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Peacekeeping Under Fire: Culture and Intervention

Robert A. Rubinstein

Paradigm Publishers, December 2008

Peacekeeping Under Fire: Culture and Intervention

The international community increasingly responds to civil wars, humanitarian crises, and other intrastate conflicts through the instrument of U.N. peacekeeping. Nearly all of these interventions take place in non-Western areas and involve interactions among militaries and nongovernmental organizations from all around the globe.

In this wide-ranging book, Robert Rubinstein, distinguished professor of anthropology, draws on decades of his own research on peacekeeping, and on other current and historical cases, to develop a broad understanding of the roles that culture plays in peacekeeping's success or failure.

"Peacekeeping under Fire" shows that cultural considerations are key elements at all levels of peacekeeping operations. Culture influences what happens between peacekeepers and local populations, how military and nongovernmental organizations interact, and even how missions are planned and authorized. "Peacekeeping under Fire" analyzes how political symbolism and ritual are critical to peacekeeping and demonstrates how questions of power, identity, and political perception emerge from the cultural context of peacekeeping.

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