Politics of the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations:Resource Mobilisation and Alternative Arrangements

Yeshi Choedon

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Peacekeeping is the most visible mechanism of the United Nations for managing conflicts in the world. Since the end of the Cold War, it has been confronted with acute resource constraints in carrying out its ambitious mandates. It is not so much the lack of resource availability, but the politics of resource mobilisation that has prevented the effective utilisation of the peacekeeping mechanism. Interested member states have been quick in pointing out the ineffectiveness and incompetence of the UN’s peacekeeping operations and in advocating alternative arrangements such as ‘coalition of states’, individual states’ and regional organisations’ operations. Even in the case of financing, they do not favour any increase in the already assessed contribution of the member states—favouring instead other alternative arrangements such as Trust Funds, subcontracts to other actors and ‘living-off-the-land’ arrangements.

Amongst all the resource requirements, this book examines in depth the politics of the mobilisation of military personnel and finance, as both these resources are not only the most essential requirements but are also the most quantifiable—which enables an analysis of how they have increased and been contributed to by the member states over time—and how alternative arrangements appear to have overcome constraints in these resources. It highlights the fact that despite these alternative arrangements, the United Nations continues to be the most legitimate body for the conduct of peacekeeping operations. Even when the alternative arrangements have been used, the UN operations have invariably been deployed before them, in sequence with or in parallel to them. So, the UN peacekeeping operations have neither been replaced nor have they become redundant.

Through the narrative of the politics of resource mobilisation and the practices of these alternative arrangements, the book attempts to highlight the latter’s implications and consequences in terms of the legitimacy and authority of the United Nations and the distraction of attention from the efforts being directed at the reform of this organisation for making it more effective, efficient and relevant in managing the conflicts in the transformed international system.

Yeshi Choedon Dr Yeshi Choedon is a faculty member at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, since 2004. Prior to this, she was a faculty member at the Sikkim Government College, Gangtok. She was a recipient of the UGC Career Award, a DAAD Fellow and a Senior Fellow under the Nehru-Fulbright Fellowship. She has presented papers at various national and international seminars. She authored a book entitled China and the United Nations in 1990 and co-authored a book entitled Tibet with Prof Dawa Norbu in 1997. She has written a number of chapters in edited books and published a number of research articles in various academic journals. Dr Choedon’s research interests are in the fields of peace, security, democratisation and human rights.


List of Tables
List of Figures
Chapter 1 Historical Background
Idea of Collective Security
Evolution of Peacekeeping Operations
Convergence and Divergence of the
Peacekeeping Operations
Part I Politics of Resource Mobilisation
Chapter 2 Finance
System of Generating Funds
Causes of Financial Constraint
Impact on Operational Level
Chapter 3 Military
Mobilising Forces
Resource Constraints
Impact on Operational Level
Measures to Counter the Challenges
Part II Alternative Arrangements and Implications
Chapter 4 Alternative Finance
Subcontracting to other Actors
Trust Fund
“Living off the Land”
Chapter 5 Alternative Military (‘Coalition of States’ and Individual State)
Characteristics of the Mechanisms
Merits of the Mechanisms
Chapter 6 Alternative Military (NATO)
Engagement with Peace Operations
Merits of NATO Operations
Chapter 7 Alternative Military (African Union)
Contextual Situation
Institutional Structures
Peacekeeping Operations and Challenges



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