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18:00 - 19:30 23 February 2015

Canada in the age of unipolarity: implications for foreign policy


Seminar Room 105 | UCL – Institute of the Americas (link Map)
51 Gordon Square | London | WC1H 0PQ | United Kingdom

Open to: Academic | Alumni | Public | Student
Admission: Free
Ticketing: Pre-booking essential

Speaker information

Professor Christopher Kirkey, BA, MA (Queen’s University) & PhD (Brandeis University), is Director of the Centre for the Study of Canada and the Institute on Quebec Studies at State University of New York College at Plattsburgh

This paper seeks to identify and assess the most salient characteristics of the current unipolar international system and to examine what unipolarity means for Canadian foreign policy. Recent changes in the international political system have provided successive Canadian governments with increased freedom of action to pursue high profile foreign policy initiatives.

While not in and of itself determinative as an explanation for Canadian external behaviour – domestic variables are an integral component of Canada’s foreign policy activities – the structure of the current international political system has an important influence on Ottawa’s engagement with the international community. As Kenneth Waltz reminds us in Realism and International Politics, ‘structures shape and shove; they do not determine the actions of states.’


Oscar Martinez
+44 (0)20 3108 9721 | ucl-ia@ucl.ac.uk


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