Middle Power Liberal Internationalism in an Illiberal World

At a time when the post-war liberal order is under severe strain and illiberal forces are on the rise across the world, this research project revisits the notion of ‘middle power international liberalism’. Predominantly used to describe the foreign policies of states like Canada, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands and Sweden, middle power liberal internationalism can be seen both as a self-interested foreign policy strategy and as a moral commitment to a better world. On the one hand, as small or middle-powers these states have an interest in a rule-governed world order and multilateralism, and liberal internationalism can potentially augment their power and security. On the other hand, these states are frequently defined by themselves and by others as “good international citizens”, as reflected in their long-standing support for the United Nations, human rights, peacekeeping, and foreign aid. Recognizing the limitations and criticisms of middle power liberal internationalism, this project brings together scholars from three countries traditionally seen representatives of middle power international liberalism. It asks, first, to what extent ‘middle power international liberalism’ still describes the foreign policies of Canada, Denmark and Norway? Second, what is, or should, the content and objectives of such foreign policy strategies be today? And third, what is the potential impact of such strategies and policies in the current world order. Combining theoretical investigations with close scrutiny of foreign policy practices, the project contributes both to debates about the nature of power and authority in global governance and to policy debates regarding contemporary threats to the liberal world order and responses to them.

The project is funded by a Connection Grant from Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). A Special Issue of the International Journal is was published in March 2019, available here: https://journals.sagepub.com/toc/ijxa/current

Global Right

Global Right (GR) has the threefold objective of providing a comprehensive intellectual and institutional analysis of the international dimensions of radical conservatism; focused analyses of some of its most revealing expressions; and critical examinations of their trajectories and political implications. As such, GR will contribute to academic knowledge about the dynamics and the future of international order, and inform policy debates and public discourse on these increasingly pressing issues in international politics.

Global Education for Canadians: Equipping Young Canadians to Succeed at Home and Abroad

On November 8, 2017, the Study Group on Global Education, an independent group of educational leaders, business executives and policy experts, released a landmark report on international learning for young Canadians.

Justice and Markets: Charting New Challenges, Globally and Locally

Profs. Patrick Leblond and Christine Straehle analyze markets from a global and local justice perspective can help clarify the moral problems that they may bring with respect to their effects on local populations, national regulatory possibilities and their impact on redistribution globally. This research project aims to yield fruitful cross-disciplinary insights into this important and timely topic.

Department of National Defence Engagement Grant

Canadian Defence Policy in Theory and Practice is a forthcoming book, edited by Philippe Lagassé (Norman Patterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University), Srdjan Vucetic and Thomas Juneau (both Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa). The content will emphasize the process of defence policy-making rather than just the outcomes of that process, focusing especially on how political and organizational interests impact planning and standard operating procedures that shape Canadian defence policy and practices.