Peacekeeping Training and Gender

Project title: Peacekeeping Training and Gender
Partners: UNU-GEST and EDDA Center of Excellence, University of Iceland
Timeframe: January 2016 to October 2016
Leading researcher: Dr. Anne Flaspöeler, postdoctoral researcher at EDDA

Anne received her PhD in Politics and International Studies from the University of Leeds in 2015. Her research interests include peacekeeping training and its socialisation properties, liberal peacebuilding as well as African peace and security efforts. She has conducted fieldwork in Ghana, South Africa and Rwanda.

The research addresses peacekeeper training as an under-studied topic in peacebuilding/keeping research by exploring efforts to enhance peacekeepers’ capabilities from the perspective of socialisation. In so doing, it touches on liberal peace as the domineering notion which guides international peace support efforts and thus training while raising the overall question whether peacekeeping training is about character building, changing behaviour, the building of professional identity or adherence to procedure (adapted from a military ethics context). The impact of training is discussed looking at the training programmes of two case studies: the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) in Accra, Ghana and the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) in Durban, South Africa. In this way, the lecture uncovers the challenges KAIPTC and ACCORD face in addressing training subjects in depth and in providing an extensive practical training dimension, which includes sufficient feedback and reflection, in order to assure a training impact that equals socialisation. Although both centres comply with the standards expected of peacekeeping training internationally, it is argued that only peacekeepers’ adherence to procedure can be accomplished. This is exemplified using examples of training on gender.