Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Political Science


Political Science

First Advisor

Susan Allen

Second Advisor

Robert Brown

Third Advisor

Matthew DiGiuseppe

Relational Format



This paper seeks to explore the impacts of peacekeeping operations by the United Nations on the human rights abuses associated with civil wars. Previous research has consistently found evidence that civil wars increase human rights abuses; however, the literature has not adequately analyzed possible factors that could decrease this violence or the affects peacekeeping could have on human rights performances. The UN has four types of peacekeeping operations: observer, traditional, multidimensional, and enforcement. The results of a Heckman selection model for 57 countries that have experienced a civil war between 1976 and 2012 suggest peacekeeping does impact human rights performances, although the impact is dissimilar for different types of missions and different types of human rights. In comparing mission effectiveness, multidimensional missions decrease human rights abuses more than observer/traditional missions and enforcement missions for current and future rights. Enforcement missions are associated with more abuses for current rights in comparison to traditional missions, but have fewer abuses five years in the future. Differences in time lags also suggest that the larger multidimensional and enforcement missions are more effective for future rights, whereas smaller traditional missions can be sufficient in impacting current human rights performances. These inferences apply to physical integrity rights, though, as the different mission types do not seem to affect civil liberty rights using the selection model.



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