Canada Among Nations 2007: What Room for Manoeuvre?

April 1, 2008

Canada’s 34 million people and its trillion dollar GDP don’t weigh much on a planet of 7 billion whose economy is now worth 40 trillion dollars. The country is not a lightweight yet, but a shrinking power it is certainly becoming. What can that possibly mean for the country’s foreign policy and its various players? What room is left, and for whom?

A team of specialists explore the space that Canada currently occupies in the global policy landscape as well as the bureaucratic players that manage this “occupation,” looking at trade, the environment, development, defence, intellectual property rights, as well as that biggest file of all, the United States. They examine the various games involved, from the relationship of the Prime Minister’s Office with the foreign policy apparatus, to the constraints imposed by Alberta’s and Quebec’s peculiar interests and “takes” on foreign policy.

The books’ contributions draw a subtle portrait, neither dark nor rosy: huge fetters do exist, clearly, but most can be transcended and even leveraged. Much policy space remains and, with proper action, much more could be carved out.

Canada Among Nations is produced by the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University, in cooperation with The Centre for International Governance Innovation, and is published by McGill-Queen's University Press.

About the Authors