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Blue Helmets and Black Robes: the Cooperation Between Peacekeepers and International Criminal Tribunals

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Because international criminal tribunals continue to face problems in securing state cooperation, they frequently turn to peacekeepers for assistance in their investigations and arrests. Although peacekeepers have at several critical junctures delivered important support to the tribunals, the assistance has often been inconsistent, selective, and reluctant. This paper seeks to explain this variance by developing a theory of the conditions under which peace operations assist international criminal tribunals. In doing so, it seeks to build on and fill gaps in the literature on peacekeeping and international criminal justice. Beginning with the idea that peace operations will assist tribunals when they are willing to do so, and when the tribunals have the requisite capacity to act on this willingness, this paper stipulates the factors that can make peace operations more or less willing and capable to assist. Then, it addresses the role that the tribunals can play in improving operations' chances of success. As an initial assessment of the explanatory value of the theory, the paper conducts a plausibility probe into the UN Transitional Administration for Eastern Slavonia, Baranjam and Western Sirmium (UNTAES) arrest of Slavko Dokmanovic.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2018

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  • The St Antony's International Review (STAIR) is the only peer-reviewed journal of international affairs at the University of Oxford. Set up by graduate students of St Antony's College in 2005, the Review has carved out a distinctive niche as a cross-disciplinary outlet for research on the most pressing contemporary global issues, providing a forum in which emerging scholars can publish their work alongside established academics and policymakers. Past contributors include Robert O. Keohane, James N. Rosenau, and Alfred Stepan.
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