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Violating PeaceSex, Aid, and Peacekeeping$
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Jasmine-Kim Westendorf

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501748059

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501748059.001.0001

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Legitimacy in Crisis

Legitimacy in Crisis

The Impacts of Sexual Misconduct on Capacity and Credibility

(p.103) 4 Legitimacy in Crisis
Violating Peace

Jasmine-Kim Westendorf

Cornell University Press

This chapter focuses on the macro- and institutional-level impacts of sexual exploitation and abuse. It shows that sexual misconduct in individual missions has far-reaching impacts that reduce international capacities to engage effectively in peace operations and diminish the perceived legitimacy of the international community engaged in peacekeeping and peacebuilding, thereby undermining the international community's capacity to pursue the broader aspirational goals that animate peacekeeping. Sexual misconduct also seeds conflict between different organizational or peacekeeping units as a result of perceived misbehaviors and undermines the morale of peacekeepers and humanitarians. This can result in reduced financial and other support for peace operations and related work and provide fodder for anti-intervention campaigners. Tracking the international responses to the 2015 peacekeeper sexual abuse scandal in the Central African Republic and the 2018 Oxfam sexual exploitation scandal in Haiti, the chapter also explores the global political implications of such scandals.

Keywords:   sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, sexual misconduct, peace operations, legitimacy, peacekeeping, peacebuilding, peacekeepers, humanitarians, international community

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