This paper examines the challenges Canada faces in forging a diplomacy appropriate for the changing power configuration in global politics. The reshaping of the international order—with China pushing for a more hierarchical view of international relations, and the administration of Donald Trump repositioning the USA in global politics—provides Canada with the impetus to rediscover the traditional role that middle powers played as reliable middle managers for the global project. Today, such “middle management” is deprived of a reliable role. Since China has yet to articulate a coherent normative vision of a new global order, and the USA is retreating to a purely transactional view of trade and diplomacy, Canada and other middle powers have few choices other than to try to adapt to the changes in the hopes of sustaining the normative mesh that has upheld the post-war order.

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International Journal
Department of Political Science

Paltiel, J. (2018). Facing China: Canada between fear and hope. International Journal, 73(3), 343–363. doi:10.1177/0020702018792908