Book Review: K. Savitri, Conflict Resolution and Peace Building: UN Engagement in Cambodia

AuthorRumki Basu
Published date01 December 2014
Date01 December 2014
Subject MatterBook Reviews
Book Reviews
K. Savitri, Conflict Resolution and Peace Building: UN Engagement in
Cambodia. New Delhi: Pentagon Press, 2014, pp. 243, `995.
Dr K. Savitri’s book Conflict Resolution and Peace Building: UN
Engagement in Cambodia is a scholarly attempt to critically under-
stand and evaluate United Nations (UN) engagement in Cambodia in
the areas of peacekeeping, peace building, and post- conflict recon-
struction of states. The publication of this book is an important mile-
stone in the emerging discipline of conflict studies in India which is
primarily focused in understanding the nature and causes of conflict,
besides evaluating the methods, procedures, and practices employed to
resolve them.
Dr Savitri’s choice of the Cambodian case study for research is com-
mendable but comes as no surprise. The sheer magnitude of the
Cambodian crisis, and the nature and scale of UN operations there, rep-
resents one of the best examples of UN multitasking in the post-Cold
War era in conflict resolution. The UN had to reinvent itself in Cambodia,
diversifying far beyond any of its mandates in earlier peacekeeping oper-
ations: it was involved in civilian administration, disarming of warring
groups, conducting elections, humanitarian aid, and restoration of a duly
elected democratic government. The mandate of the United Nations
Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) was, therefore, one of the
most ambitious and complex tasks ever undertaken by the UN. Her study
starts from the date of the Vietnamese occupation till the UNTAC with-
drawal from Cambodia in 1993. Analysis of the UN role in Cambodia is
not just a case study in conflict resolution, but its importance lies in the
Jadavpur Journal of
International Relations
18(2) 181–194
2014 Jadavpur University
SAGE Publications
Los Angeles, London,
New Delhi, Singapore,
Washington DC
DOI: 10.1177/0973598415572016

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