USC Annenberg School For Communication and Journalism

Relationship between Peacekeepers and NGO Workers

The Role of Training and Conflict Management Styles in International Peacekeeping 

To examine the effect of negotiation training and conflict management styles on the relations between third-party actors invovled in international peacekeelping situations, we analyze data fom a sample of Dutch military peacekeepers on missions between 1995 and 1999. We predict and find, contrary to the traditional "contact hypothesis", that peacekeepers' contact with Non-Governmental Organization workers was positively associated with conflict between them, and this increased if the peacekeeper possessed an avoiding conflict management style. When sufficiently trained in negotiations, peacekeepers who had intensive contact with NGO personnel and possessed a dominating conflict management style were less likely to become personally involved in conflicts with NGO workers. Implications for conflict managaement and training are discussed.