wait for international intervention can seem like an eternity for countries
crippled by violence. Conflicts in places such as Kosovo, Libya, Rwanda and
Syria claimed hundreds of thousands of lives while diplomats debated
Heidi Hardt, assistant professor in the UTA Department of Political Science
Hardt, a UT Arlington assistant political science professor, answers the question of why some
international organizations take longer than others to answer calls for
intervention in her new book, “Time
to React: The Efficiency of International Organizations in Crisis Response.” She also explores options for reform.
Although wealth and capabilities can strengthen a
peace operation, Hardt argues that it is the unspoken rules and social networks
in peace and security committees at international organizations that dictate
the pace with which an operation is established.
intervention is a consequence of the interdependent world in which we live.
More civil wars lead to more demand for action,” said Hardt, who joined UT
Arlington in 2012.
added: “Given that scholars have shown interventions to have a positive impact,
the question remained why international actors consistently take months to
engage. These delays cost lives.”
builds on an original database of response rates
concerning post Cold War interventions and on personal interviews with 50
ambassadors and numerous staff at
four leading international organizations: the African Union, European Union,
Organization of American States, and the Organization for Security and
Co-operation in Europe.
policy recommendation calls for organizations to reallocate resources to hold
fewer formal meetings and to foster more opportunities for backdoor diplomacy.
By encouraging positive interpersonal relations among representatives, the book
argues that trust across traditional political divides can be built before crises
study revealed that 91 percent of the 50 ambassadors said their interpersonal
relationships, for better or worse, influenced their decision-making.
scholars modeled crisis decision-making as a collection of national interests
of the countries around the table. In practice, personal networks play as much as a role as those politics,” Hardt said.
Wright, dean of the UT Arlington College of Liberal Arts, said Hardt’s research
will further understanding of key issues of conflict and peace around the
Hardt has presented her research at the International Security Forum in Geneva
to diplomats, government officials, and other practitioners as well as fellow
scholars,” Wright said. “It is impressive that her research is not only
internationally respected but is having an international impact. We are
fortunate to count her among our colleagues.”
book comes amid calls for international intervention in Syria, where a nearly
three-year-old civil war has killed more than 135,000 people. More than 10,000
victims are children who were raped, tortured or maimed, according to a recent
report posted on the United Nations website.
tragedy in Syria reflects a need for organizations such as the UN and NATO to
reassess the rapid reaction capabilities they have long been developing, but a
lack of trust among member countries further compounds the reluctance to act,”
“Time to React: The Efficiency of International
Organizations in Crisis Response” is published by Oxford University Press and
is available online at Amazon.com
and via other websites.
The University of Texas
at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution and the second largest
institution in The University of Texas System. Total research expenditures
reached almost $78 million last year. UT Arlington ranks fifth in the nation
for undergraduate diversity and was ranked as the seventh fastest-growing
public research university by The Chronicle of Higher Education in 2013.
Visit www.uta.edu to learn more.