Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Political Science

First Advisor

Jim Butterfield

Second Advisor

Thomas Kostrzewa

Third Advisor

Karl Hokenmaier


This thesis presents the history of UN peacekeeping and how it has evolved over time to create more effective solutions to peacebuilding. This is done by providing a comparison of the backgrounds of three different peacekeeping missions, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), and the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO), with a historical and demographical background on the host country in order to demonstrate the importance of peacekeeping on that country. Through critical research of peer reviewed sources and contextual information from reports provided by the United Nations and the Effectiveness of Peace Operations Network (EPON), this paper argues that despite rough criticism and rigid concerns of the United Nations peacekeeping operations, many peacekeeping missions are successful and influential on the future of the host country, though evaluations on a case-tocase basis are needed to determine how this success is defined. This paper further shows that the missions that are classified as a “failed operation” still demonstrates an important influence on the host country. These UN missions that are labeled as a failure, failing to succeed in one or more aspects, still provide a net benefit to peace processes, aids in the protection of civilians, and assists to save lives while alleviating human suffering. Each case provided in this study (MINUSMA, MONUSCO, and UNMISS) display reasons to consider the operation a success or a failure, although the only operations that have been marked as having failed at the goals of its mandate are MONUSCO and UNMISS for reasons including lack of institutional aid and a lack of peace to be maintained in the country. In the conclusion, it is emphasized that if international actors wanted to see peacekeeping succeed more than fail, the PKOs would need the correct assistance at the beginning of drafting the first mandate, and not years later during a revision of the mandate.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

Presentation.pdf (4270 kB)
Defense Presentation