United Nations peace operations and International Relations theory

Edited by Kseniya Oksamytna and John Karlsrud

United Nations peace operations and International Relations theory


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-4887-2
  • Pages: 256
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: August 2020
  • BIC Category: International Relations, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Peace, POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / Diplomacy, POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General, Reference, information & interdisciplinary subjects / Peace studies & conflict resolution, Peacekeeping Operations, Society & social sciences / International relations


United Nations peace operations have undergone multiple transformations over the more than seventy years of their existence. Multidimensional peace operations have organised elections, helped deliver humanitarian assistance, advised on army and police reform, and fought rebel groups. Such operations not only represent a core pillar of the multilateral peace and security architecture but also fundamentally reshape lives of millions of people around the world.

This volume provides the first comprehensive overview of multiple theoretical perspectives on UN peace operations. It offers practical examples of how International Relations theories apply to specific policy issues and simultaneously demonstrates how major debates on UN peace operations - on civilian protection, local ownership, or gender mainstreaming - benefit from theoretical exploration. With insightful contributions from a range of international academics, UN peace operations and International Relations theory is an essential book for scholars, students, and experts working on peace and security and the broader issue of international cooperation.


This excellent book successfully engages the literature on UN peacekeeping with scholarship on international relations (IR) theory. Oksamytna (King's College, London) and Karlsrud (Norwegian Institute of International Affairs) have arranged the contributions of nine scholars into a superb "one-stop shop" for readers who want an overview of how different theoretical perspectives address the issue of post-Cold War UN peacekeeping operations. Contributors examine the capabilities and limits of individual IR theories for explaining peacekeeping missions and their effectiveness. All seek to answer the same question: "Why does UN peacekeeping take the shape that it does," applying a particular theory of IR to a case study from their own research. Together they highlight the shortcomings of the dominant realist theory and the important contribution of alternative theories (from constructivism and liberal institutionalism to practice theories, including critical security studies, feminist institutionalism, and complexity theory) to the understanding of phenomena (such as peacekeeping) that do not neatly fit the realist model.

'This is a long overdue contribution that sits at the intersection of critical reflection and good old-fashioned scholarship. Composed of nine chapters that succinctly weave the evolution of UN peacekeeping missions together with major theories in International Relations (IR), this volume will serve as an important learning resource for young academics. Readers who remain uninspired after finishing this volume are likely to be few and far between.'
International Affairs


United Nations peace operations and International Relations theory: An introduction- Kseniya Oksamytna and John Karlsrud
1 Realism - Philip Cunliffe
2 Liberal institutionalism - Carla Monteleone and Kseniya Oksamytna
3 Rational choice institutionalism - Yf Reykers
4 Sociological institutionalism - Sarah von Billerbeck
5 Constructivism - Marion Laurence and Emily Paddon Rhoads
6 Practice theories - Ingvild Bode
7 Critical security studies - Lucile Maertens
8 Feminist institutionalism - Georgina Holmes
9 Complexity theory - Charles T. Hunt
Concluding refl ections: International Relations theory and the study of UN peace operations - Mats Berdal


Kseniya Oksamytna is a Research Associate at King's College London

John Karlsrud is a Research Professor at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs

United Nations peace operations and International Relations theory

Edited by Kseniya Oksamytna, John Karlsrud

Hardcover £85.00 / $130.00

Or buy from your preferred bookseller:

Amazon Waterstones Blackwells

Click here for North and South America

Newsletter Sign Up

Manchester University Press

Your cart is empty.

Select your shipping destination to estimate postage costs

(Based on standard shipping costs)

Final cost calculated on checkout
Promotional codes can be added on Checkout