Much of the current debate on police functions in peace operations is informed by a distinct set of strategic and policy concerns that have acquired special prominence in the 1990s, as these operations have grown increasingly complex because of their deployment in countries whose societies have completely collapsed. The United States Institute of Peace decided to address these issues in view of its ongoing work on the rule of law and other postconflict issues.

Much of the current debate on police functions in peace operations is informed by a distinct set of strategic and policy concerns that have acquired special prominence in the 1990s, as these operations have grown increasingly complex because of their deployment in countries whose societies have completely collapsed. The United States Institute of Peace decided to address these issues in view of its ongoing work on the rule of law and other postconflict issues. To this end, the Institute convened a workshop for policymakers and practitioners on "Police Functions in Peace Operations" in Washington, D.C. on May 10, 1996. This was the first meeting of its kind to bring together an international group of policymakers, soldiers, and officials with operational responsibility to discuss their operational experience with CIVPOL monitoring, training, and law enforcement during peace operations. While the Dayton Accords framed much of the discussion in the day-long workshop, several other case studies were discussed in some detail. This report suggests that the issues participants vigorously debated will certainly be a part of future peace operations.

Roxane D. V. Sismanidis is a Program Officer of the Jennings Randolph Fellowship Program.

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