Behind the Headlines
Volume 68

Recommendations to Parliament and the Government to expand Canada’s Capacity and Diversity of Engagement with China 

August 2020    |    By:  The China Policy Centre Board of Directors |    Vol. 68 No.7

Canada will mark the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) on December 5, 2020. The goal of the China Policy Centre is to ensure that lessons learned from Canada’s experience since 1970 are applied to interactions with China over the next 50 years. To contribute to that discussion, the Centre’s Board has submitted 33 recommendations this week to the Special Committee on Canada-China Relations.

Because of globalization, the global impact and domestic implications to the Chinese and Canadian people are more closely intertwined than ever. The need to find common ground and address different philosophical viewpoints and different policies to economic and national security, environmental issues and political governance is increasingly relevant especially when benchmarked to the state of engagement in 1970.

Rethinking Sanctions: Important Questions for Canada to Consider

May 2020    |    By:  Andrea Charron and Erin Tramley |    Vol. 68 No.6

Now is the time to consider the utility of certain ‘targeted’ sanctions regimes imposed by Canada. Three cases involving sanctions applied by Canada against elites and decision-makers in Venezuela, Iran and North Korea point to a number of problems with Canadian sanctions measures and policy means versus unintended effects. The penchant by Western states to create sanctions coalitions of the willing is not having the desired effect to change rogue state behaviour and instead is doing irreparable harm. A number of questions are raised in this article that need to be asked and answered by academics and practitioners in concert rather than in parallel if sanctions are to be Canada’s foreign policy tool of choice to decry undesirable behaviour.

Les enjeux des pays limitrophes de la Russie

Avril 2020   |   Par: Ferry de Kerckhove |    Vol. 68 No.5

L’ancien ambassadeur Ferry de Kerckhove examine la politique étrangère sous Vladimir Poutine et son influence sur les anciens pays de l’Union soviétique et du Pacte de Varsovie. La Russie de Poutine se veut « un centre des plus influents et compétitifs du monde moderne » en compétition avec les pays de l’occident

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.
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