Countries from the Global South have become the main troop providers for United Nations (UN) mandated international peacekeeping operations. Amongst the troop sending countries, Latin American states have taken on an increasingly important role. Of the 97.729 UN peacekeepers currently deployed, 6.246 come from Latin American countries. Most of the Latin American peacekeepers are deployed to Haiti (4.322; UNPDO 2014). Even if, in terms of the overall amount of troop-contributions, Latin American countries are still far behind the leading UN troop-sending countries (India, Bangladesh or Pakistan), the growing interest of Latin American states to participate in international peacekeeping operations after the end of the Cold War and of military dictatorships in the region, is more than apparent.
This development, however, has remained of marginal interest to contemporary peace and conflict studies. The research project aims at addressing this gap. It seeks to contribute to a comprehensive understanding of Latin American contributions to UN peacekeeping, in particular with regard to the effectiveness and legitimacy of such missions.
The project analyses the most important UN peacekeeping mission with Latin American participation, the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). It particularly focusses on the role of Brazil. The country not only provides most of the UN-troops. Since 2004, Brazil is also in charge of the military component of MINUSTAH.
The research project asks whether Brazil’s role as a postcolonial “emerging power” enhances the effectiveness and legitimacy of international peacekeeping missions, and if that is the case, how this can be explained? Answering this question offers important academic as well as policy-relevant insights regarding the role of South-South collaboration in international peacekeeping, in particular with regard to the legitimacy and effectiveness of such missions when compared to peacekeeping operations led by countries from the Global North.
The project is designed as an inductive case study, and it pursues a qualitative research approach with the goal of developing a set of hypotheses for future research and theory development regrading the role of Latin American peacekeeping in a global context in which actors from the Global South play a growing role in global security governance.