Foreword and Endorsements

The proposed United Nations Emergency Peace Service – UNEPS – is beginning to enter the policy and academic discourse now to define a broader and more relevant mode of UN peace operations. UNEPS has been developed and given credibility by Peter Langille and those associated with him and this publication is the latest and fullest explanation of the need for and nature of a UN Emergency Peace Service. It offers a full and well balanced account of the UNEPS concept and its relevance.

This timely book will inform and influence an ongoing debate over the future of UN peace operations. Although we are now at a pivotal time in the evolution of peace operations, questions related to its strategic direction and normative values are too often lost in a maze of detailed but limited case studies and policy analysis. This book describes where peace operations are currently placed and where they might and should be heading as an instrument of conflict resolution capable of responding to 21st century conflict.

Langille offers a distinctive, creative and original contribution to this rethinking process. He makes a case for new priorities and a new standing integrated UN service, and sets the case in a way that is both visionary and pragmatic, and linked to real and pressing concerns around the new forms of warfare and how to effect R2P commitments in the prevention of armed conflict and the protection of civilians. Most importantly, he outlines a new mode of peace operations which is doctrinally and operationally defined in order to deliver these objectives.

Well written, scholarly and accessible, this book shows a commanding and impressive knowledge of peacekeeping literature, policy and politics. It takes scholarship forward in the sense that it effectively merges two fields of literature – conflict analysis on the one hand and military peacekeeping on the other, to make a case for a blended or hybrid form which balances military and civilian conflict resolution assets. In doing so it opens up understanding of a more sophisticated concept and operational model relevant to 21 century global security challenges. Opposition to UN reform is inevitable but, the need for a United Nations Emergency Peace Service – a cosmopolitan alternative – is increasingly urgent.

Tom Woodhouse, Adam Curle Professor of Conflict Resolution, Department of Peace Studies, Bradford University


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Book endorsements:

There is and always has been a very strong case for a standing UN rapid deployment force being available as a first responder in crisis situations– and Peter Langille here makes it powerfully. Although the resistance of key states to any such force now seems entrenched, good ideas and advocacy do sometimes prevail, and this is a debate we must continue to have.
– Gareth Evans, Former Australian Foreign Minister, President Emeritus of the International Crisis Group, and Co-chair of the International Commission on Intervention & State Sovereignty and Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect


The idea of a UN Emergency Peace Service was always valid and the need for it has never been more obvious. Indeed, the failure of the UN to respond to recent crises, especially across the Middle East and North Africa, has been made much worse by the conspicuous lack of its own standing capability. Peter Langille’s book is an excellent account of what could be done and what must be done.
– Professor Paul Rogers, Department of Peace Studies, University of Bradford