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  4. Postgraduate Research Workshop - Militarisation and the Local in Peacekeeping: Ambition, Pragmatism and Adaptability




Postgraduate Research Workshop - Militarisation and the Local in Peacekeeping: Ambition, Pragmatism and Adaptability




Series: International Law and Affairs Group (ILAG) event series

Peacekeeping operations increasingly face a tension between pragmatic approaches, which seek realistically achievable outcomes, and ambitious approaches rooted in humanitarian commitments and human rights. This ‘turn’ to pragmatism speaks to the need of peacekeeping to adapt to new expectations and challenges, including increasingly complex mandates of multilateral missions and the emergence of asymmetric threats.

However, these more robust and militarised operations may have negative effects on host communities and wider work towards sustainable peace. Using 'the local' lens, this workshop will explore adaptation to some of these new challenges amidst these humanitarian and security tensions. This event seeks to provide a productive space for emerging PGR voices, and each substantive panel will include a balance of practitioners, scholars and postgraduates.

This workshop is the first of a four-part series which will examine peacekeeping through three layers: the local, the national/regional, and the global. The series aims to stimulate thinking through a bottom-up approach, which builds an additional 'lens' through which to view the challenges in question, beginning with the 'local', then adding the 'national/regional' and finally the 'global'. The final event of the series will bring together PGRs, scholars and practitioners to discuss the outcomes of the workshops and to strategize directions for a robust peacekeeping research agenda.

This event is held under the remit of the BISA Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding Working Group with funding from BISA PGN.


09:30 – Arrival (room AG05)

10:00 - Opening remarks from Alexander Gilder (Royal Holloway, University of London) (room AG01)

10:15 – 11:45 Human Rights and humanitarian ambitions in training and policy (room AG01)

Chair/Discussant: Sabrina White (University of Leeds)

  • Training the troops on gender: The making of a transnational practice
    Aiko Holvikivi (London School of Economics)
  • Women as weapon systems: from gender to human security advisers in the DRC
    Hannah West (University of Bath)
  • “The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war?” Security sector reform and its contribution to post-conflict state building in Somalia and Sudan
    Wessel Toonen

12:00 – 13:00 Lunch (room AG05)

13:00 – 14:30 Militarisation, Local Legitimacy and Protection (room AG01)

Chair/Discussant: Dr Mateja Peter (University of St Andrews)

  • Peacekeeping in Mindanao by the International Monitoring Team – A sui generis mission or the way forward in cases of protracted, low-intensity violence?
    Georgi Engelbrecht
  • Indigenous legitimacy versus ‘international legitimacy’? Lessons learned from the largest EU mission
    Dr Florian Qehaja (Kosovar Centre for Security Studies and Royal College of Defence Studies)
  • The DRC, MONUSCO and the protection of civilians
    Jennifer Giblin (University of Nottingham)
  • Places of safety: Sites for “Protection of Civilians” in South Sudan as a response by UN peacekeeping missions
    Dr Walt Kilroy (Dublin City University)

14:30 – 15:00 Break (room AG05)

15:00 – 16:30 Looking forward: post-conflict considerations (room AG01)

Chair/Discussant: Dr Walt Kilroy (Dublin City University)

  • The rule of law in UN stabilization missions
    Alexander Gilder (Royal Holloway, University of London)
  • Gender, reparations, and post-conflict peace-building in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
    Dr Monica Ingber (Coventry University)

This panel will conclude the day with a directed discussion

A few points to consider:

  1. Is increased militarisation a pragmatic and necessary adjunct to modern peacekeeping?
  2. How can peacekeeping operations better adapt to new challenges and pursue humanitarian and human rights goals?
  3. What kind of engagement is needed between host populations and the UN and member states in peacekeeping and peacebuilding?
  4. What kind of research agenda is needed to progress on these topics?

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When and where

9.30am - 4.30pmFriday 20th September 2019

College Building City, University of London St John Street London EC1V 4PB UK