekeeper Drawdowns

Image credit: unpeacekeeping


Peacekeepers often play a vital role in enforcing agreements and promoting stability after a civil war, but doing so is costly. While Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs) may appreciate the diplomatic benefits that come with performing this task, they also want to minimize the associated costs and potential downside of the mission. We examine troop contributions in post-civil war peacekeeping missions, determining which countries are most prone to withdrawal and when. Drawing from a domestic audience cost perspective, we argue that those TCCs that are most exposed to political risk from scandals or fiascoes in these peacekeeping missions are most apt to flee, viewing post-war elections as an identifiable exit strategy. Using data on eighty-two peacekeeping operations between 1990 and 2018, we analyze troop contribution dynamics for over 150 different countries to determine whether and when post-war elections prompt peacekeepers to exit. We find evidence of a substitution strategy, in which democracies replace visible and costly soldiers with civilian volunteers.

Conflict Management and Peace Science (Under review)
Burak Giray
Burak Giray
Research & Teaching Assistant

My research interests include Composition of UN Peacekeepers, Supply-side of Peacekeeping, Peace Settlements matter.