Selling Canada the Good Neighbour

By Susan Colbourn, University of Toronto | In February 1983, the Canadian government ran a series of advertisements in the Washington Post, touting the unique relationship between Canada and the United States. Invoking a long history of cooperation and problem-solving, the ads tried to burnish Canada’s credentials as a trading partner and ally with taglines …

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Rethinking Religion’s Role in International Relations

By David Webster, Bishop's University | How much does religion matter in global affairs? A seemingly undiplomatic topic, religion can actually tell us quite a bit about diplomatic history. Take the case of Burma, which in 1953 decided to refuse any more development aid money from the United States. Prime Minister U Nu made the …

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Transparency, Access, and History in the 21st Century

[This post first appeared in the Canadian Historical Association’s Bulletin (now Intersections), 43:3, 2017, p. 17.] By Timothy Andrews Sayle, University of Toronto | The Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada hosted a three-day conference on “Transparency in the 21st Century” in March 2017 to explore and compare access to information regimes in Canada …

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Telling Canada’s International Story: Reflections on the Scholarly Process

Adam Chapnick, Canadian Forces College | It’s been 20 years since I first entered what was then the National Archives of Canada to study Canadian international history. I didn’t realize it then, but reflecting back, it is now clear that I joined the community of historians of Canadian diplomacy at a time when archival research …

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The ‘Imperial Turn’ in Canadian History

Graeme Thompson, Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary International History | Nearly twenty years ago, historian A.G. Hopkins made the case for the revival of British imperial history. At the end of the twentieth century – a century shaped by decolonization and the emergence of postcolonial nation-states across the globe – this was perhaps a surprising …

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Natural Security: Conceptualizing Canada-U.S. Environmental Diplomacy

Daniel Macfarlane, Western Michigan University | This post was originally published on NiCHE’s The Otter. | In late April 2017 I had the privilege of attending and presenting at a workshop at McMaster University titled "Undiplomatic History: Rethinking Canada in the World." Organized by Asa McKercher and Phil Van Huizen, this gathering brought together scholars …

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No Truck or Trade with Trump? The Puzzling Absence of anti-NAFTA Sentiment in Canada

Asa McKercher | A version of this post originally appeared at ActiveHistory.ca | There is a certain delicious irony in that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will speak later today at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Not only did Trudeau’s father and the Great Communicator have a famously tense relationship, but the notion that Trudeau will …

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Russia, Not Russia: The Tweet Heard Round the World

Andrew Burtch, Carleton University | On the evening of 27 August 2014, Canada’s permanent mission to NATO tweeted out a tongue-in-cheek response to claims that Russian troops had entered Crimea by “mistake” or had “gotten lost” during the occupation and de-facto annexation of the peninsula. It read: “Geography can be tough. Here’s a guide for …

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Skyhawk, Skyshield, and the Re-Classification of Canadian History

Timothy Andrews Sayle, University of Toronto | UPDATE: both Complaints discussed below have been resolved in full, with all information released. See the bottom of the page for a full update. I want to preface this note by saying that the ATIP shop at Library and Archives Canada has been doing exceptionally good work over …

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A Few Thoughts on Canadian International History

Susan Colbourn, University of Toronto | The idea of Canadian international history has made a bit of a splash in recent years. David Meren lamented the "tragedies of Canadian international history," sparking a lively roundtable with John English, Adam Chapnick, and Dominique Marshall in the Canadian Historical Review in late 2015. Elsewhere, Asa McKercher and …

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