Breaking the Balance? The Impact of Peacekeeping Deployments on Civil–Military Relations

Since the 1990s, the face of United Nations (UN) peacekeeping has changed drastically, with personnel contributions now coming predominantly from developing countries. Some of the most fragile states worldwide, marked by limited state capacity and domestic conflict, have been deploying their security forces in UN peacekeeping missions. Drawing on the literature on civil–military relations, this article examines the impact that such deployments have on the domestic politics of troop contributing countries (TCCs). Using a detailed case study of Nepal’s deployment of peacekeepers, this article makes the following argument: the UN has not prioritized making peacekeeping deployments conditional on respect for civilian supremacy by the security forces of TCCs. Yet, deploying peacekeepers may bring significant institutional, political and financial benefits to security forces, most notably the military, which directly and indirectly impacts the civil–military relations in TCCs.

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