"Too Sweet and Innocent for War"? Dutch Peacekeepers and the Use of Violence


Sion, Liora. 2006. "'Too Sweet and Innocent for War'? Dutch Peacekeepers and the Use of Violence." Armed Forces & Society 32 (3): 454-74. 

Author: Liora Sion


Based on anthropological fieldwork, this article studies the experience of two Dutch peacekeeping units: the “Grizzly” artillery battery that was deployed to Kosovo in 1999 (KFOR2) and the “Bulldog” infantry company that was deployed to Bosnia in 2000 (SFOR8). By examining the units’ experience from training through deployment, this article  argues that the Dutch army is a threatened organization that suffers from a relatively low status in society. The army gains support mainly by performing peace missions, which soldiers perceive as “feminine” and therefore inappropriate. This article examines how Dutch soldiers train for peacekeeping missions and demonstrates that this training takes the shape of infantry combat exercises, a characteristic that negatively influences the soldiers’ level of satisfaction during deployments.

Topics: Combatants, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Peacekeeping, Violence Regions: Europe, Western Europe Countries: Netherlands

Year: 2006

© 2023 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.