Politics or Performance? Leadership Accountability in UN Peacekeeping

Forthcoming, Journal of Conflict Resolution

42 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2021

See all articles by Magnus Lundgren

Magnus Lundgren

University of Gothenburg - Department of Political Science

Kseniya Oksamytna

King's College London

Vincenzo Bove

University of Warwick - Department of Politics and International Studies

Date Written: June 7, 2021

Abstract

International organizations face a trade-off between the need to replace poorly performing leaders and the imperative of preserving the loyalty of influential or pivotal member states. This performance-politics dilemma is particularly acute in UN peacekeeping. Leaders of peacekeeping operations are responsible for ensuring that peacekeepers implement mandates, maintain discipline, and stay safe. Yet, if leaders fail to do so, is the UN Secretariat able and willing to replace them? We investigate newly collected data on the tenure of 238 civilian and military leaders in 38 peacekeeping operations, 1978–2017. We find that the tenures of civilian leaders are insensitive to performance, but that military leaders in poorly performing missions are more likely to be replaced. We also find evidence that political considerations complicate the UN’s efforts at accountability. Holding mission performance constant, military leaders from countries that are powerful or contribute large numbers of troops stay longer in post.

Suggested Citation

Lundgren, Magnus and Oksamytna, Kseniya and Bove, Vincenzo, Politics or Performance? Leadership Accountability in UN Peacekeeping (June 7, 2021). Forthcoming, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3861783 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3861783

Magnus Lundgren (Contact Author)

University of Gothenburg - Department of Political Science ( email )

Box 711
Göteborg, S-405 30
Sweden

Kseniya Oksamytna

King's College London ( email )

King's College London, Strand
London, WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

Vincenzo Bove

University of Warwick - Department of Politics and International Studies ( email )

Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
20
Abstract Views
123
PlumX Metrics