Canada’s Role in Uniting Democracies

Published: 2019     |    By: Ben Rowswell |    Volume 67, No. 1


In his opening keynote address for the Kingston Conference on International Security, CIC President Ben Rowswell examines his predecessor John Holmes’ description of Canada’s role as a “middle power” in the context of the early days of the Cold War. He then proposes a new role for Canada consistent with that tradition but adapted to the context of the geopolitical conflict emerging as we enter the 2020s.

About the Author

Ben Rowswell was appointed President and Research Director of the Canadian International Council in November 2018. Ben has 25 years of experience as a practitioner of international relations. He earned his expertise in international security serving with the United Nations in Mogadishu, Somalia, as Canada’s first diplomatic envoy to Baghdad, Iraq, after the fall of Saddam Hussein, and as the head of the NATO Provincial Reconstruction Team in Kandahar at the height of Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan. He was Ambassador to Venezuela from 2014 to 2017. Ben has advised top levels of government on international strategy in the Privy Council Office during the tenures of Jean Chrétien and Stephen Harper, and at the Washington DC Center for Strategic and International Studies.