Smart Peacekeeping: Deploying Canadian Women for a Better Peace?


Biskupski-Mujanovic, Sandra. 2019. "Smart Peacekeeping: Deploying Canadian Women for a Better Peace?" International Journal: Canada's Journal of Global Policy Analysis 74 (3): 405-21.

Author: Sandra Biskupski-Mujanovic


Canada announced its renewed commitment to United Nations peacekeeping with a special mission to increase the representation of women through the Elsie Initiative. That announcement marks a crucial time to examine peacekeeping as a gendered project that requires reflection on power and inequality between states and peacekeepers through an intersectional analysis that pays attention to gender and race. The major justification for increasing the number of women in peacekeeping operations has remained instrumental: deploying more women will lead to kinder, gentler, less abusive, and more efficient missions. However, there is little empirical evidence to support these claims. This paper looks at Canadian peacekeeping and arguments for women’s increased representation in peacekeeping operations for improved operational effectiveness as a “smart” peacekeeping strategy. It looks at the contradictions and controversies in Canadian peacekeeping and gender and smart peacekeeping that includes the Women, Peace, and Security agenda in general and within Canada, operational effectiveness claims, militarized masculinity, and militarized femininity. Without qualitative empirical data from Canadian women peacekeepers themselves, smart peacekeeping claims, which “add women and stir,” are largely anecdotal and do not adequately facilitate meaningful change.

Keywords: peacekeeping, gender, Canada, inequality, race

Topics: Ethnicity, Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Peacekeeping, Race, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Canada

Year: 2019

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