2018
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Journal Article: Building Peace Abroad and Coming Back Home: Experiences of Swedish Police Officers

Abrak Saati

Ever since the Swedish Police Authority established a unit for Peace Support Operations in 2000, approximately 70–110 Swedish police officers have participated in peacebuilding missions around the globe on an annual basis. This signifies that a substantial number of Swedish police officers have gained practical experience of assisting post-conflict states to rebuild their societies, reform their security sectors and establish a police force that acts in accordance with the principles of democratic policing. However, to date, there is no research that has set out to investigate these police officers’ experiences; not only of building peace abroad within the framework of democratic policing, but also of coming back home to reengage in Swedish police work. In this paper we begin to address this research gap. We do so through a number of qualitative interviews with Swedish police officers who have recent experiences of participating in peacebuilding missions in Liberia, Kosovo and Haiti. The findings show that despite certain obstacles, the police officers find ways to conduct police work in a manner that they believe supports the advancement of a democratic police force, and that their overall sentiment of building peace abroad is positive. However, their experiences of returning home to reengage in Swedish police work are less satisfactory. Officers express frustration that new insights and new knowledge gained abroad do not seem to be valued by the Swedish Police Authority. This is a finding that aligns with results from previous studies on Canadian and Australian police officers.

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Journal Article: Resilience Thinking for Peacebuilders

Patrik Johansson

The concept of resilience is currently making its way into the field of peace and conflict studies, but it is a concept with different meanings and implications. The argument advanced in this paper is that in order to make the most of resilience thinking, the field should not conceive of resilience merely as the ability to bounce back to an original state after a disturbance, a conceptualization usually referred to as “engineering resilience.” Instead, it should engage with “ecological resilience,” which refers to the amount of disturbance that a system can absorb before being pushed across a threshold from one stable state to another. I also relate these different types of resilience to another distinction between specified resilience to anticipated disturbances and general resilience to unknown ones. Finally, I consider a few other implications of resilience thinking for research on peace and conflict.

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Journal Article: Peacekeeping à la Russe

Malin E. Wimelius, Niklas Eklund and Jörgen Elfving

This article is only available in Swedish. Since 2014 an armed conflict is ongoing in the Eastern part of Ukraine, albeit today of low intensity. Over time there have been numerous attempts to reach a truce and a return to status quo ante, among them the Minsk agreements and in the autumn of 2017 the Russian proposal to introduce a peacekeeping force in the conflict area. This proposal raises the questions of the Russian view on peacekeeping operations and its experiences of and capability to carry out such operations, questions which are addressed in this article. Undoubtedly, Russia has a multifaceted capability in this aspect and also a rich experience of peacekeeping, but mainly in the post-Soviet landscape where a common history, culture etc. give Russian peacekeepers certain advantages. On the other hand, the theoretical framework seems less well developed even if peacebuilding, mirotvortjestvo, has emerged as a subject in the Russian debate. When it comes to a peacekeeping operation in Ukraine, like an end to the conflict, it is something that, for differing reasons, seems less likely today.