Canada and the world

Canada’s long tradition of responsible engagement in international affairs has become an important and integral part of our identity. Through experiences such as immigration, travel, and instant global communications, Canadians themselves have undergone a profound shift in their understanding of the world and their place in it. The new Canadian public is more apt to be aware of complex international realities, whether they relate to commerce, culture or security. Their concepts of risk, social obligation and engagement are evolving. Canada’s public international role has changed significantly in recent years. We have a clear need to rethink foreign policy and reflect on the opportunities and challenges of our role in the future. Canada’s exceptional expertise should allow us to act as a world leader in several key areas, such as environmental protection and cooperation between nations.

Research on this theme may focus, for example, on the prevention and resolution of international conflicts, with particular emphasis on points of tension such as culture, religion and the environment. Studies that examine Canada and its place in the world may also pay special attention to economic and commercial issues, as well as the process of foreign policy development. At home, it would be useful to look at the way the evolution of multiculturalism – its diversification, the growing presence of ethno-cultural groups outside of urban areas, and the links between diasporas and their home countries – has influenced our collective decisions about complex international issues.

Canada is also a preferred home base for numerous nongovernmental organizations, especially in the international co-operation sector, a role that demands closer examination. Abroad, the rise of developing countries raises questions with regard to Canada’s international standing. Will the country see its influence diminished or will it succeed in creating new strategic alliances leading to a renewed international status based on new foundations and new allies? The debate is now open.

Explore Canada and the World via the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Community’s publications.

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