Institutions are important in mitigating the extent to which shocks produce violent consequences, but their effectiveness is conditioned by the behavior of local and international leaders. Ostensibly perfect institutions may fail due to poor stewardship, while even imperfect ones can succeed at preventing violent escalation if local and international political leaders have sufficient political will.
While resistance to HCNM involvement is likely to increase in an era in which sovereignty concerns all too often trump concerns over human and minority rights, this does not make the institution of the HCNM itself irrelevant — on the contrary. I argue in this article that there are three areas in which the HCNM has a future role to play: monitoring, preventive quiet diplomacy, and policy transfer.
Assessing Regional and International Organizations’ Interventions in Civil Wars: Capabilities and Context
This special issue of Civil Wars on “Assessing Regional and International Organisations’ Interventions in Civil Wars: Capabilities and Context” includes a range of case studies on the United Nations, NATO, the European Union, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, the African Union, and the Organisation of American States. Each case study features a presentation and analysis of empirical data in two dimensions: the organization’s general capabilities to carry out intervention in civil wars and, specific to one particular intervention, the conflict context in which it happened.