Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Canada and Conflict

Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Canada and Conflict

Article excerpt

Patrick James, Canada and Conflict (Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press Canada, 2012), 160 pp. Paper. $16.95. ISBN 978-0-1954-3220-6.

The significance of 9/11 for international politics is hard to overstate: it changed the perceptions of the international environment, amplified some issues at the expense of others and prompted overhauls of security policies in many countries. Canada and Conflict (a part of OUP's Issues in Canada series) joins a long line of studies which see 9/11 as a watershed: its main argument is that the post-9/11 Canada is noticeably different than its 1990s incarnation. However, while some of its insights are intriguing, the case the book puts forward is far from satisfactor y.

Based almost exclusively on published sources, the book seems to be aiming for an introductor y review of Canadian security policy in 2001-11. With the range of issues discussed - from the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya to Arctic sovereignty, ballistic missile defence and border management - it could certainly play that role, were it not for its tendency to flatten issues and failure to iron out inconsistencies. For example, having read that the International Securit y Assistance Force in Afghanistan was established in 2001 under NATO's auspices, one might be surprised to find out, a few pages later, that the Alliance took over ISAF in 2003 (pp. 24-9). Further on, James's contention that NATO's importance to Canadian securit y policy has diminished due to the Afghan experience is likely correct, but assessing the reasons and consequences of this development requires a more careful study. Finally, while the book repeatedly refers to the theoretical lenses of realism, liberalism, the 'world of ideas' and domestic politics, the analysis of the concepts is superficial at best.

Similar shortcomings hobble the analysis of the Harper government's relations with the US and policies on Arctic issues. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.