, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 177–190 | Cite as

Towards a political geography of United Nations peacekeeping: Some considerations

  • Grundy-Warr Carl E. R. 


Peacekeeping missions should be viewed from various political and spatial perspectives. Firstly, there is the macro-level perspective of the UN Organization itself, particularly the respective interests of the most powerful members of the UN and permanent seat holders on the Security Council. Secondly, there are the national perspectives of the various resources and troop-contributing states to specific UN operations. Thirdly, there are the interests of the conflicting parties themselves, including governments, national armies, local militia groups, factional political leaders and local communities. An analysis of UN peacekeeping involves a complex multi-dimensional geopolitical framework that incorporates the linkages and contradictions between all these differing perspectives, from macro to micro-spatial scales. Peacekeepers themselves are not passive figures in the political and human landscapes within which they operate. Many of the activities of UN “blue helmets” alter landscapes and conflict scenarios. Whilst some of these changes are deliberate, such as the creation of demilitarized zones, many are unforeseen and less visible, such as the ways in which local civilian populations are affected by the presence of large numbers of foreign peacekeepers. This paper examines some of the political, social and economic consequences of peacekeeping missions in places as diverse as Cambodia, Somalia, the Lebanon and Cyprus.


Security Council Political Leader Civilian Population National Perspective Spatial Perspective 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Grundy-Warr Carl E. R. 
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeographyNational University of SingaporeSingaporeRepublic of Singapore

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