Following closely the practice of peacekeeping, the literature on the subject has come in one small wave and then two larger ones. The first wave, during the Cold War, includes classic works focusing mainly on peacekeeping in wars between states. The second wave, at first inspired by the boom in peacekeeping shortly after the end of the Cold War, soon reflected disillusionment and focuses largely on failure and dysfunction, despite significant cases of success. The third and most recent wave also reflects a resurgence in peacekeeping but is newly concerned with systematic and methodologically rigorous analysis (both quantitative and qualitative) of basic empirical questions about the effects of peacekeeping and the sources of peacekeeping outcomes. Recent empirical studies have demonstrated peacekeeping's effectiveness in maintaining peace, but related questions persist concerning the use of force, transitional administrations, which organizations most effectively keep peace, perspectives of the “peacekept,” and effects on democratization.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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