Behind the Headlines

Volume 68

Populism in Canada: Observations from the 2019 Federal Election: Should We Be Worried?

March 2020    |    By:  Anders Bretsen and Chelsea Tao |    Vol. 68 No.4

The authors present their findings after conducting extensive research on the nature of populism in the recent Canadian federal election, surveying a wide range of public statements from political candidates. These were compiled and assessed to determine whether Canadian democracy was risk of being eroded. Daniel Ziblatt and Steven Levitsky’s 2018 book, How Democracies Die, was used to establish benchmarks for what constituted a threat to democratic institutions and processes. Ultimately, there were no instances where Ziblatt and Levitsky’s thresholds were met – a positive but not entirely unconditional sign that Canadian democracy is in good health.

The Trump Peace Plan: Neither Peace Nor Stability

March 2020    |    By:  Jon Allen  |    Vol. 68 No.3

Jon Allen examines the Trump Peace Plan and explains why, if implemented, it would bring neither peace nor stability to the region. In addition to drawing on his experience as former ambassador to Israel, Allen reviews the political context in which the plan was announced, its content and what its implementation could mean for both the region and the international community.

How Populism Threatens Liberal Democracy Around The World And What Canada Should Do About It

March 2020    |    By:  Michael Petrou  |    Vol. 68 No.2

Michael Petrou takes stock of the current state of the global international order, the status of global
populist movements, and the impact populism exerts at the start of a new decade. He goes on to
examine why Canada should care about the weakening of global democracy, and what it can do to
combat rising populist tides.

The Peace, Order and Good Government Centre: An Exciting Opportunity for Canada

February 2020    |    By:  Sujit Choudhry |    Vol. 68 No.1

In response to the mandate letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs directing the establishment of a Canadian Centre for Peace, Order and Good Government (CCPOGG), Sujit Choudhry provides some preliminary ideas on how such a center could operate. This article includes an overview of the current global context and its respective challenges, a look at Canada’s comparative advantages in addressing these challenges, and proposals for the structure of activities while highlighting four thematic areas on which CCPOGG could focus.


First published in 1940 as a pamphlet series focused on contemporary Canadian foreign policy, Behind the Headlines evolved first into a quarterly current affairs magazine, and then into its current form as a policy paper series. The various iterations of Behind the Headlines shared a focus on international affairs and Canada’s place in the world, as well as an overriding goal of producing material accessible to a wide audience from academics and policy professionals to journalists and informed citizens. The views expressed in Behind the Headlines are those of the authors.


We accept unsolicited submissions for Behind the Headlines. Contributions on topical foreign policy, international affairs and global issues should be sent to Submissions must not exceed 5,000 words and should contain a minimum number of endnotes. Please consult the CIC style guide for more information on formatting.