"Showing the flag" Canadian police and international peacekeeping missions: acknowledging the issues police officers encounter throughout the pre-deployment and reintegration stages

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Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
Date created
International peacekeeping missions are a political exercise, whereby the Canadian federal government touts its support for Canadian police involvement in missions at the expense of recognizing micro level issues of Canadian police officers serving abroad. The purpose of this thesis is to identify and address Canadian police officers’ pre-deployment and reintegration concerns as they relate to international peacekeeping missions. Twenty-five Canadian police officers who served on international peacekeeping operations participated in an in-person or telephone interview. Participants belonged to 11 different police agencies within the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario. The topic of policing and international peacekeeping will be introduced, followed by a discussion of the Canadian federal government’s “showing the flag” approach to missions. Literature that focuses on police officers’ existing pre-deployment and reintegration concerns will be addressed. The chosen methodology for this thesis will then be identified, followed by the findings for this study. It is argued that, for this sample, Canadian police officers’ issues continue to remain unacknowledged due to the political context in which missions are operating. Policy and practice implications of this study and training recommendations for the RCMP’s International Peacekeeping Operations Branch are considered. This thesis will conclude with a discussion of the strengths and limitations of this research, recommendations for the various Canadian police agencies involvement in deployment and will provide suggestions for future research.
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Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Parent, Rick
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