Peacekeepers’ Autonomy and Military Authority

doi: 10.32565/aarms.2020.2.5


This article considers the problem of conciliation of military authority and peacekeepers’ autonomy. At first glance there is a tension  between authority and autonomy in many areas of human life like religion, political life, national soldiering and even peacekeeping  missions. The core of this tension is the practical contradiction between authority, which implies reason for controlling the behaviour  of others, and the autonomy of the others, which involves reason for self-governing. This article proposes a distinction in  peacekeepers’ autonomy between professional and moral autonomy, and suggests a way of explaining away the tension. The  essential part of the solution is the claim that peacekeepers’ professional autonomy involves ‘building the moral community’ between  the formerly hostile sides of a conflict within the confines of international military hierarchy. From this claim I draw the conclusions  that the concept of military authority is part of the concept of peacekeepers’ professional autonomy, and that due to the content of  peacekeepers’ professional autonomy, peacekeepers’ special moral autonomy is extended as compared to civilian moral autonomy. 


ethics of peacekeeping moral autonomy military authority

How to Cite

Boda, M. (2021) “Peacekeepers’ Autonomy and Military Authority”, AARMS – Academic and Applied Research in Military and Public Management Science. Budapest, 19(2), pp. 65–78. doi: 10.32565/aarms.2020.2.5.