Contemporary peace and stability operations

  • Course description

    The course will give students the possibility to learn and understand the concept of peace operations and stability (stabilisation) operations, including main differences and similarities between these two categories, as well as knowledge about their types and characteristics. The course will also offer knowledge about main organisational and technical aspects of such operations (i.e. models of force generation, institutional framework, command & control mechanisms, financing etc.). It will also familiarise students with basic evolutionary trends in peace and stability operations (incl. multinationalisation, issue of the place of coercive elements in peace and stability missions, development of counterinsurgency strategies, growing significance of military assistance to host countries). All issues will be discussed with the reference to cases of recent peace and stability operations organised by UN, NATO and EU.
  • Main themes

    • Peacekeeping and stability operations – general idea of the concept, main definitions and classifications
    • UN model of peacekeeping – genesis and source, principles, forms, evolution since 1948
    • UN current peacekeeping machinery – current organizational schemes, key evolutionary trends, main problems and challenges
    • European perspective – NATO model for peace/stability operations; EU model for peace/stability operations
    • Other regional perspectives – AU model and machinery for peacekeeping
    • Ethical and cultural questions in contemporary armed conflicts
    • Key problems of peacekeeping/conflict management: comprehensive approach and civil-military relations; militarization of humanitarian aid; issue of sexual and other forms of abuse by peacekeepers on civilians in area of conflict
    • Kinetic operation/use of force in peace/stability missions: irregular warfare, counterinsurgency, role of policing
    • Selected cases of UN peacekeeping II: failures and meanders of UNPROFOR – causes and motives, participants, organizational forms, tasks, Rules of Engagement, challenges and deficiencies, evolution and results
    • Selected cases of UN peacekeeping II: UN involvement in DRK and Sierra Leone
    • NATO stability operations: ISAF
    • EU peace and stability missions: EUFOR Chad/RCA; EULEX Kosovo, Atalanta
    • Unilateral interventions: French engagement in Sahel
  • Learning outcomes

    At the end of the course, the student:
    • Has highly specialised knowledge and a critical understanding of theoretical concepts and theories on peace and stability operations.
    • Has a critical understanding of personal security risks in humanitarian fieldwork, as well as opportunities and threats of current trends in peace and stability operations, with special attention to their humanitarian dimension.

    • Has highly specialised knowledge of the diversity of actors and stakeholders involved in contemporary peace and stability operations, their interaction and competition, as well as understanding of the importance of coordination between their activities.

    • Has a thorough knowledge of the operational processes and changes in political, military, economic and social structures and institutions in the international dimension; has a thorough knowledge of the theory and practice of political and economic decision-making in these entities at the nation state level and on the international scale in context of peace and stability operations.

    • Has a critical understanding of the social, legal and security environment in context of peace and stability operations.

    • Has demonstrated the ability to formulate adequate and ethically sound recommendations for involvement in conflict resolution through peace and stability operations.

    • Has specialised skills to conceptualise, interpret and critically analyse peace and stability operations on the basis of a variety of sources, generating new interdisciplinary expertise to help solve complex humanitarian problems.

    • Has the ability to formulate independent views on peace and stability operations, support them with elaborate arguments, using a broad range of approaches and theoretical perspectives, formulate coherent conclusions and make a synthetic summary of these conclusions, using a specialized language of conflict resolution studies.

    • Has studied a research topic in depth, and conducted and completed a medium-length research project largely self-directed.

    • Has demonstrated the ability to position one's own research findings in the broader context of conflicts and conflict resolution studies.

    • Learns from past experiences in conflict resolution, identifies opportunities to overcome dilemmas concerning peace and stability operations, with a clear application of humanitarian principles and standards
  • Teaching and learning methodology

    Lecture in classroom, discussion, PowerPoint presentations. Preparing and discussing in the group short analysis on selected problems.
  • Assessment methods and criteria

    Written exam (mixed form: multiple answers-type question, semi-open question – one-sentence answers; open question – one of the three to be chosen by student) 50%.
    Short writing assignment – 25%
    Activeness during classes 20%.
    85% of points - grade 5
    75% of points - grade 4,5
    65% of points – grade 4
    55% of points – grade 3,5
    Over 45% of points – grade 3 

Last updated: 21 May 2018

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