Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)




Susan Peterson

Committee Members

Etienne Poliquin

Rui Pereira


Do race and ethnicity impact peacekeeping success? Scholars provide many arguments for why peacekeeping missions succeed or fail, but there has been little systematic study of how identity similarities or differences between peacekeepers and populations affect mission outcomes. I propose that racial and ethnic similarities or differences between the two groups are causal mechanisms that help determine whether a mission is on the road to operational success or failure. I use a mixed-method design to test these claims. First, I use a linear regression analysis to measure the impact of racial similarity between peacekeepers and populations on violence against civilians in twelve African civil wars. The analysis shows that higher proportions of racial similarity somewhat reduces violence. I then use process tracing in my case study of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Congo (MONUC) to test my theories qualitatively. I find additional evidence in this case suggesting that racial and ethnic differences reduce peacekeepers’ ability to protect civilians.

Available for download on Wednesday, May 01, 2024