This chapter sets out the legal framework for peace operations and introduces some concepts to help explain how peacekeeping practice has evolved. It argues that the goal of participatory governance is best understood in terms of deliberative rather than representative or electoral democracy, at least in the early stages of peace consolidation. The final section turns to the protection of civilians: first by looking at its connection to the “responsibility to protect” norm, then by considering how the interpretation and implementation of the mandate has impacted that norm. It is argued that the practice of peacekeeping both shapes and is shaped by the normative climate in which it occurs.
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