Peacekeeping and the return of imperial policing

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18 Scopus citations


UN peacekeeping rose to prominence as an instrument of international action based on its enacting a root metaphor that promised the reversal of politics as usual and the creation of a more equitable world. Practices developed in traditional peacekeeping created a culture of peacekeeping that reinforced this root metaphor through a linking of strategic policy to actions in operations. This article argues that developments in the way that peacekeeping has been used are undermining the root metaphor such that the cultural inversions associated with peacekeeping are increasingly difficult to maintain, if they can be continued at all. The result is that peacekeeping has been sliding toward recreating earlier practices of imperial policing by placing the concerns of international actors ahead of those of the local communities in which peace operations take place.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)457-470
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Peacekeeping
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations


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