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


ethnic conflict, peace, peace studies, war, civil war, peacebuilding, reconciliation, United Nations, peacekeeping, Bosnia, Serb, Bosniak, Israel, Israeli, Palestine, Palestinian, Intifada, Georgia, Abkhazia

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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