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UN intervention and the duration of international crises


  • Kyle Beardsley

    (Department of Political Science, Emory University)


This article examines the effect of UN actions on the duration of international crises. Four different types of action – assurance, diplomatic engagement, military involvement, and intimidation – and three different outcomes – compromise, victory, and stalemate – are considered. After building on the existing literature to develop expectations of how a third party like the UN shapes crisis trajectories, hypotheses are tested using the International Crisis Behavior (ICB) data and a new events dataset on UN activity. Results from competing-risks models reveal that UN military involvement does well to decrease the risk of one side achieving victory, and diplomatic engagement increases the ability of the belligerents to reach a compromise in the long run. Moreover, diplomatic engagement accompanied by military involvement substantially hastens the pace of stalemate outcomes. Both tactics, however, have some trade-offs. Military involvement can decrease the sense of urgency for compromise; diplomatic engagement can be used for insincere motives and increase the risk of one-sided victory over time. UN actions of assurance and simple intimidation have considerable shortcomings as crisis management vehicles.

Suggested Citation

  • Kyle Beardsley, 2012. "UN intervention and the duration of international crises," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 49(2), pages 335-349, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:joupea:v:49:y:2012:i:2:p:335-349

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Frances Ruane & Xiaoheng Zhang, 2007. "Location Choices of the Pharmaceutical Industry in Europe after 1992," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp220, IIIS.
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