Conflict and Fragility

Policy briefs

Upgrading Peacekeeping to Counter Transnational Conflict Drivers

25 Sep 2014 - 17:52

Technological progress, liberalisation and the end of the Cold War have significantly altered existing transnational conflict drivers, as well as created new ones. A veritable process of fusion has taken place in which modern-day possibilities have irrevocably meshed with age-old legacies and practices, with the result that many of today’s conflicts cannot be sustainably resolved without taking account of transnational conflict drivers. Yet, the international community’s peace-building toolkit is not well equipped to do so. Its most visible and high-profile instrument, UN peacekeeping operations, remains particularly hamstrung by its focus on domestic conflict drivers, host-state capacity-building and national boundaries. To discharge their mandates more effectively, such operations need to improve their transnational situational awareness through dedicated intelligence and strategy units, and expand their regional reach through the introduction of roving envoys. Such critical assets could enable missions to focus more effectively on insulating domestic political processes from corruptive transnational influences in their area of operations.