ARC DISCOVERY PROJECT, 2016-2019 (DP160102429)


Professor Alex J Bellamy | School of Political Scene and International Relations/Director, Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, The University of Queensland

Dr Charles T Hunt | Vice-Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellow in the Social & Global Studies Centre and the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT University


This project assesses the impact of the implementation of mandates to use force to protect civilians in UN peacekeeping operations. Research consists of a structured focused comparison of six UN peacekeeping operations:

  • UN Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO)
  • African Union/UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID)
  • UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)
  • UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Central African Republic (MINUSCA)
  • UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA)
  • UN Operation in Cote d’Ivoire (UNOCI)

The broad goal of the project is to identify ways of improving the protection of civilians into the future. With currently over 100,000 peacekeepers deployed to UN missions around the world, the performance of peacekeepers can be literally a matter of life or death for civilians. Moreover, the UN is judged above all on its effectiveness to protect civilians. To date, there has been little systematic evaluation of the impacts associated with the use of force for civilian protection mandates.


  • Understand how mandates to use force to protect civilians are implemented in UN peacekeeping operations
  • Through systematic comparative research assess the principal advantages and problems associated with ‘robust’ peacekeeping to protect civilians
  • Identify the extent to which the use of force by UN peacekeepers for civilian protection purposes aids, or hinders, the pursuit of sustainable peace
  • Identify practices that might reduce the risks and increase the effectiveness of civilian protection mandates
  • Provide recommendations for policy development and practice in relation to the use of force for civilian protection purposes in UN peacekeeping operations.

If you have any questions, please contact:

Alex Bellamy:

Charles Hunt: