Recent Books: Western Hemisphere: The Harper Era in Canadian Foreign Policy: Parliament, Politics, and Canada's Global Posture: Beyond Afghanistan: An International Security Agenda for Canada

By Feinberg, Richard | Foreign Affairs, January/February 2017 | Go to article overview

Recent Books: Western Hemisphere: The Harper Era in Canadian Foreign Policy: Parliament, Politics, and Canada's Global Posture: Beyond Afghanistan: An International Security Agenda for Canada


Feinberg, Richard, Foreign Affairs


Recent Books: Western Hemisphere: The Harper Era in Canadian Foreign Policy: Parliament, Politics, and Canada's Global Posture EDITED BY ADAM CHAPNICK AND CHRISTOPHER J. KUKUCHA. UBC Press, 2016, 300 pp.

Beyond Afghanistan: An International Security Agenda for Canada EDITED BY JAMES G. FERGUSSON AND FRANCIS FURTADO. UBC Press, 2016, 326 pp.

The United States is extraordinarily fortunate to have friendly neighbors to both the north and the south. Relations with Mexico can sometimes become fraught, owing in part to the politics of immigration in the United States and to lingering resentment in Mexico over the nineteenth-century U.S. annexation of Mexican territory. In contrast, Canada is a staunch U.S. ally and a committed member of nato. Indeed, The Harper Era in Canadian Foreign Policy asks whether who is in power in Ottawa even matters much for Canadian foreign policy, given the depth of Canada's collaboration with its far more powerful partner to the south. Not surprisingly, the contributing authors find more continuity than change in Canadian foreign policy, regardless of who serves as prime minister and whether he or she leads a majority or a minority government. Even so, Stephen Harper of the Conservative Party, who held the office from 2006 to 2015, had an impact on Canadian political culture: he mimicked U.S. neoconservatism by advocating military interventions, de-emphasized North American trilateralism, reduced public funding for his ideological opponents in academia and the nonprofit sector, narrowed the range of Canada's human rights advocacy, and sought to separate the issue of reproductive rights from the broader issue of gender equality. …

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