Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

At Home in the World: Canada's Global Vision for the 21st Century

Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

At Home in the World: Canada's Global Vision for the 21st Century

Article excerpt

Jennifer Welsh, At Home in the World: Canada's Global Vision for the 21st Century (Toronto: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2004), 266 pp. Cloth. ISBN 0-0020-0665-0.

This is a very readable and significant discussion on contemporary issues and choices that face Canada in a turbulent world. The author stresses that Wilfred Laurier once proclaimed that the twentieth century belonged to Canada, but that success in the new century is now less assured. The stark warning is that either Canada makes choices to thrive in the North American continent and actively contribute to the creation of a better world, or it will cease to exist, in anything but name, as a sovereign country. It is perhaps noteworthy that Canada's new International Policy Statement (2005) mapped out in a specific way those policy options, and in many ways reflected the points of discussion in this book.

The book is organised to reflect the overriding significance of the USA in Canadian affairs, with Chapter 1 as 'America's Best Friend', and Chapter 2 'Sharing the Continent'. Chapter 3 considers 'A Fine Balance: Prosperity, Security, and Sovereignty', while Chapter 4 discusses Canada as a 'Middle Power?'. The book concludes with some debate around prognosis - Chapter 5 is titled 'Contending Visions for Canada', and Chapter 6 'Canada: Model Citizen for the Twenty- First Century'. The introduction and the start of each chapter are personalised and act as a prelude to the analytic discussion that follows.

The perennial issue of Canada's identity 'crisis' is an inevitable background to much of the discussion, not least in attempts to define Canada's role as a 'middle power' in world affairs. …

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