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.
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.
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...
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.
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...
A principal theme of international relations scholarship following the Cold War was the apparent erosion of state sovereignty caused by globalization's integrative effects and the proliferation of international institutions and networks. In recent years, however, scholars have noted a reverse trend: the reassertion of traditional, or Westphalian, state sovereignty. By contrast, I highlight another recent trend that has gone largely overlooked: the reaffirmation of older “extralegal” and “organic” versions of sovereignty by three of the world's most powerful states—Russia, China, and the United States. After tracing the genealogy of these older concepts, I consider how and why they have gained prominence in the official discourse of all three countries. I also explore the implications of this shift, which not only illustrates the importance of “norm retrieval” in international affairs, but also raises questions about the founda...
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.