Ending Atrocities: Third Party Interventions into Civil Wars

Project Overview

Project leader

Project period 

  • 2015 - 2020

Project description

Civil wars and civilian atrocities are no longer treated as internal affairs. Recent decades have seen a norm shift, emphasizing the responsibility of the international community in ensuring human security when states fail to protect their citizens. There are high expectations on the international community to respond to killings and sexual violence against civilians. Nevertheless, there is seldom agreement as to what the best and most effective response would be. There is a wide set of strategies that the international community may take, for example peacekeeping operations, sanctions, and diplomatic efforts. But how do these policies affect the prospects of ending atrocities?

This project seeks to make two main contributions to our understanding of the effects of third-party interventions into civil wars. First, it examines the relative effectiveness and complementarity of various coercive and non-coercive measures that third parties may take in response to civilian abuse. Second, it explores potential trade-offs in the effects that interventions may have, in particular with respect to long-term stability and peace.

The project has also supported part of the data collection for the Geo-PKO project.


This project is funded by Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation through the Wallenberg Academy Fellows program.

Project participants (current and former)

The following students have done internships within the project:

  • Henrique Garbino
  • Ognjen Gogic
  • Astrid Juckenack
  • Herman Wieselgren

The project has hosted the following visiting PhD students and postdocs:

  • Hana Bredikova
  • Deniz Cil
  • Jessica Di Salvatore
  • Vanessa Meier


  • Bara, Corinne. 2020. “Shifting Targets: The Effect of Peacekeeping on Postwar Violence.” European Journal of International Relations: https://doi.org/10.1177/1354066120902503.
  • Tidblad-Lundholm, Kajsa. 2020. “When are women deployed? Operation uncertainty and deployment of female personnel to UN peacekeeping?” International Peacekeeping 27(4): 673-702. 
  • Bara, Corinne and Lisa Hultman. 2020. “Just Different Hats? Comparing UN and Non-UN Peacekeeping.” International Peacekeeping 27(3): 341­–368.
  • Sundberg, Ralph. 2020. "UN Peacekeeping and Forced Displacement in South Sudan", International Peacekeeping 27(2): 210-237.
  • Hultman, Lisa and Kajsa Tidblad-Lundholm. 2020. “What Do We Really Know about Local Peacekeeping Effects?” (A Comment on “Violence reduction or relocation? Effects of United Nations troops presence on local levels of violence” by Laura Peitz and Gregor Reisch.) Zeitschrift für Friedens- und Konfliktforschung 9: 211–217.
  • Cil, Deniz, Hanne Fjelde, Lisa Hultman, and Desirée Nilsson. 2020. “Mapping Blue Helmets: Introducing the Geocoded Peacekeeping Operations (Geo-PKO) Dataset.” Journal of Peace Research 57(2): 360-370.
  • Hultman, Lisa, Jacob Kathman, and Megan Shannon. 2019. Peacekeeping in the Midst of War. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Elfversson, Emma; Sara Lindberg Bromley & Paul D. Williams. 2019. “Urban peacekeeping under siege: Attacks on African Union peacekeepers in Mogadishu, 2007-2009.” Third World Thematics 4(2-3): 158-178.
  • Johansson, Karin and Lisa Hultman. 2019. “UN Peacekeeping and Protection from Sexual Violence.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 63(7): 1656–1681.
  • Hegre, Håvard, Lisa Hultman, and Håvard Mokleiv Nygård. 2019. “Evaluating the Conflict-Reducing Effect of Peacekeeping Operations.” Journal of Politics 81(1): 215-232.
  • Hultman, Lisa. 2019. “Mediation and Prevention of Violence against Civilians”, in Jonathan Wilkenfeld, Kyle Beardsley, and David Quinn (eds.) Handbook on Mediating International Crises. Edward Elgar.
  • Hultman, Lisa and Angela Muvumba Sellström. 2019. “WPS and Protection of Civilians,” in True, Jacqui and Sara Davies (eds.) Oxford Handbook on Women, Peace, and Security. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 
  • Hultman, Lisa and Karin Johansson. 2017. “Responding to Wartime Sexual Violence: UN Peacekeeping and the Protection Agenda”. Global Responsibility to Protect 9(2): 129–146.
  • Hultman, Lisa and Dursun Peksen. 2017. “Successful or Counterproductive Coercion? The Effect of International Sanctions on Conflict Intensity.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 61(6): 1315-1339.
  • Hultman, Lisa, Jacob Kathman, and Megan Shannon. 2016 “United Nations Peacekeeping Dynamics and the Duration of Post-Conflict Peace.” Conflict Management and Peace Science 33(3): 231–249.