John W. Holmes Book Series in Canadian Foreign Policy

The John W. Holmes Book Series in Canadian Foreign Policy

This open-access book series, to be published by the University of Calgary Press in partnership with the Centre for International Governance Innovation, honours and celebrates the intellectual legacy of John Wendell Holmes (1910-1988), one of Canada’s foremost diplomats and foreign policy educators.

In the words of his late colleague, John Halstead: “John Holmes had the knack of shedding new light on old truths, of going to the heart of the matter and of winning understanding for unpleasant facts with wit and elegance. His simplicity was never oversimplified and his objectivity was never offensive… Humility was his hallmark, tolerance was his touchstone and moderation was his motto.”

Holmes was trained in history. He used his understanding of the past, drawn from a combination of his personal experience in Canada’s Department of External Affairs and his comprehensive engagement in the relevant historiography, to offer thoughts and observations on the state of Canadian foreign policy and prospects for Canada’s future. Paradoxically, inasmuch as he was a traditionalist – a strong believer in the importance of personal diplomacy and the role of the state in the international realm – later in life Holmes found himself at the forefront of calls to embrace a more expansive understanding of global statecraft to include a variety of non-traditional threats to what is now known as human security.

Prospective authors are invited to submit manuscript proposals that consider Canada’s historical relationship to a major geographical region; an international organization or institution; or a significant issue in international relations or global governance. We are interested in comprehensive works of synthesis that integrate the wealth of new research on Canadian foreign policy that has been produced since Holmes’s passing.

Books must be no longer than 100,000 words (including notes), written in accessible prose. They should be drafted with the needs of Holmes’s traditional audiences – university undergraduates, foreign policy practitioners, and informed Canadians with an interest in foreign policy – in mind.

Proposals should be formatted as per the University of Calgary Press’ scholarly prospectus form and emailed to along with a covering letter explaining how the manuscript meets the intent of the series.

Proposals will be adjudicated by an editorial board comprised of representatives of the John Holmes Trust, CIGI, and senior scholars in history and political science. Successful proposals will be forwarded to the University of Calgary Press for further consideration.

Authors whose proposals are accepted for the series by both the editorial board and the University of Calgary Press will have access to modest financial support. The funds can be applied towards research assistance, the publication process, and promotion efforts.

Any proposals received by 15 June 2022 will receive a response from the editorial board in July. Depending on the results of the first adjudication process, a second call for proposals could take place in the fall.

The series is sponsored by the Centre for International Governance Innovation with funding from the John Holmes Trust.

For further information and/or for support in drafting a suitable proposal, please contact Adam Chapnick at

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