Youth Empowerment: How College Students Can Affect Peacekeeping

Lauren Candemeres,
University of Tampa

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Abstract This research questions how increasing the awareness of college students on topics such as military action and foreign relations affects how the United States conducts peacekeeping. Although there is much research available on topics such as the growing disconnect between the military in America and civil society and the media’s influence over public opinion, there is very little information on how these issues have influenced each other, how they have affected our youth, and how peacekeeping operations are conducted throughout the world. How have we gotten to where we are today in terms of peacekeeping and what can we do to improve those conditions? To discover how college students view peacekeeping, a survey was made available on survey monkey in which students answered questions about what they thought would be the most successful forms of peacekeeping, and why or why not they thought education should be increased on this topic. The survey received very positive feedback, with unanimous support for increasing education for a variety of reasons. These findings reveal the need for more research and more action regarding increasing awareness of college students on military and foreign affairs.

The need for multi-lateral cooperation between nations has never been more critical for our modern society. What can we, as a people, as a government, and as a nation do to prevent future wars and keep the peace? The concept of “peacekeeping” is a relatively new expression and therefore there is not much research and not much history about the topic. However, peacekeeping has increasingly become a more relevant topic to be discussed in the media, schools, and everyday conversation. “States frequently resort to armed forces with various self-interested and humanitarian goals” in mind (Pekson, 2012). This frequent turn to military action to solve humanitarian goals has led many Americans and top officials to turn to the military when trying to stabilize peace in a region. This has encouraged Americans to become desensitized by the constant reporting of American military personnel intervening in a varying array of conflicts throughout the world.

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