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Protecting Civilians In Uncivil Wars

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Chapter Summary

This chapter aims to advance the debate on protecting civilians in three ways. First, it proposes a framework for thinking about the different dimensions of a comprehensive and coherent civilian protection agenda: the nature of the problem i.e. threats facing civilians during armed conflict; the sources of the contemporary protection agenda; the pillars upon which the protection agenda should rest; and the principal agents of protection. Second, the chapter identifies several problems with the current agenda: the gap between capabilities and expectations; the lack of operational guidance; coordination and coherence problems; the tensions between internal and external modes of protection; and the role of the state. Finally it suggests four important areas for further research and action: enhancing state capacity in relevant areas; bolstering the resilience of local communities at risk of harm; strengthening the ability of peacekeepers to protect civilians; and developing capacities to conduct effective humanitarian interventions.

Keywords: armed conflict; civilian; civilian protection agenda



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