Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Program

History

Supervisor

Jonathan Vance

Abstract

This dissertation aims to revise conventional wisdom regarding Canada’s contribution to international peacekeeping through an examination of peacekeeping-specific training in the Canadian Forces from 1945 to 2000. There is a need to study training to understand how Canada’s peacekeepers have been prepared for peacekeeping missions since the creation of the United Nations Emergency Force in 1956. Peacekeeping training was neglected in the historiography of Canadian participation in international peacekeeping and in the operations of the Department of National Defence and other government bodies. This topic deserves more attention given the important role that peacekeeping has played as a primary task of the Canadian Forces. A survey of historical literature dealing with Canadian peacekeeping shows that academic interest in peacekeeping over the last thirty-odd years has failed to address the critical issue of training until recently, and rarely from a historical perspective. Scholars have not examined Canadian peacekeeping at its most basic level to determine how Canada’s soldiers are prepared for peacekeeping.

This dissertation uses scholarly sources, government of Canada documents, and the testimony of Canadian soldiers as its sources. An integral part of my research is the testimony of former peacekeepers. The recollection of their experiences prior to, during, and post-deployment can illustrate the impact that the presence or lack of specialized training for peacekeeping had on their experiences as peacekeepers in multinational forces. The objective of this study is to gain a comprehensive picture of the evolution of specialized training for peacekeeping in the Canadian Forces since the 1950s.


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