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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science

Sept 27 2012 POL 312Y1 – Canadian Foreign Policy Prof. Greaves POL 312Y1 – Canadian Foreign Policy ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Lecture 3 – Thursday, Sept 27, 2012 - Prof usually doesn’t post anything on blackboard but today it will be. - This class is an essential class in order to understand quiz and the assignment Agenda 1. What is theory? 2. Theories of Canadian Foreign Policy 3. National Interest What is theory? - Explained facts o Social science is always all about observing facts and making theories about them. If apples fall from trees, we see one can observe it. For that we need a rational explanation. The knowledge itself changes over time as we observe new things. Observations can change or improve. - World views o It brings particular sets of issues. o Theories act as sort mechanism – sort things and exclude other facts. We have theories that have basic proposition that only particular variables can be included, and other variables get excluded. In that sense the theory shapes the social world we are engaged in with. o When applied to social life, it suggests the theory we have actually have influence on shaping social world. - Themselves socially constructed and help construct social world o There is a philosopher named John Burton – he talks about theory as problem solving. He says theory is a tool we use to solve problems because without theories we don’t even know where to start analyzing social problems. o Whenever we engage in problem solving, all research and inquiry is always theoretically informed, and there is theory behind everything, whether or not if that person notices it. o It is important because theory doesn’t bubble up from ground, but they come from people. Theories are thus imperfect and might be biased. - Robert Cox – a prof at York. He made contributions about talking about social theories. He said that theory is always for someone and for some purpose – very famous quote in international relations. Theories are inherently biased – it is not a bad thing. It means that we have tendency to think theories to be Page 1 Sept 27 2012 POL 312Y1 – Canadian Foreign Policy Prof. Greaves objective but it is misleading. He makes distinction between 2 types of theory: o Problem solving theory  Majority of theories and mainstream.  Problem is given but theory does not extend beyond that. o Critical theory  Does not take for granted the conditions under which the problems come to exist. As such, unlike problem solving theory, it doesn’t seek change the structural condition that cause problem in the first place. It is more ambitious and challenging. It seeks to change them. Theories of Canadian foreign policy - The chart is going to be the template for understanding CFP for the use in your assignment and quiz. - These 3 theories suggest prescriptive of what Canada should be. LI - liberal internationalism PD - preferral CNR – complex  Has been dominant in dependence --> neorealism  newest understanding CFP about who we approach to CFP are as Canadians Rank/ Views Canada as middle Views Canada Principal power – it is Position power. What we are in the as penetrated not great power. It is middle power is ambiguous. power. Canada about global This is still the age of empire, is not that significance – meaning we were not a independent. important stature colony anymore. Canada, to a Stating within the global certain extent, this middle questions have system. CNR is based power understanding came changed over on these 2 central to refer to the mediatory time. Canada is premises. Canada roles between the 2 super dependent increased it and powers in the cold war. This upon US. considered one of the middle power in LI tradition Canada is tied most important ones. is what Canada tried to to US. What we 1) Canada increased bridge the gap t
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