Date of Award

Spring 2012

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Professor Kelly Wurtz


This paper looks at the relationship between the United Nations and regional organizations in international peacekeeping. Specifically, it analyzes what factors influence the deployment of an independent regional or UN peacekeeping mission or the creation of a hybrid UN-regional peacekeeping operation. This paper finds that a regional-level factor – the potential effectiveness of the regional organization in terms of available resources and perceived neutrality – and an international-level factor - the willingness of the Security Council - influence the establishment of a third-party peacekeeping mission in a civil conflict. Specifically, when an effective regional organization exists, it will intervene in a local conflict, with or without the approval of the Security Council. In the absence of a regional peacekeeping option, the United Nations will intervene if there is agreement within the Security Council. If there is not, an individual state, usually the regional power, will intervene unilaterally. Therefore, this paper concludes that these factors, both independently and collectively, can predict institutional behavior in international peacekeeping. The argument is supported through the use of four case studies: the Somali Civil War (1991-present), the Sri Lankan Civil War (1983-2009), the First Liberian Civil War (1989-1996) and the Kosovo Conflict (1998-1999).


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.