From Pride to Influence: Towards a New Canadian Foreign Policy

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From Pride to Influence: Towards a New Canadian Foreign Policy
By Michael Hart
University of British Columbia Press, 2008
448 pp. $34.95
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Hart, a senior Canadian diplomat and scholar, argues passionately that his fellow citizens should get over their dangerous illusions of difference and self-importance and instead focus on solidifying their security and economic relations with the United States. He works hard at sounding like a heavy-duty realist, fiercely flogging the romantic shibboleths of liberal internationalism that hold sway in Canadian foreign policy circles and academe. And he claims -- without persuasive evidence -- that Canada has paid a price for its pride. Nevertheless, Hart's policy recommendations move very much toward the pragmatic center. For example, he agrees that although the United States is paramount, it makes sense for Canada to deepen its relations with Latin America and Asia, too. Unlike some U.S. realists, Hart believes strongly in international law and international institutions (although only efficient ones) and proposes that Canada and the United States formally institutionalize their many disparate arrangements so as to better nurture the habits of partnership. Liberalism-versus-realism diatribes aside, Hart possesses deep knowledge of both Ottawa and Washington, and there are few, if any, better discussions of the history and current politics of U.S.-Canadian relations.