Dr. Holger Albrecht “Diversionary Peace: International Peacekeeping and Domestic Civil-Military Relations” Journal Article

Diversionary Peace: International Peacekeeping and Domestic Civil-Military Relations

Dr. Holger Albrecht (University of Alabama)

Journal Article in International Peacekeeping, 27(4): 586-616, (2020)


What is the impact of international peacekeeping missions for civil-military relations at home? This article unpacks the conditions that produce positive effects of peacekeeping participation on the domestic politics of an authoritarian regime. Drawing on field research, I discuss four mechanisms that link foreign policy making to domestic civil-military relations in Ben Ali’s Tunisia. First, the deployment of troops for peacekeeping abroad presents obstacles for the coordination of coup plots at home. Second, incumbents can allocate material resources to meet officers’ economic grievances. Moreover, peacekeeping operations serve to enhance corporate institutionalization through specific training programmes. Finally, peacekeeping contributes to a professional ethos and hence the depoliticization of the officer corps. These findings give rise to the notion that contributing to peace can have similar effects for domestic politics as going to war.