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Unarmed civilian peacekeeping: What do Canadians think?
Canadian Foreign Policy Journal
Recent surveys have demonstrated that Canadians value Canada’s role as a peacekeeper and peacemaker in an international context. Additionally, research has demonstrated decreasing public support for Canada’s involvement in military combat interventions in other parts of the world. However, awareness and understanding of nonviolent alternatives appear to be lacking. This survey examines Canadian public’s awareness and understanding of unarmed civilian peacekeeping as an alternative to sending armed troops, and whether the public would support Canada in utilizing unarmed civilian peacekeepers (focusing on mediation, negotiation, relationship and peacebuilding activities) as part of its response to violent global conflicts. The results reveal that Canadians believe unarmed civilian peacekeeping would be more effective in tasks such as reducing human rights abuses, preventing further armed conflict and promoting lasting peace. Respondents also believe the practice would benefit Canada’s reputation as a peacemaker and leader. This paper concludes with recommendations for proponents and advocates of the incorporation of unarmed civilian peacekeeping into the official policy of the Canadian government. 1
Taylor & Francis