Marina Henke

Assistant Professor, Political Science
Northwestern University


Marina Henke joins Alistair Edgar to discuss two of her publications from 2016 “Great Powers and UN Force Generation: A case study of UNAMID” (International Peacekeeping, Vol. 23, Issue 3, 2016) and “Has UN Peacekeeping become more deadly? Trends in UN Fatalities” (Providing for Peacekeeping, No. 14, December 2016). In these articles Henke looks at UN Peacekeeping Missions with a different focus than other scholarly works. Most of the existing literature on UN Force Generation tries to find categorical causes, while Henke is more interested in looking at how the processes develop. As she summarises the approach, it is a matter of studying the how rather than the why. This focus forces the researcher (and reader) to address issues of agency. In the second article, Henke’s scholarship challenges existing methodology on fatalities in UN Peacekeeping Missions. Existing research has looked at the development of the overall number of UN fatalities across all deployments in a calendar year. Henke instead calculates fatality ratios—fatalities relative to UN deployment numbers. To calculate accurate ratios she uses monthly UN deployment and fatality data. Furthermore, she addresses these statistics at three different levels: the global level, the mission level, and the contingent level. Through careful analysis Henke shows that—contrary to popular perception—there has been a sharp decrease in overall fatalities. In discussing her methodology and findings Henke and Edgar highlight how practitioners and scholars can differ in approach, and the benefits of bridging that gap.

Access to both articles are available on Marina Henke’s website

“Great Powers and UN Force Generation: A case study of UNAMID”
International Peacekeeping, Vol. 23, Issue 3, 2016

“Has UN Peacekeeping become more deadly? Trends in UN Fatalities”
Providing for Peacekeeping, No. 14, December 2016

Prof. Henke’s academic expertise is in military interventions, international security cooperation and European security and defense policy. She examines questions such as: What motivates states to launch military interventions? How are coalitions-of-the-willing constructed? What role do international institutions and alliances play in the force generation process? Does the coalition composition affect the intervention outcome? Prof. Henke is currently working on two book manuscripts and several related articles related to these questions.  Prior to joining Northwestern University, Prof. Henke has been a Jennings Randolph Peace Scholar with the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) from 2011-2012. She also served as the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Public and International Affairs (JPIA) and worked with the U.S. House of Representatives’ Ways and Means Committee, the European Commission, the European Parliament, the German Foreign Office as well as NGOs in Mexico and Argentina.

Recorded December 2016