Roles playing by Canada in changing international relations

Author: Zwolak, Jadwiga
Source document: The Central European journal of Canadian studies. 2001, vol. 1, iss. [1], pp. 38-45
  • ISSN
    2336-4556 (online)
License: Not specified license
Canadian politicians have been especially sensitive to respecting human rights, development of International law, and liberalisation of the world economy. Canada's economic position is confirmed by its G-7 membership; the seven wealthiest nationstates agree on a common position in respect of crucial international problems. Canada's place in contemporary international relations is best described as that of "a selective empire." The term applies to stales which, though they are not superpowers, assume a leading role in certain respects. Canada meets most superpower criteria except that it does not have a sizeable army, a numerically great population, or a large area of external influence. Its role in international relations is determined by a coherent system of external activism which includes a leadership role in the British Commonwealth of Nations, the role of an ally of the United States, the role of moderator within the Atlantic system, mediation in international conflicts, the position of economic superpower, promotion of aid programmes to Third World countries, incentives taken to protect the natural environment, and activism for the curbing of nuclear arms' expansion. The increasingly poly-centric structure of international relations leads to the growth in importance of countries like Canada.
La notion de "puissance selective" décrit le mieux la place du Canada dans les relations internationales contemporaines. Cette expression concerne les États qui n'étant pas des superpuissances ont pourtant une grande importance dans les domaines différents de la coopération internationale. Le Canada répond à la plupart des critères d'une superpuissance malgré qu'il ne dispose pas d'une grande armée, d'une grande population et na pas de sphère d'influence dans sa region ou ailleurs dans le monde. Son rôle dans les relations internationales est bien déterminé par un système cohérent de l'activité internationale, y compris: rôle du leader dans le Commonwealth, rôle de Falltó des États-Unis, rôle du modérateur dans l'Alliance Atlantique, médiation dans les conflits internationaux, position d'une superpuissance économique, promotion des programmes d'aide pour les pays du Tiers Monde, initiatives pour la protection de l'environnement naturel, activité contre la diffusion de l'arme nucléaire. Les politiques canadiens attachent beaucoup d'importance aux problèmes de respect des droits de l'homme, de développement de droit international, de liberalisation du commerce mondial. La polycentralisation progressive de la structure des relations internationales augmente la position de tels pays que le Canada.
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