Month: October 2020

Ben Rowswell on The Agenda: Time for Canada to Scrap Pearsonian Diplomacy?

As the rules-based international order faces unprecedented threats, what’s Canada – a country that has thrived in traditional multilateralism – to do? Is it time to for Canada to abandon its historical “Pearsonian approach” to world diplomacy and focus more on power? To provide context, Ben Rowswell, president of the Canadian International Council joined Jennifer Welsh, director of the Centre for International Peace and Security Studies at McGill University; and Lloyd Axworthy, chair of the World Refugee & Migration Council, and former foreign minister of Canada on TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin to discuss the issue....

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The Young Professionals Network is Formally Launched!

The Canadian International Council has formally launched its very own Young Professionals Network (YPN)! CIC members from across Canada have come together to form this network in order to connect and engage Canada’s future foreign policy leaders.To support a thriving network of young professionals interested in foreign affairs, the CIC YPN is organizing multiple activities. This includes a speaker series to connect young professionals with thought leaders in foreign policy; learning and development events to help members gain advice and valuable insights in their own careers; as well as networking opportunities.The CIC YPN’s first event is a conversation with...

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Introducing Élisabeth Vallet

It was several days after the fall of the Twin Towers, in the aftermath of September 11, before we could gradually resume air travel in North America. But this brief incident heralded a trend driven by a growing paranoia directly linked to the fact that the enemy was now non-state, stealthy and multinational; the approach to border control would radically change. As a result, the security tensions of the early 21st century have brought borders, once simple lines between nations, to the centre of what defines a state’s identity. Once flexible and permeable, sometimes even unmarked, they have become...

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Introducing Imre Szeman

Over the course of this century, we will need to undergo an energy transition—a shift from a global society still heavily dependent on fossil fuels to one using sustainable and renewable forms of energy. Transition will depend on more than just development of new technologies or shifts in government policy. Dr. Imre Szeman’s research shows that effective energy transition also requires social, political and cultural transition, with attention to the ways, both profound and subtle, that the energy riches of the past two centuries have shaped and influenced human cultural and social relations. ‘Energy humanities’—the field that Szeman’s work...

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Introducing Alejandro Reyes

I am honoured to be among the inaugural Canadian International Council (CIC) fellows. I thank the selection committee and the CIC leadership for this opportunity to contribute to the conversation among the Canadian public about Canada’s role in the world. As we struggle to surmount the pandemic, a deep think is especially important. “The rules-based international order is now over,” CIC President Ben Rowswell wrote In a compelling opinion piece published in The Globe and Mail in June. Canada, he added, “needs a foreign policy that takes full account of power to secure the international cooperation our citizens need.”...

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Introducing Jean-Frédéric Morin

“Diversity is a strength”. This is more than a political slogan: it is empirical fact. Heterogeneity favors innovation, which is crucial for adaptability. This is obvious to ecologists but it is also true in the social sciences. People with diverse social connections are more likely to file a patent, employees bridging social gaps within their company are assessed as more innovative by their managers, and artists connecting different cultural references are associated with higher ratings. I try to make diversity an organizing principle for my research on international institutions. I work on various types of institutions (trade agreements, environmental...

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Introducing Adam P. MacDonald

My name is Adam P. MacDonald, and I am currently a PhD candidate in the Political Science Department at Dalhousie University. I  recently finished an 18-month tour as the Deputy-Director of the Centre for the Study of Security and Development at Dalhousie University (https://www.dal.ca/faculty/arts/politicalscience.html). I am privileged to work with a number of great professors and graduate students who are doing important, innovative and impactful work and whose support to me over the years has been tremendous. I am, also, a member of two Department of Defence funded academic networks – The Defence and Security Foresight Group (https://uwaterloo.ca/defence-security-foresight-group/) and...

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Introducing Roojin Habibi

The 2005 International Health Regulations (IHR) governs the world’s response to infectious diseases. Like most international treaties, implementation of the IHR must be consistent with prevailing rules of international law, including the norms of international human rights law. Although the collective right to public health may sometimes warrant the curtailment of certain individual rights, justifications for such restrictions are circumscribed by a robust set of criteria most potently expressed by the non-binding but widely cited Siracusa Principles on the Limitations and Derogations Provisions in the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights (Siracusa Principles). The Siracusa Principles were adopted in 1984 against the backdrop of a world besieged by ‘epidemics’ of political unrest and the Cold War. In our interdependent era, threats to stability, peace and security emanate increasingly from global phenomena that are either too small to see, such as emerging infectious diseases, or too diffuse to fathom, such as climate change. When they strike, these global hazards not only expose the world’s languishing momentum towards realizing the “larger freedom” etched in the preamble of the Charter of the United Nations – they also threaten to unravel modest but hard-earned progress that has inched us closer to a global community where no one is left behind. More acutely than any crisis in recent history, the COVID-19 pandemic lays bare the need for close kinship between international human rights...

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