Mike’s World: Lester B. Pearson and Canadian External Affairs

Publication Notice

Mike’s World: Lester B. Pearson and Canadian External Affairs. Asa McKercher and Galen Roger Perras. Eds. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2017.

Although fifty years have passed since Lester Pearson stepped down as prime minister, he still influences debates about Canada’s role in the world. Known as “Mike” to his friends, he has been credited with charting a “Pearsonian” course in which Canada took on a global role as a helpful fixer seeking to mediate disputes and promote international cooperation, a development that led to him winning a Nobel Prize. It is therefore surprising that this much vaunted reputation is increasingly subject to criticism.

Mike’s World explores the myths surrounding Pearsonianism to explain why he remains such a touchstone for understanding Canadian foreign policy. In it, leading and emerging scholars dig deeply into Pearson’s diplomatic and political career, especially during the 1960s and his time as prime minister. Topics range from peacekeeping and Arctic sovereignty to environmental diplomacy and human rights policy. Chapters also explore Canada’s relations with South Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas. They show that competing forces of idealism and pragmatism were key drivers of Pearsonian foreign policy, and how global events often influenced politics and society within Canada itself.

Situating Pearson within his times and as a lens through which to analyze Canadians’ views of global affairs, this nuanced collection wrestles with the contradictions of Pearson and Pearsonianism and, ultimately, with the resulting myths surrounding Canada’s role in the world.

This book will be of interest to students and scholars of Canadian history, political science, and international relations. Accessibly written, it will appeal also to a more general audience.

CFP: CIH/HIC-sponsored panels for the CHA, Regina May 2018

The Canadian International History Committee (CIH/HIC) seeks submissions for sponsored panels for the Canadian Historical Association Annual Meeting to be held in Regina in May 2018.

Panels that concern the conference themes are encouraged as well as those that focus on transnational perspectives of Canadian International History.

Due to our affiliation with the CHA, the CIH/HIC will be guaranteed at least one sponsored panel on the program.

Members interested in submitting a panel should alert the CIH/HIC executive no later Monday October 30, 2017 of their intention as the programming committee CANNOT retroactively accept sponsored panels. They must be put forward at the submission stage.

Please send your proposals to: Kevin.Brushett@rmc.ca

Le Comité international de l’histoire du Canada (CIH/HIC) lance un appel des soumissions pour les sessions ou panneaux parrainés pour l’assemblée annuelle de l’Association historique canadienne qui se tiendra à Regina en mai 2018.

Les soumissions qui concernent les thèmes de la conférence sont encouragés ainsi que ceux qui mettent l’accent sur les perspectives transnationales de l’histoire internationale canadienne.

En raison de notre affiliation à la SHC, le CIH/HIC sera garantis au moins un panel parrainé sur le programme.

Les membres intéressés à soumettre un panel devraient alerter l’exécutif de la CIH/HIC au plus tard le lundi 30 octobre 2017 de leur intention, car le comité de programmation NE PEUT PAS accepter rétroactivement les groupes parrainés. Ils doivent être présentés au stade de la soumission.

Veuillez envoyer vos propositions à: Kevin.Brushett@rmc.ca

Canada and the United Nations: Legacies, Limits, Prospects

Publication Notice

Canada and the United Nations: Legacies, Limits, Prospects. Colin McCullough and Robert Teigrob. Eds. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s Universty Press, 2017.

A nation of peacekeepers or soldiers? Honest broker, loyal ally, or chore boy for empire? Attempts to define Canada’s past, present, and proper international role have often led to contradiction and incendiary debate. Canada and the United Nations seeks to move beyond simplistic characterizations by allowing evidence, rather than ideology, to drive the inquiry. The result is a pragmatic and forthright assessment of the best practices in Canada’s UN participation.

Sparked by the Harper government’s realignment of Canadian internationalism, Canada and the United Nations reappraises the mythic and often self-congratulatory assumptions that there is a distinctively Canadian way of interacting with the world, and that this approach has profited both the nation and the globe. While politicians and diplomats are given their due, this collection goes beyond many traditional analyses by including the UN-related attitudes and activities of ordinary Canadians. Contributors find that while Canadians have exhibited a broad range of responses to the UN, fundamental beliefs about the nation’s relationship with the world are shared widely among citizens of various identities and eras. While Canadians may hold inflated views of their country’s international contributions, their notions of Canada’s appropriate role in global governance correlate strongly with what experts in the field consider the most productive approaches to the Canada-UN relationship.

In an era when some of the globe’s most profound challenges – climate change, refugees, terrorism, economic uncertainty – are not constrained by borders, Canada and the United Nations provides a timely primer on Canada’s diplomatic strengths.

Catherine Tsalikis: A foreign service worth fighting for

Somewhere between ‘golden age’ and ‘culture of complaint’ lies the state of Canada’s foreign service. OpenCanada’s Catherine Tsalikis (@CatTsalikis) interviewed nearly two dozen diplomats and experts to discover a gradual tarnishing of the diplomatic corps over the years — but many are rooting for its restoration.

Please click here to read Tsalikis’ engaging and educational piece.

Canada’s Department of External Affairs, Volume 3: Innovation and Adaptation, 1968–1984

Publication Notice

Canada’s Department of External Affairs, Volume 3: Innovation and Adaptation, 1968–1984. John Hilliker, Mary Halloran, and Greg Donaghy. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2017.

Volume three of the official history of Canada’s Department of External Affairs offers readers an unparalleled look at the evolving structures underpinning Canadian foreign policy from 1968 to 1984. Using untapped archival sources and extensive interviews with top-level officials and ministers, the volume presents a frank “insider’s view” of work in the Department, its key personalities, and its role in making Canada’s foreign policy. In doing so, the volume presents novel perspectives on Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and the country’s responses to the era’s most important international challenges. These include the October Crisis of 1970, recognition of Communist China, UN peacekeeping, decolonization and the North-South dialogue, the Middle East and the Iran Hostage crisis, and the ever-dangerous Cold War.

Click here for Volume One (The Early Years, 1909-1946) and Volume Two (Coming of Age, 1946-1968).

Documents on Canadian External Relations: The Arctic, 1874-1949

Documents on Canadian External Relations: The Arctic, 1874-1949

Earlier this year the Historical Section of Global Affairs Canada published a special Arctic volume in the series Documents on Canadian External Relations. Containing nearly 600 documents, the volume includes extensive material not previously used by historians. A PDF is available for download here. Anyone interested in learning how to obtain a printed copy of the book should contact the editor, Dr. Janice Cavell (Janice.Cavell@international.gc.ca).

Annonce : Documents relatifs aux relations extérieures du Canada : L’Arctique, 1874-1949

Plus tôt cette année, la Section des affaires historiques d’Affaires mondiales Canada a publié un volume spécial sur l’Arctique dans la série Documents relatifs aux relations extérieures du Canada. Regroupant près de 600 documents, le volume comprend de nombreuses ressources qui n’ont jamais été utilisées par les historiens. Le volume est également offert en format PDF ici. Nous prions à toute personne intéressée à obtenir une copie imprimée du livre de communiquer avec la rédactrice en chef, Janice Cavell (Janice.Cavell@international.gc.ca).