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Edited by Christopher J. Coyne and Rachel L. Mathers
Chapter 28: The Economics of Peacekeeping
Lloyd J. Dumas 28.1 INTRODUCTION There is a certain ambiguity to the term “peacekeeping,” and therefore to the meaning of the “economics of peacekeeping.” On the one hand, there is the idea of peacekeeping as preventing the eruption (or more frequently, the re-eruption) of violent conflict in areas where the cessation of hostilities is tenuous and the peace is fragile. In these circumstances, peacekeeping typically means operations in which armed third party military forces, such as the famous “Blue Helmets” of the United Nations, are interposed between the armed forces of two groups recently engaged in war or threatening to war with each other. The support of such peacekeeping forces involves a variety of issues that have economic implications, including financing the forces and their logistical requirements, as well as the impact the presence of these forces may have on the local economy where they are deployed. The economics of peacekeeping in this sense is not all that different from the economics of supporting comparable military forces with a more conventional military mission. On the other hand, there is the deeper and much more compelling issue of “peacekeeping” that is the sense of generalized war prevention. In this context, the “economics of peacekeeping” takes the form of the intriguing political economic question of whether economic relationships are capable of creating positive incentives to avoid war, and if so how these incentives might be made stronger and more effective. It is on this latter, more promising and consequential issue that we...
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