Essential Information Program Theme & Policy Relevance Learning Objectives Workshop Benefits Application Procedure


Essential Information
Theme: The Evolution of UN Peace Operations: Contemporary Challenges and Requirements
Where: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), Oslo, Norway
When: October 26 – November 1, 2015
Application Deadline: Monday, June 8, 2015
Download the Workshop Flyer 

The selected participants will receive lowest-cost economy class return air travel between their location and the workshop site, accommodations and some meals for the duration of the workshop.

Workshop Summary
From October 25 – November 1, nineteen young scholars and UN officers, joined by researchers from the host institution, gathered at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) for the ACUNS-ASIL Workshop on International Organisation Studies (WIOS). Over the course of six days, the workshop participants had the opportunity to gain scholarly and practice-based knowledge and applied skills in the analysis of a range of topics related to the evolution of United Nations Peace Operations.
To read the complete summary and view photos from the 2015 Workshop click here.

Further Reading
NUPI research-based recommendations – United Nations Peace Operations

Program Theme & Policy Relevance
2015 is an important year for the United Nations. It has been 70 years since the signing of the UN Charter, 10 years since the establishment of the UN Peacebuilding Architecture and 15 years since the Brahimi Report on Peace Operations. In this spirit, the 2015 ACUNS Summer Workshop will focus on “The Evolution of UN Peace Operations: Contemporary Challenges and Requirements”. “The world is changing and United Nations peace operations must change with it if they are to remain an indispensable and effective tool in promoting international peace and security,” Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General said in a statement October 31, 2014, when he announced the establishment of the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations, chaired by President Jose Ramos-Horta of Timor-Leste. The Panel is expected to present its report in May 2015.

The ACUNS Summer Workshop will reflect on the Panel’s recommendations, and the academic literature and policy recommendations that have fed into the Panel’s work, to take stock of the state of peace operations in 2015, and what it tells us about the role of the United Nations in the larger context of global goverance in an age of uncertainty. 2015 marks the 15-years anniversary of the report of the previous High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations, led by Amb. Lakhdar Bahimi. The so-called Brahimi Report had a significant impact on the evolution of peace operations in the decade following the report. The report introduced a number of key lessons into peacekeeping policy, for instance that the secretariat must tell the Security Council what it needs to know, not what it wants to hear, and that the UN should not deploy peacekeepers where there is no peace to keep. In 2008 the UN developed its first peacekeeping capstone doctrine, largely on the basis of the existing principles of peacekeeping: consent, impartiality and limited use of force, as well as on the recommendation of the Brahimi Report and subsequent experience.

Now, just more than a half-decade later there is sufficient consensus again that the gap that is emerging between established UN peacekeeping doctrine and many of the contemporary missions that take place amidst on-going conflicts, warranted the formation of a new UN High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations.

The Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) provides an ideal host location within which the 2015 Workshop participants and guest speakers will have time and opportunity to exchange their ideas and experiences and to reflect on these critical challenges confronting post-conflict actors. NUPI has been engaged in research on UN peace operations since its establishment and today it is one of the top research institutes on this topic. NUPI has a dedicated Research Group on Peace Operations with approximately a dozen scholars, and has worked closely in support of the UN Peace Operations Panel, amongst others organising regional consultations for the Panel in Asia and Africa.

The Workshop is likely to address some of the following topics through lectures, participants’ presentations and discussions: mandates, doctrine and tailoring missions to country context; political frameworks, inclusive processes, including women’s participation in peace processes, and Good Officers; operating in volatile security environments; peacebuilding, stabilization and the restoration and extension of state authority, including the role of women in post-conflict peacebuilding; authority/accountability/responsibility; mission and contingency planning, start-up, transitions and exit strategies; partnerships, especially with the African Union, League of Arab States and European Union; Special Political Missions; resource and managerial requirements; promotion and protection of human rights and protection of civilians; uniformed capabilities to meet operational demands for peacekeeping; troop and police performance, accountability, rules of engagement and caveats; gender/women, peace and security issues, etc.

Applicants also are invited to propose other relevant topics as appropriate in their applications.

The SWIOS is an advanced-level research seminar; all selected participants are expected to prepare and present individual research papers and to participate actively in the discussion of others’ research presentations.

SWIOS ’15 will take place at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, and is intended to include meetings and guest lectures. Where possible, the revised research papers of participants, or summaries of the discussions, will be made available following the workshop through the ACUNS web site and global network of scholars and practitioners. Other forms of dissemination such as published collections etc., will be explored but are not guaranteed

Learning Objectives
Participants in the workshop will gain scholarly and practice-based knowledge and applied skills in the analysis of a number of issue areas related to the workshop theme. In some measure, the specific issue areas will be determined by the research proposals of the selected participants, but more broadly the themes and skill-sets to be addressed may be anticipated to include (but not be limited to):

  • Achieving strategic coherence between the political, security, development and human rights dimensions of peace operations;
  • Managing and balancing the roles and interests of actors at the local, national, regional and global levels, including intergovernmental, non-governmental, and civil society parties, and across military and civilian policy sectors;
  • The current state of knowledge regarding ideas and norms, policies, doctrine and practices, strengths and deficiencies, needs and resources, and ‘lessons learned’ related to UN peacekeeping and Special Political Missions;
  • Identifying and reflecting upon the ‘lessons learned’ from the sharing of innovative proposals, ideas, and practices, between and among the next generation of scholars and practitioners, and how these best might be used to promote positive policy outcomes.


Workshop Benefits
Through presentations by young scholars and practitioners (that is, you!), case studies, guided research, special lectures and innovative pedagogies geared towards post-graduate level professionals, this workshop will encourage participants to improve their own skills and capacities for engaging constructively at different stages and in varying environments in the complex but critical areas of the governance of global justice.


Application Procedure
Scholars in international relations and international law, and from other fields relevant to the workshop e.g. development, international public policy; and practitioners from NGOs and government institutions in all countries are encouraged to apply. All applications are due by Monday, June 8, 2015:

  • A brief (~1,000 words) statement of research interests apropos of the workshop themes
  • Your curriculum vitae
  • One letter of reference
  • Application Form


Applicants will be notified of the Selection Committee’s final decision by July 6, 2015. Due to the high number of applications, the Committee is not able to provide individual explanations of its selection decisions.

Note for UN Secretariat Staff
If you are UN Secretariat Staff you should apply using the internal application. The instructions and form for applying as an internal applicant are available on this version of the flyer: PDF Download Button