The late Canadian diplomat and commentator John Wendell Holmes believed that the best public policy emerged out of an appreciation of history and context. This essay series, sponsored by the Holmes Trust, reflects on six contemporary themes in Canadian foreign and security policy, with historians considering the background of each issue and practitioners responding with a view to the future. Together, the essays demonstrate the value of history to a decision maker’s analytical calculus and offer practical suggestions to inform Canada's response to the challenges ahead. An English and French print version will be available in late spring.


The Search for World Order in the Twenty-First Century
Adam Chapnick and Aaron Shull

Situating Canada in a Shifting Geopolitical Context

Situating Canada in a Shifting Geopolitical Context
Michael Cotey Morgan

Maximizing Influence without Having Control
Rohinton P. Medhora

A Fractious and Uncertain International System

Canada in the World: The Multilateralist Tradition in Canadian Foreign Policy
Brendan Kelly

Canada’s Multilateralism: A Story of Growing Drift?
David M. Malone

Canada in a World Where Democracies Are under Strain

Authoritarian Challengers and the Conduct of Canadian Foreign Policy
Susan Colbourn

Democracy, Authoritarianism and Canada’s Sovereign Course
Leigh Sarty

Advancing Trade, Investment and Development

Building Confidence through Trade and the Start of Economic Summitry
Jennifer Levin Bonder

US Formation of New Geoeconomic Alliances: Canada’s Shifting Relevance
Meredith Lilly

Driving Digital Leadership and Collective Action

Communications, Technology and Canadian Foreign Policy
Heidi Tworek

A Twenty-First-Century Approach to Advance Canada’s Foreign Policy on Communications and Technology
Bill Graham

Enhancing Canada’s Security Posture in an Increasingly Uncertain Global Environment

Canadian National Security in Historical Perspective
Timothy Andrews Sayle

Deterrence of Partisanship as Canadian National Security Strategy
Laurence Deschamps-Laporte


Envisioning a Better World
Adam Chapnick and Aaron Shull

About the Authors

A practising lawyer, Aaron Shull is CIGI’s managing director and general counsel. In addition to advising on a range of domestic legal and corporate matters, he has substantive expertise in international law, global security and internet governance.

Adam Chapnick is professor of defence studies at the Royal Military College of Canada.

Jennifer Levin Bonder is a visiting instructor at the Center for Canadian-American Studies at Western Washington University.

Susan Colbourn is associate director of the Triangle Institute for Security Studies based at the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University and is the co-editor of International Journal.

Laurence Deschamps-Laporte is a visiting professor of political science and visiting scholar at the Montreal Centre for International Studies at l’Université de Montréal.

Bill Graham is a senior fellow with CIGI, contributing to research on internet governance.

Brendan Kelly is the head of the Historical Section and deputy director of the Foreign Policy Research and Foresight Division at Global Affairs Canada.

Meredith Lilly is associate professor and Simon Reisman Chair in International Economic Policy at Carleton University, and associate director of the M.A. program at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs.

David M. Malone joined the United Nations University on March 1, 2013 as its sixth rector. In that role, he holds the rank of Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Rohinton P. Medhora is president of CIGI.

Michael Cotey Morgan is associate professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and author of The Final Act: The Helsinki Accords and the Transformation of the Cold War (Princeton University Press, 2018).

Leigh Sarty is adjunct professor at the Institute of European, Russian and Eurasian Studies and a senior fellow at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University, and senior fellow at the Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary International History, University of Toronto.

Timothy Andrews Sayle is assistant professor of history and director of the International Relations Program at the University of Toronto.

Heidi Tworek is a CIGI senior fellow and an expert on platform governance, the history of media technologies, and health communications. She is an associate professor of public policy and international history at the University of British Columbia.