Dissertations, Theses and Capstone Projects

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in International Conflict Management (Ph.D. INCM)


International Conflict Management

First Advisor

Dr. Richard Vengroff

Second Advisor

Dr. Neal Carter

Third Advisor

Dr. Seneca Vaught

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Jesse Benjamin


This research introduced a comprehensive model for explaining why countries participate in peacekeeping by studying Canada's peacekeeping decisions. The history of Canadian peacekeeping since 1947 presented an ideal case because of the significant fluctuation in its involvement from being a leading peacekeeper to a token contributor. It adopted Waltz's schema to explain this fluctuation at the systemic, domestic, and individual levels of analyses. Most of the literature on Canadian peacekeeping decisions employed systemic level of analysis such as national interest and international cooperation without taking into account the impact of domestic political and socioeconomic environment, and the role of leadership personality in peacekeeping decisions. This study tipped this imbalance by assessing the role of public opinion and leadership personality on Canadian peacekeeping decisions using a mixed research method. The evidence on public opinion showed that, with the exception of the Trudeau and Mulroney administrations, other Canadian governments didn't consult public opinion in making peacekeeping decisions. Subsequently, the results on leadership personality indicated that Prime Ministers exhibiting personality traits associated with peaceful foreign policy did not commit greater numbers of peacekeepers than the Prime Ministers who did not reflect those attributes. The study concluded that Canadian peacekeeping decision is best understood by analyzing the dynamic interaction between the Cold War and the war on terror at the systemic level, the budget deficit and national unity at the domestic level, and the personality of Canada's leaders at the individual level.