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The Morality of Peacekeeping

Daniel H. Levine

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What is the peacekeeper's role in the 21st Century?

Peacekeeping, peace enforcement and ‘stability operations’ ask soldiers to use violence to create peace, defeat armed threats while having no enemies and uphold human rights without taking sides. The challenges that face peacekeepers cannot be easily reduced to traditional just war principles.

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Part I: General Considerations
1. Introduction
2. A Normative Framework for Peacekeeping
Part II: The Holy Trinity
3. Consent
4. Impartiality
5. Minimum Use of Force (A): Resort to Force
6. Minimum Use of Force (B): Peacekeeper Violence
Part III: Protecting Civilians
7. Protection and Vulnerability
8. Protection of Civilians from Non-Enemies: A Case Study of MONUC Support to Kimia II in the DRC
9. Protecting With Civilians
10. Conclusion
Part IV: Appendices
A. List of Acronyms
B. Interviews

About the Author

Daniel H Levine is an Assistant Professor of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, and a Research Fellow with the Center for International Security Studies at Maryland.


Far and away the finest and clearest analysis of the ethical dimensions of this important peacebuilding tool written to date. Levine dives into long-standing issues of consent, impartiality, use of force, and civilian protection and comes up with novel insights and arguments of enormous appeal, logic, and practicality, while ensuring throughout a good theoretical grounding. I believe this book will prove a landmark in this field, an essential go-to for scholars and practitioners alike.

- William Durch, The Stimson Center

This book reads, in part, as a ‘conversation with self’, deeply reflective, clear and helpful as Daniel Levine grapples with and explains the moral nature of peacekeeping. Hugely illustrative and rich.

- Jakkie Cilliers, Executive Director, Institute for Security Studies, Pretoria office

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