Recent developments in the availability of spatial data and the growing trend of spatial analysis in political science has given scholars the ability to account for local-level factors in the study of political violence and conflict management. In this paper, the authors contribute to this growing body of literature by employing geo-coded data to empirically explore a question central to the study of peacekeeping – when peacekeepers are authorized to enter a conflict, where do they go? In other words, what types of violence are peacekeeping forces most concerned with, and what geographic features might prevent or allow for the deployment of peacekeepers? Using the un mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the authors find that peacekeeping forces were less concerned with non-state violence (rebels fighting rebels) and instead focused on government-rebel confrontations and those instances in which government or rebels attacked unarmed civilians. In addition, peacekeepers are shown to cluster around transportation networks, densely populated areas, surface-based resources, and international borders.
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