• Critical nationalism: how to think about Canada
o Need a dynamic interdisciplinary analysis that explores the relationship between
values, national and personal identities, and public policy. Canada is about what
Canadians do, not what or who they say they are. It explains tensions, contradictions;
attempts to negotiate competing claims for inclusiveness as Canadians. It serves as an
analytical lens for studying Canada by examining the historical evolution of the
country through its policies, values, and actions.
o Identity and nationalism: focus on actions that shape the social contract, not “national
characteristics” or “stereotypes.” You cannot assert values, they emerge from actions,
and tell us about Canada and Canadians.
o The goal of critical nationalism is to explain change and rupture, not to criticize Canada
• Rhetoricreality gaps: a tool to evaluate what governments do
o Looks at differences between rhetoric employed in defining a country and its identity
and the reality of its actions. It helps us try to understand reasons for gap and links to
notion of activist understanding of Canadian Studies.
o Rhetoric versus action: “if Canada adopted environmental policies equivalent to the th
average OECD country, Canada’s overall environmental rank would improve from 24
to 12 .”
• Perceptive transformation: how our knowledge of our world changes how we think about it
o The process of becoming critically aware of how and why our assumptions have come
to constrain the way we perceive, understand, and feel about our world; changing these
structures of habitual expectation to make possible a more inclusive, discriminating,
and integrating perspective; and finally, making choices or otherwise acting upon these
• Development: define “development.” How might the concept help us understand Canada’s
role in the world? ;o8How can Canada promote global development?
o Economic growth, promoting private sector, empowering people, including access to
education and safe water, good governance, and ownership of development agenda.
o Millennium Development Goals
o Written goals are a good start, but it is our actions that really matter.
o Issues and events that happen far away – we may not think they affect us but they do.
We can’t solve our problems on our own; our solutions and actions increasingly affect
o Globalization; new technologies; end of cold war – world smaller
• Foreign policy and different ways governments think about foreign policy and different
approaches to explaining foreign policy
o Our foreign policy must always express the concerns of Canadians about the poor and
underprivileged in the world
• How might the interdisciplinary field of Canadian Studies help us think about global issues?
• What is your image of Canada as a global actor? • How does the idea of interdependence help us understand how Canada relates to global
• Why study Canada in terms of global issues? We think we have something to offer; the world
affects Canada and our actions affect the world; we need to think about how we are acting in
the world and about what we are not doing.
• Transformations: we introduced the idea of change and transformations as important for
understanding Canada. Canada is shaped by its past and its ongoing fight for inclusion. There
are ongoing efforts to change discriminatory laws and practices, but they cannot pretend that
discrimination has left Canadian society.
o Why Do Politicians Change?
Shifts in Canadian identity and the rise of “values politics.” For example, before
politics was about economics, but in the last 15 years, noted that elections were
increasingly about social Canada and visions of the countries, because
ideological differences on economic issues have diminished.
Left side (NDP has mainstreamed in order to gain attraction of citizens), people
on the right complain that the Harper government isn’t being conservative
enough. There have been changes in our economic thinking and people have
adopted an outlook where economic issues are not talked about and there is no
trust in politics to improve the country
• National identity: looked at the question of what national identity was and how we
understand it in Canada
o It’s linked to political community. Our sense of being Canadian is linked to a political
community called Canada; we are citizens and we value that citizenship. National
identity is multidimensional; nation does not equal state. Canada is a country filled with
diversity and all of that contributes to a sense of being Canadian. Canada did not have a
sense of identity like Americans, but that does not mean Canada did not have a national
identity, many of our values emerged out of our actions. So what is the Canadian
identity? Is it linked to actions, pride and confidence, values? Or is it united?
• Nation branding: how it gets applied to Canada
o Brand is not a logo, but a set of unique values and a stamp of ownership. Place
remains important in a globalized world – stereotypes affect consumer and investment
decisions. Products may lead or trail national image, but they move with that image.
Domestically, patriotism may not lead to increased purchase of products.
o Canada and Canadians are well regarded, but there is still uncertainty about the brand.
Recent political and economic events may also be undermining the brand.
o Rhetoricreality gaps challenge Canada’s reputation in the world, with respect to
foreign policy, development and peacekeeping.
o Diplomacy: what role does it play in improving our image aboard?
Elimination of “understanding Canada,” it counters the importance of the
knowledge of Canada abroad.
• Brand Canada: Evan Potter
o Northernness is about of our band; resources are a part of our brand. • What lessons do you draw from changes in opinion towards immigration? How might this
affect Canada’s image in the world?
• The complexity of the relationship between foreign policy, visions of Canada as a global
actor, and national identity – critical nationalism can help.
o Do we have on going visions of Canada and the Canadian identity at our foreign
policies or if different governments and political parties offer different visions.
Connections between foreign policy, visions of Canada as a global actor, national
identity and efforts to reshape identity.
o Brand politics: framing actions in terms of values and identity for partisan and
• Continuity or rupture between competing visions and foreign policies?
• We look at the two dominant visions of Canada as a global actor: the liberal internationalist
vision and the vision of Canada as a principled global actor. How different are they?
o The two visions are rooted in our history and through our global relations.
o Liberal vision of Canada:
Canada as a middle power
Canada as a country of peacekeeping
Canada as a country of diversity
o Conservative vision of Canada:
Canada as principled nation: requires increased capacity to act
Not like the Liberals
• Does the idea of a security perimeter challenge or enhance Canadian sovereignty and
promote Canadian interests?
o The CanadaU.S. Security Perimeter negotiations are introduced, providing more
detail into challenges, constraints and opportunities for Canada as a global actor.
o Contextual issue: heavy reliance on US as trading partner and a military defense
o Why support? Border efficiency, increased labour mobility, globalized world, safety
• Do government efforts to shape national identity affect your own conception of the Canadian
identity? What is the source of Canadian identity?
