After a more than a decade of continuous expansion, historic levels of demand and increasing operational complexity pose risks to the viability of peace operations. Setbacks in high-profile missions have coincided with military overstretch and growing fiscal austerity, while missions that have achieved interim stability lack a clear transition strategy towards sustainable peacebuilding and development. At the same time, the evolving use of a range of alternative models of peace operations, including the hugely expanded use of special political missions, is both creating new options and adding complexity to policy debates. At the UN and elsewhere, new questions about the relative merits of traditional peacekeeping versus lighter options create an ongoing demand for policy-relevant research. CIC aims to provide analysis on these issues and to improve conceptual and operational linkages across political missions, peacekeeping operations, and peacebuilding.