*This post summarizes my undergraduate thesis.
International interventions in mass killing episodes often fail to adequately protect civilians.
The UNMISS peacekeeping operation in South Sudan is a case in point. Bureaucratic, political, and financial constraints consistently inhibit the deployment of well-staffed interventions, and often prohibit them outright.
Therefore, many civilians must survive without external assistance, but we know surprisingly little about how this occurs.
No scholar has produced a work combining empirical examples of civilian self-protection with a theory of the mechanisms that allow it to function during mass killing or even conflict more broadly. The lack of focus on civilian self-protection is symptomatic of a larger issue of how scholars envision violent conflict.