• Is there a Harper doctrine? How different from previous governments?
• Trends in Canadian foreign aid
o Canadians are proud of their development efforts and agree things need to be done, but
why are they so ineffective? There is a lack of political leadership and aid is seen as a
luxury. The Canadian government is generally disinterested in aid, focusing instead on
strategic elements of foreign policy (ranked 29 based on factors like predictability,
coordination with other donors and alignment with the recipient countries). Inequality
challenges understanding of Canadian citizenship, democracy and identity. Canada is
suppose to be “equality of opportunity and condition” o “Canada’s performance since 1989 is nothing for a country of our wealth and history of
international engagement to be proud of. Our performance appears to have been well
below our exaggerated rhetoric, well below our historical performance, and well below
• Two views of inequality (development and income inequality)
o In Canada, there is a very unequal distribution historically of income and wealth. The
gap is widening as the country gets wealthier, and new Canadians tend to have lower
incomes despite their higher education rates.
o Andrew Jackson (2013): economist who looked at the household survey data. You see
huge differences in terms of race and ethnicity (high unemployment rates). Education
does not narrow the gap, although we are raised in a society that teaches us that
education will help you get ahead. Just because Canada has a high income globally,
does not mean we have all the same distribution of wealth.
• Millennium goals: what Canada is doing and the importance for this for our identity
o Priority themes: increasing food security, securing the future of children and youth, and
stimulating sustainable economic growth.
o Crosscutting themes: increasing environmental stability, advancing equality between
women and men, and helping to strengthen governance institutions and practices.
• Thinking about what we can do
o People often feel powerless to change things – problems are too big and we cannot
make a difference
o Much of our political rhetoric is about convincing the world that we are important,
influential actors who can do good in the world. The world is starting to notice that we
are not always doing things.
• Link to identity th
o Do we care that Canada is an unequal society? Canada falls to 11 in the latest UN
Human Development Report. Canada is an elite society that is suppose to be based on
equality of opportunity, compassion and redistribution.
• Why do we need to think about inequality? Is inequality growing? How does it relate to the
articulation of Canadian values?
• What are the implications of inequality in Canada? If we are committed to “caring and
sharing,” why has inequality grown?
• Do ideas about inequality, poverty and growth affect our actions, domestically and
internationally? Is there a connection?
• Food security: politics of food
o It is a complex issue that 842 million people do not have enough to eat; although we
have more then enough food to feed the world, we do not know how to get it to people
or how to connect with the people. Not having enough to eat leads to malnutrition,
which has more than enough after effects of it (such as learning, working, health issues,
and basic every day tasks).
o Canada's global food security strategy, on the one hand, Canada has focused on the
global fight against hunger; on the other, there are factors that may diminish the impact
of such efforts. Canada has increased food aid and directing more aid towards
agricultural development, as well as developed a food security strategy: Increase availability of food through production and development
Improve access to food via focus on incomes
Nutrition and food safety
Stabilize food security
Governance of global food system
o Critique: Canada’s emphasis on food production and supply good, and seems to address
right to food, but ignores the questions of access to land. The redistribution of land will
reduce food insecurity and benefit landless and small farmers.
• Food sovereignty: informs our self image as concern citizens and Canadian government
actions are important – in terms of interdependence where food security is an issue in
o “Food sovereignty goes well beyond ensuring that people have enough food to meet
their physical needs. It asserts that people must reclaim their power in the food system
by rebuilding the relationships between people and the land, and between the food
providers and those who eat.” It refers to a policy framework claiming the right of
peoples to define their own food, agriculture, livestock and fisheries systems, in
contrast to having food subject to market forces.
Acknowledges power and economic aspects of food production and distribution
Rejects trade liberalization and subsidizing agribusiness
Communitybased control is the way to ensure sustainable food production and
o The 6 Pillars of Food Sovereignty: focus on food for people, value food providers,
localize food systems, puts control locally, builds knowledge and skill, and works with
• The nature of hunger
o “The fact that half of the world’s hungry are smallholder farms at a time when food
production should be sufficient to feed twice the world’s problem is a clear indication
that food insecurity is more a result of an extreme inequality in terms of access to land
than a lack of production and productivity.”
• Fighting for change at different levels
• How significant is Canada’s food security problem? Is it connected to the global food
security issue or just a small problem in a developed country?
o Look at the food system and food insecurity in Canada and ask how they connect to the
broader global issue. Canada is the 6 largest exporter and the 6 largest importer – but
our food system is vulnerable despite its economic strengths (production safety,
weatherrelated disaster, food shortages and global integration).
o Food Politics in Canada: it might affect Canada’s brand in the world when global
attention is focusing on something that is negative. Canada needs a national food
strategy. Which includes more local, organic food, antipoverty, children and food
strategy, and more public input.
• What can we do to fight hunger? Are we powerless to effect change?
o Increase hunger awareness: if we don’t know about something it is easy to forget
about the issues. If we raise awareness, it can lead to the next steps to making a
difference. o Solving hunger: aspects of the millennium developmen