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Civil-Military Coordination in Peace Operations and the Impact on Local Violence

Open Panel

Abstract

With recent experiences from cases such as Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan, the possibilities and pitfalls of civil-military coordination amongst international, regional and local organizations are actively debated amongst policymakers, practitioners and academics. However, to-date there is still limited research that targets in what ways these activities affect local conflict dynamics and peace development. An important indicator proposed by various approaches to the study of peace development is to compare variations in the number of human casualties caused by direct and indirect battle related violence. This paper sets out to explore the impact of various forms and degrees of civil-military coordination on trends and patterns of frequency and lethality of local violence in the empirical case of Afghanistan, where the ISAF operation represent one of the most complex and comprehensive endeavors of contemporary conflict management. The main contribution of this paper is thus to shed new light on the theoretically underdeveloped debate on the impact of civil-military coordination in contemporary peace operations.