Technology as a Resilience Factor in Peace Operations
Publication Type:Journal Article
Source:Connections: The Quarterly Journal, Volume 19, Issue 4, p.69-85 (2020)
Keywords:adaptation, foresight, innovation, peace operations, resilience, technology
Peace operations have undergone significant shifts since their conceptualization. They have transitioned from monitoring ceasefires in interstate conflicts to supporting the implementation of comprehensive peace agreements. Some peace operations are now involved in stabilization and increasingly in the protection of civilians. Others are operating in areas experiencing violent extremism, terrorism, transnational organized crime, and violent intrastate conflict largely involving non-state armed groups. These changes, coupled with transformations in the global order, call for adaptation and resilience of peace operations to ensure that they are “fit for purpose” to meet present and future security needs. Central to this adaptation and resilience are the ‘tools,’ ‘technologies’ and ‘equipment’ peacekeepers employ. This article looks into the resilience of peace operations from a technological and innovation angle, examining how technology can/is enhancing the resilience of peace operations and how peace operations are adopting and leveraging new technologies to implement their evolving mandates and adapt to changing conflict dynamics. Actors in peace operations and their national technological capabilities (or lack thereof) strengthen or undermine the collective resilience of the wider peace operations’ architecture. The article argues that agility, foresight, and anticipation, matched with timely adaptation to technological developments and innovative systems of operations, are essential components in the resilience of peace operations amidst changing security dynamics.