Cases in conflict prevention



Macedonia, Albania and Kosovo are three cases in which the objective of the international community was to prevent the spread of an existing violent conflict. In Macedonia, the UN undertook its first preventive deployment, but did it serve as a “Maginot line” while the real violence brewed inside Macedonia? In Albania, it was possible to identify the underlying causes, but harder to predict the times and places at which proximate causes would errupt in violence.  Prevention therefore amounted to resisting exacerbation.  Did it make a difference?  What was the military role in controlling the violence?  Albanian-Serb violence in Kosovo threatened to destabilise Macedonia and Albania – creating both a humanitarian crisis and threat of a violent war.  Large-scale military intervention was part of the international strategy to control and prevent further violence.  Was it successful? How do we know when prevention works?

Learning Objectives

On completing this Lesson, you should be able to:

  • Describe conflicts for purposes of prevention [undesa, 39]
  • Analyse preventive tools and strategies [undesa, 43]
  • Evaluate the impact of conflict prevention strategies using empirical indicators
  • Explain military roles in conflict prevention

Required Reading

David Last, lastdav(at)gmail.com,  updated December 2016