Liberal Peace in Peace Operations

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The understanding that liberal democracies do not fight each other has become one of the most disseminated ideas amongst scholars and policymakers on the conditions for international peace and security since the initial statistical findings about the correlation between democracy and peace in the 1970s. Broadly defined as a paradigm that calls upon the active construction of lasting peace within the international system through the transformation of societies, 'liberal peace' con-nects the maintenance of international stability to the dissemination of liberal values and institutions, and to agendas geared towards socioeconomic and political restruc-turing of non-liberal sovereign States. This chapter explores some articulations of the notion of liberal peace over the past decades, tracing the debate that has culmi-nated in moral and political justifications for liberal interventionism in non-liberal States after the Cold War. It investigates the influence of liberal ideas in conceptual and practical transformations of United Nations Peace Operations, which along with other historical developments and experiences in the field, shaped the emergence of more robust and intrusive generations of peace operations authorized to intervene in the domestic affairs of States and to actively participate in post-conflict reconstruc-tion. As the deployment of peace missions shaped by liberal values and expectations has been widely contested and criticized as a contemporary form of colonialism, the recent years have brought up questions about resistance and the emergence of a post-liberal order, but also about the capacities of international institutions such as the United Nations to deliver the ambitious promises of previous decades.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Encyclopedia of Peace and Conflict Studies
EditorsOliver Richmond, Gëzim Visoka
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication statusPublished - 09 Apr 2020


  • Liberal Peace
  • Democratic Peace
  • Peace Operations
  • United Nations
  • Kantian Peace
  • Post-liberal Peacebuilding


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