Civilian Protection in Armed Conflicts: Evolution, by Robert Schütte

By Robert Schütte

The learn analyzes 3 topics: first, the evolution of the idea that of civilians during human historical past, and secondly, the location and victimization of civilians in armed clash when you consider that 1990, and 3rd, how the foreign group because the finish of the chilly conflict to guard civilians has monitored via the mandating powerful UN peacekeeping missions. The United international locations venture within the Congo services as a case study.

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Additional resources for Civilian Protection in Armed Conflicts: Evolution, Challenges and Implementation

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For the first time in history, a broad foundation was laid for the idea of a common humanity in which all human beings, irrespective of their social, cultural or ethnic origin, were bound by divine and obligatory rules. The concomitant notions of generally binding duties towards civilian populations during war were a breakthrough. The breakup of the Roman Empire and the collapse of its western part had tremendous consequences for the old continents political structure. Europe used to be a comparatively homogeneous polity with a large extent of freedom, peace and prosperity under the umbrella of the so-called Pax Romana, disturbed only by occasional clashes of powerful field commanders struggling for the Empire’s crown.

In contrast to nomadic and tribal warfare, states were able to invest more time, labor and capital in refining their warfare. Sargon of Akkad was presumably the first to establish a corps of professional soldiers. Ancient Egypt was a front-runner in establishing labor and military duties, hereby enabling the Pharaohs to draw on the entire population. Additionally, wherever states decided to raise armed forces, bureaucracies emerged to perform tasks such as planning, preparing and provisioning for campaigns.

How then might warfare between hunter-gatherers have looked and what was its impact on the “civilian” population? Recent research has shown that, in contrast to earlier ideas, open battles were not the major modus bellandi between hunter-gatherer groups. Rather, in line with observations of chimp violence, raids and ambushes were the preferred strategy especially if the prospective victims were outnumbered, defenseless or taken by surprise. Instead of face-to-face fights, the primary rational of armed conflict was to minimize risks to the attackers’ safety while trying to harm the enemy as much as possible.

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