Composing Peace

 Mission Composition in UN Peacekeeping

with Chiara Ruffa and Andrea Ruggeri (Oxford University Press, April 2020)


Composing Peace: Mission Composition in UN Peacekeeping asks how diversity of mission composition influences the ability of a peace mission to keep the peace. This book focuses on four types of mission composition—diversity among peacekeepers, within the mission leadership, between mission leaders and peacekeepers, and between peacekeepers and locals. It is the first book to explore mission composition and its consequences, unpacking a concept hitherto unexplored and empirically combining quantitative and qualitative methods. It makes an important contribution to the fields of peace research, security studies, and international relations at large.


  • "In general, UN peacekeeping helps reduce violence and limit the likelihood of new wars. But some missions do this better than others. It is essential to understanding why. In this important new book, Vincenzo Bove, Chiara Ruffa, and Andrea Ruggeri show that how a peacekeeping mission is composed matters greatly to how it performs. Combining an eye for fine-grained detail with a rigorous empirical account that draws on experience in the Central African Republic, Lebanon, and Mali, Composing Peace demonstrates that achieving diversity across a mission's senior leadership whilst minimizing the social distance between peacekeepers and the peacekept helps missions reduce violence. Its highly original insights break new ground in the field and identify ways of improving the effectiveness of future peacekeeping." Alex Bellamy, Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at The University of Queensland

  • "United Nations peacekeeping missions are composed of troops and civilians from more than 120 different countries. It is important to understand how peacekeepers work together, because blue helmets are the most numerous type of troop in hot spots around the world today. Thousands of lives are at stake. What effects does troop diversity have on the ability to protect civilians? Does diversity make peacekeeping missions more effective? Bove, Ruffa, and Ruggeri find that, in general, diversity is an asset: different troop contributors complement each other with different strengths, enabling better peacekeeping. They also find, however, that sometimes less distance between Force Commanders and troops, and between troops and local citizens, can bring better outcomes. Composing Peace is a must-read for anyone interested in UN peacekeeping." Lise Howard, Associate Professor of Government, Georgetown University

  • "Composing Peace makes a major contribution by considering when diversity of peacekeepers can foster or impede UN peacekeeping efforts. The authors clearly and sharply analyze the role diversity of armed forces in UN efforts, providing important insights into contemporary peacekeeping. By developing a nuanced conception of diversity, the authors demonstrate that certain aspects improve UN missions while other elements of diversity reduce the effectiveness of the mission. Anyone studying peacekeeping or multilateral military efforts needs to read this book."  Stephen Saideman, Paterson Chair of International Affairs, Carleton University


©2020 by Vincenzo Bove.