It is widely recognized that UN peace operations have been critically influenced by their leadership personnel in the field since the first UN peacekeepers were deployed in 1948. But who exactly are the people that lead peace operations and decide how these are implemented on the ground? This special data feature introduces a new dataset on leadership positions in UN peace operations from its interception in 1948 up to 2019. The relevance of different authorities in peace operations is discussed, followed by an examination of general trends in the data with regards to the duration of term in different leadership positions, the national and regional origin of peace operations authorities, and the distribution of gender. It is shown that scholars studying a variety of topics, including policymaking at the UN, the use of force in peace operations, international responsibilities, and the role of the global south in international politics, can benefit from paying closer attention to the question of who occupies leadership positions in UN peace operations.
This was originally published on SAGE Publications Ltd: Journal of Peace Research: Table of Contents.