Peacemakers at Risk: Understanding Violence against Third Party Interveners

Project Overview

Project Leader

Project Period

  • 2010 - ongoing

Project Description

Violence targeting third party actors such as peacekeepers and aid workers intervening in areas of conflict appears increasingly common and deadly in recent years. Recurrent attacks against third party actors are now a central dynamic of conflicts in countries such as Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Sudan. In the face of attacks, restrictions have often been placed on the actions of third parties, or even resulted in their complete withdrawal. For civilians left in a situation of insecurity and humanitarian need, the consequences of third party withdrawal can be dire.

Despite the frequency of attacks targeting third party actors, and the consequences that this type of attacks can have for host populations, violence against third party actors remains underexplored. Thus, in 2010, the Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP) launched the first phase of a new data collection effort entitled “Peacemakers at Risk: Understanding Violence against Third Party Interveners” (PAR), to chart where, when and how violence against third party actors occurs. When completed, the dataset will contain detailed information, on an event-basis, for violent incidents targeting various third party actors intervening in sub-Saharan Africa between 1989 and 2009. This new data will allow for a more systematic assessment of the risks facing third party actors in insecure environments, such as those ridden by conflict and disaster. A unique contribution in and of itself – and a complement to extant UCDP data categories – the resultant dataset will also provide a starting point from which related questions pertaining to third party risk can be explored.


  • Fjelde, Hanne, Lisa Hultman & Sara Lindberg Bromley (2016). Offsetting Losses: Bargaining Power and Rebel Attacks on Peacekeepers. International Studies Quarterly, 60(4): 611-623

Working papers

  • Lindberg Bromley, Sara (2017). ”Introducing the Peacemakers at Risk Datsaset, Sub-Saharan Africa 1989-2009”, Working paper.

Conference papers

  • Fast, Larissa, Sara Lindberg Bromley & Ralph Sundberg (2015). ”Vulnerable to attack? Comparing exposure to violence among third party interveners”, Paper presented at the meeting International Studies Association Annual Convention, New Orleans, USA, February 2015.
  • Lindberg Bromley, Sara & Nynke Salverda (2013). ”Peacekeepers at Risk: A Statistical Analysis of Peacekeeping Interventions and Exposure to Violence”, Paper presented at the International Studies Association Annual Convention, San Francisco, USA, April 2013 and at the Thomas Ohlson Memorial Conference, Uppsala, Sweden, 18-20 April 2013.

Main financial support

  • Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet), Folke Bernadotte Academy

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