The Economic Factors of Canada’s Participation in UN Peacekeeping Missions from 1948 to the Present

Timofeev V.V.


The article examines the potential impact of Canadian mining companies’ interests on Canadian peacekeeping efforts. Peacekeeping is a key focus of Canadian foreign policy and a hallmark of the Canadian nation. The cause of peace is romanticized and heroized by the Canadian society. According to the widespread scholarly opinion, the «peacekeeping nation» identity of Canadians is the factor which determines Canada’s engagement in UN peacekeeping missions. However, in the case of Canada's participation in the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali (MINUSMA), there is a high probability that the Canadian companies lobbied to send a Canadian peacekeeping contingent to protect their interests. This raises the question of the economic component of Canada's interest in peacekeeping, namely whether the presence of Canadian mining companies in the countries where the peacekeeping operations are conducted determines the decision of the Canadian government to participate in these operations. To address this issue, the article analyzes the possibility of a pattern between the presence/absence of the Canadian mining corporations in the countries where peace support missions are carried out and Canada's participation / non-participation in respective peacekeeping operations. To find the regularities in the period from the 1948 until today, the data on missions and the presence of corporations is collected, with methods of mathematical statistics then applied. The study concludes that it is highly unlikely that Canadian peacekeeping activities were systematically driven by the Canadian mining business’ interests. The article draws the conclusion that peacemaking was not constantly driven by economic interests, but then the strategic culture of the Canadian political establishment changed, and peacemaking became an ad hoc instrument of neocolonialism.


Canadian foreign policy; economy of Canada; mining companies; neocolonialism; imperialism.

DOI: 10.31249/rsm/2023.02.09

Download text