This Independent Study seeks to understand what combination of peace tools leads to the durability of peace after ethnic conflict. Specifically, I research how top-down United Nations (UN) peacekeeping missions working in concert with bottom-up communal/grassroots reconciliation approaches lead to durable peace. I hypothesize that a UN peacekeeping mission must come first followed by communal reconciliation. This will lead to the engagement of society at the local level, which leads to durable peace. Based upon a review of relevant literature, I begin to develop an argument that both UN peacekeeping missions and communal/grassroots reconciliation efforts must be used in tandem to provide durable peace. To test my hypothesis, I utilize a most similar systems case study design. I further offer process- tracing narratives of the peacebuilding efforts that arose from the ethnic conflicts of the Israeli- Palestinian Second Intifada, the Georgian-Abkhazian Conflict, and the Bosnian War. I conclude that the presence of both a UN peacekeeping mission and communal reconciliation leads to durable peace. Furthermore, I also hypothesize that a UN Peacekeeping mission must precede communal reconciliation in order to create an environment secure enough for reconciliation to begin. My Independent Study provides a deeper understanding of the often-overlooked necessity of using certain peace tools in concert during the peacebuilding process in post-ethnic conflict societies.


Krain, Matthew


Political Science


International and Area Studies | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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