Waterloo, Canada - Canada's position as a power is shrinking, but there are still plenty of opportunities to better shape the country's foreign policy and improve Canada's standing in the world. This is the conclusion of a new publication released this month by the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and Carleton University's Norman Paterson School of International Affairs.
CanadaAmong Nations: What Room for Manoeuvre? raises a question that has concerned Canadian policymakers and citizens since Confederation. In response, the newly published collection of essays warns against complacency in foreign policy and outlines the need for policy innovation in areas such as trade, the environment, development, defence, intellectual property rights, and the relationship with the United States.
The authors examine Canada's foreign policy and assess whether it is effective enough to advance national interests and values. What they find is a trail of missed opportunities, lack of vision, contradictory positions and under-investment in capacity. "Many of the options of foreign policy decision-makers remain to be seized," write Jean Daudelin and Daniel Schwanen, the book's co-editors. "Canada could use crafted measures, touching on national capacity, both in government as well as in business and education organizations."
The editors agree that it's not Canada's sovereignty that has diminished, but rather that the global scope of problems has dramatically increased. However, they suggest that the government can strengthen its investment in diplomatic operations and the foreign policy apparatus and deepen Canada's ties with the United States - areas that are within the control of the national government. Additionally, they argue that a lot could be gained with a much more assertive and creative stance.
Preoccupation with an independent foreign policy is a constant theme in Canada but as the book optimistically shows, there are many opportunities to improve our standing in the world and have a more influential role in international affairs.
This edition of Canada Among Nations is the 23 rd instalment in the series published by McGill Queen's University Press.
For more information about this book please visit: www.cigionline.org/publications