Inside this issue, we examine research analyzing hundreds of civil war peace agreements that concludes that “complex” agreements are not necessarily better at keeping the peace than simpler ones. Next, we take a critical look at research on public support for military interventions and the motivations behind support for interventions conducted for “humanitarian” reasons. Third, through examining civics textbooks in Sri Lanka in the context of global peace education efforts, we consider how specific omissions and emphases in these textbooks have served the government’s goals, while failing to address the injustice and inequality still plaguing post-war Sri Lanka. Next, we discuss research finding that the primary peacekeeping tasks associated with preventing violence and protecting civilians can be effectively undertaken by unarmed peacekeepers, who are, furthermore, often able to address some of the shortcomings of their armed counterparts. Finally, the last analysis reflects on possible reasons for why past attempts at peace in South Sudan have failed, calling for more psycho-sociologically informed conflict interventions in the future.
In the United States, military interventions conducted for humanitarian objectives receive significantly higher public support than interventions serving security interests.
The Responsibility to Protect (R2P) is a global political commitment designed to prevent crimes against humanity. However, by labeling protection as a responsibility, powerful states are given the opportunity to frame their military intervention as the responsible, humanitarian thing to do. Peace Science has shown that conflict prevention is still the most effective approach to avoid violence.