National Newswatch

Navigating Great Power Rivalry: Canadian Strategy for a New Decade

Nov 4 2020 — Zach Paikin — Despite periodic instances of tension and disagreement, Ottawa has leaned heavily on its relationship with Washington to anchor its foreign policy throughout the postwar era. The bipolar Soviet-American standoff provided Canada with an opportunity to entrench itself within the US-led Western bloc for security purposes. The Cold War’s unipolar aftermath further deepened the logic of […]

The First Global Order: Ascertaining Canada’s Position

Oct 26 2020 — Zach Paikin — Last week, 21CQ and GB held a two-day conference to probe the state and future of Canada after the pandemic. Along with UBC’s Michael Byers, Université Laval’s Anessa Kimball, former senior advisor to Canada’s minister of foreign affairs Jocelyn Coulon, and the Munk School’s Anvesh Jain, I was one of the participants featured on the […]

Race to the White House: Implications for Canada and Global Order

Sep 3 2020 — Zach Paikin — With the US presidential election just two months away, one thing is worth recalling: Regardless of which candidate emerges victorious, the pre-Trump international order will not be restored. Canadian policymakers should adopt a long-term mindset and plan accordingly. A second Trump term in the White House could produce several different foreign policy outcomes. On the […]

Canada’s Strategic Geography in a Post-American World

Jul 1 2020 — Zach Paikin — Canada’s foreign policy for much of the postwar era has relied on two pillars: the United States and the United Nations. A special relationship with Washington served to amplify Ottawa’s international clout, while multilateralism simultaneously provided a means for Canada to distinguish itself from its more unilateralist and militaristic southern neighbour.

Canada-US Relations and the New Cold War

May 25 2020 — Zach Paikin, — As the COVID-19 crisis has progressed, US-China relations have begun to acquire a logic of comprehensive, zero-sum confrontation. Even in the event that a lengthy pandemic reaffirms the need for international cooperation, the processes that have now been initiated will be difficult to undo. Mutual suspicion has become rife and talk of a “new Cold […]

Canadian Foreign Policy in the Post-COVID World

Apr 22 2020 — Zach Paikin — For the past several years – if not decades – the international order has been situated in a period of transition. As such, the specific impact of the novel coronavirus on global politics remains largely to be determined. Nonetheless, it is possible to identify some early implications for Canadian foreign policy and international strategy. The […]

Russia in Transition: Implications for Canada and the International Order

Jan 16 2020 — Zach Paikin — Following the election of Donald Trump to the White House, Canada’s then newly appointed Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland made a commitment to defending the “rules-based international order” (RBIO) one of the staples of her tenure. The meaning of this term, however, remains a matter of interpretation. Against the backdrop of resurgent great power rivalry […]

Great Power Rivalry and Canada’s Global Strategy

Nov 1 2019 — Zach Paikin — In a recent op-ed, the University of Ottawa’s Roland Paris noted that the conditions that have facilitated Canadian security and prosperity for decades are decaying. These include “few direct threats to our security, privileged access to the world’s largest and richest market, and international rules and institutions that sustained a relatively open and stable world […]

Canada’s Eurasia Strategy Should Include Deeper Partnership with the EU

Sep 23 2019 — Zach Paikin — Following the onset of the Ukraine conflict in 2014, Russia accelerated its previously declared “pivot to the east” and began to outline a vision of an integrated “Greater Eurasia”. This roughly coincided with China’s launch of the Belt and Road Initiative, which similarly aims to increase trade and connectivity across the Eurasian supercontinent. Although both […]

World Order in Flux: Toward a New Canadian Geo-Strategy

Aug 12 2019 — Zach Paikin — First, following the unambiguous return of great power rivalry on the world stage, the post-Cold War project of rendering the Western-led liberal international order synonymous with world order itself has definitively failed. While rooted in universalist, values-based rhetoric, the liberal order ultimately depends on a power base of liberal Western states. It is doubtful that […]

What of a Future Canada-Russia Relationship?

Nov 1 2018 — Zach Paikin — How Canada, in occasional partnership with Russia, could begin to drive higher-order issues on a global basis. Relations between Ottawa and Moscow are today tightly circumscribed by the limits imposed since 2014 by the Russian-Western confrontation. Indeed, the general legacy of the Cold War, combined with the specific tensions that followed the Ukrainian Revolution, the […]

Three Theses on Canadian Foreign Policy

Apr 25 2017 — Zach Paikin — Despite immense progress in global equality and development over the course of the past seven decades, the world today is characterized by uncertainty and apprehension. This international context is defined above all else by a liberal order in crisis. Non-Western powers are beginning to assert their norms and values – ones that tend to privilege […]

Two ways Canada can increase its international clout

Mar 6 2017 — Zach Paikin — In recent decades, Canada has largely outsourced its foreign policy to the United States. We have failed to think for ourselves. We haven’t independently identified and pursued our own goals and interests. Our country has had no made-in-Canada grand strategy for substantively addressing the major issues of international politics. So far in this century, Canadian […]