Unarmed Civilian Peacekeeping

Under the guest editorship of Dr. Rachel Julian, Lecturer in Peace Studies at Leeds Metropolitan University, and Dr. Christine Schweitzer, co-founder of the “Institute for Peace Work and Nonviolent Conflict Transformation”, Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice is dedicating a part of issue 27(1) to exploring the development of Unarmed Civilian Peacekeeping.

Unarmed Civilian Peacekeeping (UCP) is about protecting people living and working in areas affected by violent conflict – to prevent violence and reduce the impact of violence against civilians, and to increase the safety and security of civilians threatened by violence. The protective actions may involve human rights defenders or community leaders needing accompaniment, or peacekeepers being a visible presence at a meeting, patrolling an area, or creating new opportunities to discuss and meet, but whichever actions are used there are two consistent factors in its approach. First, it uses nonviolent power and tactics that enable civilians to protect one another from violence, and second it makes space for local people to develop their ideas for long-term peace and security.

 

It is a unique role that civilians play in a violent situation. It involves trained civilians working with local people to address the problems and challenges that they face. They can be creating a safe space where local people will have the opportunity and time to make decisions and build the networks they need in order to achieve the changes they want. It is an initiative made up of slow incremental steps, of building trust, strengthening relationships, and becoming visible.

The field is now over thirty years old, with NGOs such as Peace Brigades International and Nonviolent Peaceforce having projects across the world as well as governmental bodies, such as the EU and OSCE, organizing civilian missions. There is much to debate and discuss.

Over the thirty years the methods, activities, and theory has developed through practice and reflection, and the focus on the protection of civilians has expanded to include humanitarian and development as well as those directly experiencing violent conflict. UCP is having an impact, and we wish to understand more about how it works, where it works, and why it works.

Essays and case studies are invited  that explore the theoretical and practical development of UCP, its relationship to other agencies and frameworks, and how challenges are identified and managed. Essays are welcome that are both reflective of the process thus far and/or look forward to new opportunities. Interested writers should submit essays (2500-3500 words) and 1-2 line bios to Peace Review no later than October 15th, 2014. Essays should be jargon- and footnote-free, although Recommended Readings will be run. Please refer to the Submission Guidelines.

 

Essays on ideas and research in peace studies, broadly defined, may be published. Essays are relatively short (2500-3500 words), contain no footnotes or exhaustive bibliography, and are intended for a wide readership. The journal is most interested in the cultural and political issues surrounding conflicts occurring between nations and peoples.

Please direct content-based questions or concerns to Guest Editors:

R [dot] Julian [at] leedsmet [dot] ac [dot] uk (Dr. Rachel Julian) & CSchweitzerIFGK [at] aol [dot] com (Dr. Christine Schweitzer)

Send essays to:
Robert Elias (Editor in Chief)
Erika Myszynski (Managing Editor)

Email: peacereview [at] usfca [dot] edu
Subject Line: UCPK