What is it about?

'Being credible' means to be believable. In UN peacekeeping, peacekeepers need to present as a credible deterrent to prevent the resumption of war. But at the same time, they need to win the hearts and minds of the local population. How can they achieve both goals and still be credible?

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Why is it important?

This is important for helping us understand how and where the use of force is useful in military operations and where it would be better to engage in peace building outreach activities with civilian populations.


This article builds on my previous work on credibility in peacekeeping (Peacekeeping in South Lebanon: Credibility and Local Cooperation). It took a long time for me to understand how to talk about building credibility for both cooperation and deterrence purposes. In particular because a peacekeeping force usually either has a reputation for using force, or for cultivating cooperation, but not both. I think this article has applications beyond UN peacekeeping. I hope you find it useful.

VF Newby
Universiteit Leiden

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Offering the Carrot and Hiding the Stick?, Global Governance A Review of Multilateralism and International Organizations, September 2022, Brill,
DOI: 10.1163/19426720-02803003.
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