UNPOSUnited Nations Political Office in Somalia
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In consequence, a structured analysis that links cross-democratic domestic variation to participation in UNPOs, let alone examines the complex interplay between domestic and international conditions, has not yet been produced.
It combines international and domestic conditions in an integrated model that aims to explain varying contributions to UNPOs. It focusses on the 2006 reinforcement of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL II) because this is one of the few recent UNPOs to which traditional Western democracies made pivotal troop contributions.
The first section builds on the comprehensive literature on peacekeeping burden sharing and democratic peace theory to develop an integrated model that aims to explain diverging contributions to UNPOs. The next section justifies the case selection, introduces the methodological approach and discusses the operationalization of the condition and the outcome.
I build on three partially overlapping areas of academic research to develop an integrated model for explaining democratic contributions to UNPOs. First, I derive plausible international level explanations from previous research on peacekeeping operations.
The rich literature on UN peacekeeping offers a range of plausible international level determinants for contributions to UNPOs. The vast majority of academic research focusses on testing public goods theory (e.g.
In a study of African contributions to peacekeeping operations, Victor (2010: 225), for example, concludes that 'states with larger armed forces tend to deploy more peacekeepers.' Similarly, the study of Bove and Elia (2011: 712) convincingly demonstrates that 'the size of a state's military predicts the contribution to UN peacekeeping.' States with large military capabilities can thus be expected to have an incentive to contribute to secure the public benefits of UNPOs.
Geographic proximity can therefore be expected to provide states an incentive to contribute to UNPOs.
This corresponds to the conclusion of Bobrow and Boyer (1997: 731) that peacekeeping 'activism can become a habit' and Lebovic (2004: 928), whose findings indicate that a country's level of previous commitment to UNPOs is a significant determinant of future participation.
Previous research thus suggests several possible international incentives for contributing to UNPOs. However, conditions situated at the international level can also constrain a state's ability to contribute.
Augustine Mahiga, head of UNPOS, said in a press release that this 'historic moment marks the long-awaited end of the transitional period in Somalia.' He added that the new MPs, selected after broad-based, grass-roots consultations and representing all of Somalia's clans, have been successfully screened against objective criteria and are now ready to start their important work.
In its news release, UNPOS noted that 'careful' selection had resulted in high number of university graduates, people with relevant professional experience and a significant number of women entering the Parliament, although the agreed-upon quota of 30 per cent of seats for women parliamentarians was not reached.