The Politics of War: Canada's Afghanistan Mission, 2001-14 by Jean-Christophe BoucherThe Politics of War: Canada's Afghanistan Mission, 2001-14 by Jean-Christophe Boucher

The Politics of War: Canada's Afghanistan Mission, 2001-14

byJean-Christophe Boucher, Kim Richard Nossal

Hardcover | October 1, 2017

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When the Canadian government committed forces to join the American-led military mission in Afghanistan following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, little did Canadians – or the government itself – foresee that this decision would involve Canada in a war-riven country for over a decade. The Politics of War explores how, as the mission became increasingly unpopular, Canadian politicians across the political spectrum began to use it to score political points against their opponents. This was “politics” with a vengeance.

Through historical analysis of the public record and interviews with officials, Jean-Christophe Boucher and Kim Richard Nossal show how the Canadian government sought to frame the engagement in Afghanistan as a “mission” rather than what it was – a war. They examine the efforts of successive governments to convince Canadians of the rightness of Canada’s engagement in Afghanistan, the parliamentary politics that resulted from the increasing politicization of the mission, and the impact of public opinion on Canada’s engagement. They argue that the direction, duration, and nature of Canada’s contribution to international stabilization efforts in Afghanistan were largely determined by domestic, politically motivated factors rather than by what was happening in Afghanistan itself.

This contribution to the field of Canadian foreign policy analyzes the impact of political elites, Parliament, and public opinion on the mission and demonstrates how much of Canada’s long war in Afghanistan was shaped by the vagaries of domestic politics and political gamesmanship.

Jean-Christophe Boucher is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at MacEwan University. Kim Richard Nossal is a professor in the Department of Political Studies and the Centre for International and Defence Policy at Queen’s University.Jean-Christophe Boucher is an assistant professor in the Department of Politic...
Title:The Politics of War: Canada's Afghanistan Mission, 2001-14Format:HardcoverDimensions:300 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:October 1, 2017Publisher:Ubc PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:077483627X

ISBN - 13:9780774836272


Table of Contents


Introduction: The Domestic Politics of Canada’s Afghanistan Mission

1 The Away Game: Canadians in Afghanistan

2 The War That Wasn’t: Framing the Mission

3 Home Pitch: Selling Afghanistan to Canadians

4 Parliament’s Role: Laundering the Mission

5 Don’t Mention the War: Electoral Politics and Bipartisanship

6 Detainee Games: The Politics of Distraction

7 Did Minority Government Matter? A Counterfactual Analysis

8 An Unpopular Mission: Public Opinion and Afghanistan

9 The Politics of Casualties: Evaluating the “Trenton Effect”

10 Failure to Launch: Public Mobilization and the War in Afghanistan

Conclusion: Though Poppies Grow

Notes; Index

Editorial Reviews

The Politics of War will quickly become one of the top sources on Canada’s Afghanistan mission. This is a first-class piece of scholarship that deserves to be widely read and cited. - Duane Bratt, professor and chair of the Department of Policy Studies, Mount Royal University