Commentary

July 22, 2020

Canadian attitudes towards China have undergone a dramatic shift – from ambivalence to distrust – since the two countries became locked in a diplomatic dispute in late 2018. This paper argues that these hardened sentiments are unlikely to dissipate and Canada–China relations seem to have entered a new, warier phase.


Full text: https://www.chathamhouse.org/publication/canada-china-views-paris

July 17, 2020

Essay published by the Public Policy Forum.

Summary: The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated developing geopolitical shifts that are unlikely to dissipate even after the pandemic's economic shock wanes. As a country long used to a more benign international environment, the future prosperity, security and well-being of Canadians will depend in no small measure on how well we navigate this unfamiliar world.

Full text:

https://ppforum.ca/publications/navigating-the-new-world-disorder (English)

https://ppforum.ca/fr/publications/naviguer-dans-le-nouveau-desordre-mondial (Français)

July 15, 2020

I was pleased to participate in this webinar on "Allied Cooperation on China," organized by the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.


July 10, 2020

In Braver Canada: Shaping Our Destiny in a Precarious World, Derek Burney and Fen Hampson argue that Canada needs a new global strategy for a world of growing geopolitical rivalry. Although they wrote the book before the coronavirus pandemic, the longer-term political and economic shifts they analyze—including the rise of illiberal populism and “America First” nativism, an increasingly brazen and repressive China, mounting technological competition, and the weakening of international institutions and cooperation—seem to have been accentuated by the COVID-19 crisis. Geopolitical tensions, in other words, are not going away...
 

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July 6, 2020

New York Times, July 6, 2020, excerpt.

...

“Will Trump be wearing a mask in the meeting?” asked Roland Paris, a professor of international affairs at the University of Ottawa, and a former foreign policy adviser to Mr. Trudeau. Would Mr. Trump stand closer than two meters away?

“I don’t think Trudeau has any interest in being drawn into American debates on mask-wearing and appropriate health precautions during an epidemic,” Mr. Paris said.

While President Trump has continually underplayed the severity of the virus, and even mocked people for wearing masks, Mr. Trudeau became the first G7 leader to self-isolate after his wife came down with flulike symptoms and later tested positive for Covid-19 in March.

For two weeks, Mr. Trudeau juggled the country’s response to the pandemic from his home study, caring for the couple’s three young children without the help of his usual political aides or personal staff. He didn’t get a test himself because, at that time, doctors were advising on...

June 25, 2020

I chatted about "America's global role in the COVID-19 era" with Anne-Marie Slaughter, CEO of New America, Professor Emerita at Princeton University, former director of policy planning in the US Department of State, and the author of several big-thinking books about public policy and international affairs. This interview was part of the Recovery Project.

June 5, 2020

After China violated Hong Kong’s legislative autonomy by imposing a new security law on the territory, the United States and its traditional allies did something remarkable — they agreed. But this display of solidarity was fleeting.

The US, UK, EU, Japan, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand all issued critical statements. However, President Donald Trump then quickly announced the United States would protest China’s action by ending America’s special trade relationship with Hong Kong, whereas the EU rejected punitive economic measures.

Trump further vowed the US would ‘terminate’ its relationship with the World Health Organization (WHO) on the grounds that the agency has become a Chinese instrument. Although other democratic nations have expressed misgivings at the WHO’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, many had implored Trump not to hobble the world’s main health agency in the midst of a global emergency.

Although this disunity may be unsurprising, it is sadly self-defeating. De...

January 8, 2020

Interview on CBC Radio, 8 January 2020.

November 27, 2019

I delivered the opening speech at the Summit on Canada's Global Leadership in Ottawa on November 27, 2019. The event brought together several hundred Canadian development practitioners along with academics and experts in other areas of foreign policy.

Canada faces extraordinary international challenges, I argued, due to tectonic changes in international affairs that are not going away. Although Canadians have often viewed foreign policy as something of an afterthought, we can no longer afford to do so. The stakes are too high.

Video: https://youtu.be/1YFeowpzwbc

November 14, 2019

Quoted in: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-future-foreign-policy-must-focus-on-containing-threats-from-friends/

With four years of experience under their belts – some of it bitter – the Liberals confront a world more hostile to Canadian interests than at any time since most people were born

“We are living through a period of historic transformation in international affairs," said Roland Paris, who teaches international relations at the University of Ottawa and served as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s first foreign policy adviser.

“Canada’s interests are exposed to actual and potential harm probably more than at any time since the Second World War," he said.

Foreign policy in the immediate future must focus primarily on containing threats from friends, as well as foes.

First and foremost, that means surviving Donald Trump’s disruptive presidency, which has undermined the foundations of the postwar world order. With the Republican Party now at least as protectionis...

October 6, 2019

Foreign policy has rarely figured prominently in Canadian elections. With few direct threats to our security, privileged access to the world’s largest and richest market confirming and international rules and institutions that sustained a relatively open and stable world order, Canadian voters have understandably tended to treat foreign affairs as an afterthought.

Today these conditions are decaying, leaving Canada more exposed than ever. A crucial question confronts our political leaders: How will Canada respond to these tectonic shifts in international affairs?

Five specific challenges, all touching on Canada’s core interests, warrant particular attention.

First, how will Canada manage its relations with the United States in the coming years? No one should assume that U.S. President Donald Trump is an aberration. He will eventually leave office, but Trumpism may remain a powerful force in U.S. politics for some time, just as Jacksonian populism outlasted the presidential term of i...

July 11, 2019

Twenty-two democratic countries, including Canada, signed a letter earlier this week condemning China's mass detention of ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims in Xi

March 1, 2019

ft.com/content/6deb935c-3c44-11e9-b72b-2c7f526ca5d0

Justin Trudeau is facing the biggest crisis of his political career as pressure mounts on the Canadian prime minister over allegations that he interfered improperly in a corruption case involving a Montreal engineering company.

News of a slowing Canadian economy compounded Mr Trudeau’s challenges on Friday as he reshuffled his cabinet, less than eight months before federal elections in which polls show the opposition Conservatives as an increasing threat to his re-election.

Statistics Canada reported on Friday that growth in real GDP slowed to just 0.1 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2018, well below forecasts of a 1 per cent advance and down from annualised 2 per cent growth in the third quarter.

Mr Trudeau’s reshuffle, which installed new ministers of agriculture, veterans affairs and international development, followed the resignation in February of former justice minister and attorney-general Jody Wilson-Raybould.

Ms Wilson...

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Interviews & Quotes

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Roland Paris
Graduate School of Public and International Affairs

University of Ottawa

120 University Private, Room 6053

Ottawa, Ontario, K1Y 3M5, Canada

rparis@uottawa.ca

+1 (613) 562-5800 x4047
@rolandparis

© Roland Paris 2020