Canada Among Nations, 2008

Canada Among Nations, 2008: 100 Years of Canadian Foreign Policy

Copyright Date: 2009
Pages: 336
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  • Book Info
    Canada Among Nations, 2008
    Book Description:

    The editors take a critical look at the now almost mainstream "declinist" thesis and at the continued relevance of Canada's relationships with its principal allies - the United Kingdom, France, and the United States. Contributors discuss a broad range of themes, including the weight of a changing identity in the evolution of the country's foreign policy, the fate of Canadian diplomacy as a profession, the often complicated relationship between foreign and trade policies, the impact of immigration and refugee procedures on foreign policy, and the evolving understanding of development and defence as components of Canada's foreign policy.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-7588-2
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. vii-x)
    Fen Osler Hampson

    This is a very special issue ofCanada Among Nationsbecause it celebrates the one-hundredth anniversary of the founding of Canada’s Department of “External” Affairs (now known as the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade). This volume departs from the usual format of previous volumes because it takes the long view, assessing a full century of Canadian foreign policy making mostly through the eyes of historians. The editors have put together a remarkably talented and diverse team, drawing researchers, many of them young scholars, from several universities, the public service, the voluntary sector and the media. Together, they cover...

  4. List of Acronyms
    (pp. xi-2)
  5. Introduction: Managing Empires
    (pp. 3-18)

    This book could be called “Life with Uncles,” in a paraphrase of John Holmes’ famous title.¹ Its chapters tell very different stories but much of what they recount nonetheless revolves around Canada’s handling of Britain and the United States. Holmes’ words neatly convey the complexities of the relationship between a smaller, sometimes insecure, but nonetheless significant nation, and mostly benevolent superpowers, closely related but different, well-disposed but often overbearing and patronizing: never enemies, not always friendly either; more like family, with a history; uncles indeed, close and powerful uncles. The book tells a story of dependence and independence, of the...

  6. 1 Foreign Affairs a Hundred Years On
    (pp. 19-38)

    The formal occasion for this book is the hundredth anniversary of Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs. More properly, it is the hundredth anniversary of an act establishing a department to deal with “external affairs,” and for the first eighty-four of those hundred years that is what the department was called.¹ To explain how Canada’s diplomacy has evolved, and what it has meant over a hundred years, it is necessary to go back to a time when Canada had a foreign policy institution, the Department of External Affairs, but not a foreign policy – back, in other words, to a time when...

    • 2 “A Sad, General Decline?”: The Canadian Diplomat in the 20th Century
      (pp. 41-60)

      On the eve of the 1969 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau faced his advisors from the Department of External Affairs. Only a year or so in office, Trudeau questioned the value of the Commonwealth gatherings and the diplomatic advisors who cajoled him into attending. He surveyed the room and neatly skewered both with a single barb. “I’m depending on you guys and my hairdresser,” he quipped, “to get me through this.”²

      Canada’s diplomats, and the people who study them, were not amused, and they have since fingered Trudeau as the principal villain in their accounts of...

    • 3 Managers, Innovators and Diplomats: Canada’s Foreign Ministers
      (pp. 61-82)

      Allan MacEachen, who was foreign minister twice, thought it was the best job a minister could have. Ambitious politicians, even those who have cut their teeth on domestic issues, would say the same. The foreign minister has traditionally stood apart from others in cabinet, enjoying the esteem that comes from representing Canada in international councils. No wonder that foreign ministers exude euphoria when they are sworn in.

      Has their enthusiasm at the beginning been matched by their accomplishments in office? This is hard to answer because ministers are judged according to many different standards. The verdict of officials in Foreign...

    • 4 Old Wine, New Bottles: Canadian Economic Multilateralism and the North Atlantic Triangle, 1941–1947
      (pp. 85-110)

      The 1940s are widely regarded as a turning point in the history of Canadian diplomacy. It was during this decade, after all, that Ottawa shed the isolationism of the past in favour of a broader and deeper engagement with the affairs of the world. During these years, the country gave its all to win not only the war, but also the peace, as Canadians traveled the globe to take part in the negotiations that laid the foundations of the postwar world. When the last conference was through – the ashtrays emptied, surplus agendas discarded, conference room chairs stacked – what remained was...

    • 5 The Interplay of Defence and Foreign Policy
      (pp. 111-141)

      Canada’s emergence as a player on the international stage in the twentieth century was the result of the country’s large-scale military participation in the two world wars, and as a partner in the Western military alliance that waged the Cold War. In the post-Cold War world, according to many critics, the commitment of armed forces has continued to be the starting point rather than the outcome of policy. The dictum, famously propounded by the Prussian soldier and philosopher Karl von Clausewitz, that decisions for war and the nature and extent of the effort in war should flow from policy made...

    • 6 Canada’s Contribution to International Law
      (pp. 142-158)

      One of Canada’s great international legal scholars, Maxwell Cohen, once described the country as “sired in warfare, mothered in treaties, and nurtured in the dedicated crèche of both imperial constitutional relations and international law as they were in the latter eighteenth century.”¹ Obligations set out in international legal instruments of the time, notably the Treaty of Paris of 1763, and in the earlier Treaty of Utrecht, define not only the country’s territorial existence but also such matters as obligations to minorities, something that is reflected in constitutional provisions applicable to the present day. Canada’s identity was forged in the complex...

