03 August 2021

MINUSMA and the militarisation of UN peacekeeping

Vanessa Gauthier Vela analyses the tensions and resistance around processes of militarization involving the United Nations peacekeeping operation in Mali.

The Mission multidimensionnelle intégrée des Nations unies pour la stabilisation au Mali (MINUSMA), the UN peace operation in Mali, represents a new development in peace missions, due to the insecure transnational context in which it has evolved and its mandate to collaborate with counterterrorist forces in the region.

The goal of this paper is to study this new development, using Cynthia Enloe’s feminist theorisation of the concept of militarisation. Vanessa Gauthier Vela, PhD researcher in International Relations and Political Science at the Graduate Institute and PhD affiliate at the Gender Centre, bases her analysis on an understanding of militarisation as a social process that can be adapted or contested. Grounded in a qualitative methodology, she studies MINUSMA and its peacekeepers in order to identify how the process of militarisation takes place within/through the mission.

The author's principal argument is that the context of robust peacekeeping, combined with the implications of collaboration with counterterrorist operations and the reengagement of NATO troop contributing countries, creates a space in which militarisation is reinforced for the mission and its peacekeepers and that this impacts how they interact with one another and what practices they favour.

Gauthier Vela, Vanessa. 2021. MINUSMA and the militarization of UN peacekeeping. International Peacekeeping. DOI: 10.1080/13533312.2021.1951610


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