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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...

March 25, 2020

Published in International Organization 74:3 (Summer 2020)

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...

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

June 20, 2019

Published by Chatham House, June 18, 2019

Many middle powers have been warning of the dangers inherent in the decline of the liberal international order. The time has come for these countries to translate their warnings into concerted action.

https://www.chathamhouse.org/publication/can-middle-powers-save-liberal-world-order
 

January 25, 2019

China’s apparent use of Canadian detainees as diplomatic bargaining chips is not just a problem for Canada. It is a challenge to all countries that seek to uphold the rule of law...

Continue reading: https://www.chathamhouse.org/expert/comment/canada-front-lines-challenges-rule-law

October 17, 2018

Published in Toronto Star

The disappearance and possible murder of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi is an important test case for despots everywhere. Can they get away with interrogating, kidnapping and even assassinating their critics in other countries?

Khashoggi, a United States resident and contributor to the Washington Post, walked into Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, two weeks ago and disappeared. It seems increasingly likely he was killed by a team of Saudi operatives sent to Istanbul for this purpose.

King Salman of Saudi Arabia and his powerful crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman, have denied any knowledge of these events and a Saudi-owned television network has insisted that the accused Saudi agents were, in fact, tourists.

Yet a steady drip of information leaks from Turkish officials and media investigations have punctured these denials. On Tuesday, the New York Times identified four of the Saudi “tourists” as members of Prince Mohammad’s personal securit...

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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

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@rolandparis

© Roland Paris 2020