    • 7 “And who is my neighbour?” Refugees, Public Opinion, and Policy in Canada since 1900
      (pp. 159-182)

      In June 2006, the Canadian government announced a plan to accept an initial group of 800 Karen refugees from Myanmar (Burma). As aGlobe and Maileditorial noted, compared with the anxiety Canadians displayed over refugee debates in 1915 or 1938, the arrival of the Karens was “greeted with a big yawn.”¹ TheGlobehad its history right. The decision to allow the settlement of Armenian orphans in 1915 or a handful of Jewish refugees from Germany in 1938 had roused Canadians to feverish debate. A century had made a difference in how Canadians perceived the world, and their place...

    • 8 Foreign Aid and Canadian Purpose: Influence and Policy in Canada’s International Development Assistance
      (pp. 183-208)

      Canada’s official foreign aid program dates from the start of the Colombo Plan in 1950, although Canadian missionaries and non-governmental organizations had been working in Africa, Asia and Latin America for many decades before that. In 1960 the growing number of projects and programs operating under Colombo Plan aegis were consolidated into an “External Aid Office” within the Department of Foreign Affairs, and by the late 1960s, Canada was starting to become a serious donor country, spreading beyond its initial half-dozen Asian programs to Africa and the Commonwealth Caribbean.

      The twin architects of Canada’s early aid program were Lester Pearson...

    • 9 Tools and Levers: Energy as an Instrument of Canadian Foreign Policy
      (pp. 209-232)

      In the lead up to the 2006 G8 Summit in St. Petersburg, Prime Minister Stephen Harper began touting Canada as an “emerging energy superpower.” At a speech in London, Harper told his audience that “We are currently the fifth largest energy producer in the world. We rank 3rdand 7thin global gas and oil production respectively. We generate more hydro-electric power than any other country on earth. And we are the world’s largest supplier of uranium.”¹ By deliberately invoking the term superpower, Harper meant that Canada was more than just a major exporter of energy, but was interested in...

    • 10 A Special Relationship? The Importance of France in Canadian Foreign Policy
      (pp. 235-270)

      Canada surely shares a “special relationship” with both the United States and the United Kingdom. The former rests on the exceptional character of the North American security community, especially given the structural imbalance of power on the continent. The latter, of course, follows from Canada’s longstanding constitutional, institutional, demographic, military and commercial ties to the British Empire. The purpose of this chapter is to examine whether Canada shares a similar relationship with its other “mother country,” France.

      France has often been relegated to Canada’s second-tier allies, well behind the pre-eminent place occupied by the United States and Britain. This is...

    • 11 From King to Kandahar: Canada, Multilateralism and Conflict in the Pacific, 1909–2009
      (pp. 271-292)

      Such was Mackenzie King’s reaction to Ottawa’s decision in early 1909 to establish the Department of External Affairs. At the time of the announcement, King, then deputy minister of Labour under Wilfrid Laurier, was in Shanghai as one of five British delegates at an international opium conference. His remarks were prophetic given his later role as secretary of state for External Affairs for most of his long tenure as prime minister. As he toured India, China and Japan, King sensed much ignorance towards Canada and urged a bold assertion of dominion interests due to American competition and British aims. His...

    • 12 Chinese Shadows
      (pp. 293-314)

      In one of his best-known essays,On Contradiction, Mao Zedong said: “There are many contradictions in the course of development of every major thing.”¹ Whether the chairman considered the Sino-Canadian relationship to be “a major thing” is a matter of conjecture, but it certainly has been rife with contradiction on the Canadian side. Some of these contradictions have been obvious, most notably the concurrence of racist immigration policies and missionary work in the late 19thand early 20thcenturies. Others have been more subtle. After the Second World War, Canadian leaders enrolled the country in a powerful anti-Communist military...

    • 13 The Transatlantic Romance of the North Atlantic Triangle: Narratives of Autonomy and Empire in Canadian Foreign Relations 1
      (pp. 317-342)

      American President George W. Bush channelled Winston Churchill on 1 December 2004 when he stood on the historic Halifax Pier 21 to recall for his listeners what Canada and the United States had in common. He chose to evoke the collective cause of Americans and Canadians in the World Wars of the twentieth century, and so, grafted on to his calls for greater cooperation in his “War on Terror,” was a plea that Canadians remember “the great principles of liberty derived from our common heritage,” the underlying Anglo-Saxon alliance that is a permanent organic union.²

      Stephen Harper invoked the spirit...

    • 14 And the Beat Goes On: “Identity” and Canadian Foreign Policy
      (pp. 343-368)

      Annual holidays can be nearly as useful as centennial observations for renewing debate over the Canadian “national identity,” and this year’s Victoria Day celebration has provided a handy entrée into my chapter’s inquiry on the part played by identity in the shaping of the country’s foreign policy. At the outset, three observations need to be made about the nexus between identity and foreign policy. First, this is an old line of inquiry, even if conducted in the past under different terminological cover. Secondly, it is a never-ending interrogation. And thirdly, scholarly study of it comes pretty close to being a...

  11. Contributors
    (pp. 369-370)
  12. Chronology of Canadian Political History
    (pp. 371-382)
  13. Index
    (pp. 383-400)