Does Peacekeeping Keep Peace? International Intervention and the Duration of Peace After Civil War


  • Author's note: This project was made possible by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation and a Visiting Scholarship at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, for which the author is extremely grateful. For comments and suggestions, she also thanks Bob Art, Allison Bailey, Michael Barnett, Amitabh Dubey, Nisha Fazal, Erik Gartzke, Lise Howard, Bob Jervis, Kim Marten, Dan Reiter, Nicholas Sambanis, Jack Snyder, Monica Toft, and Barb Walter. Earlier versions of this paper were presented at the 2002 annual meetings of the International Studies Association, Harvard's Olin Institute, Yale's international relations speaker series, PNCIS at the University of Washington, CIS at Princeton, and the Political Science Department at Emory University.


This article examines international interventions in the aftermath of civil wars to see whether peace lasts longer when peacekeepers are present than when they are absent. Because peacekeeping is not applied to cases at random, I first address the question of where international personnel tend to be deployed. I then attempt to control for factors that might affect both the likelihood of peacekeepers being sent and the ease or difficulty of maintaining peace so as to avoid spurious findings. I find, in a nutshell, that peacekeeping after civil wars does indeed make an important contribution to the stability of peace.