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date: 27 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article discusses how Canada has become an independent voice internationally and how it has achieved a delicate balance between globalism and continentalism that has marked its role during the post-1945 period. It also discusses how foreign policy is made within Canada's confederal system. In the sections that follow, the discussion focuses on defining Canadian foreign policy in broad terms. The core issue of the article is the growing challenge of defining a coherent Canadian “national interest,” given the increased activism of provinces within the international arena, the demands to democratize the foreign policy process, and the diverse nature of Canada's population. The final discussion of the article determines the issues and challenges that are faced by policy makers in the twenty-first century, a period in which Canada's diplomatic partner—the United States—is experiencing a crisis in its global leadership role.

Keywords: globalism, continentalism, foreign policy, Canadian foreign policy, national interest, issues and challenges

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