International Journal’s weblog

September 19, 2008

Featured Article: David Perry – Canada’s seven billion dollar war

Filed under: featured article — internationaljournal @ 12:36 am

In March 2008, parliament voted to extend Canadian military operations in
Afghanistan through 2011. By July of that year, roughly 41,000 Canadians
will have served in the Afghan theatre of operations, 15,000 more than
fought in Korea. Given the seriousness of Canada’s commitments, in terms
of both blood and treasure, informed discussion of the Afghan war is vital to
ensure the public understands the government’s aims and motivations, as
well as when Canadians can expect to see the forces return home. On these
points, there has been significant discussion amongst the public, parliamentarians,
and pundits which, while highly partisan, has included substantive
reasoned debates. In contrast, there has been little analysis of the
financial burden for the government of Canada—and the Canadian armed
forces specifically. For a national military only recently emerging from a
decade of budget cuts, the financial cost of such a substantial combat mission
is significant.

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May 21, 2008

Featured article – Redefining “diasporas” by Rima Berns-McGown

Filed under: featured article — internationaljournal @ 4:19 pm

“Current definitions of “diaspora”—definitions used by the academy and 

policymakers alike—contribute to the marginalization of immigrant, 

minority, and ethnic communities, in terms of both societal inclusion and 

inclusion in the foreign policy process. They therefore serve to undermine 

the stated goals of the Canadian multicultural project and to skew foreign- 

policymaking as policymakers seek to protect it from the “special pleading” 

of ethnic minorities.”


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April 16, 2008

Classic article – Rhoda E. Howard’s Human rights and the culture wars

Filed under: featured article — internationaljournal @ 8:42 pm

There is a real danger that culturalist social movements will have
increasing influence in the twenty-first century. They may well join
with authoritarian governments of various kinds to suppress the
human rights movement as an inauthentic, non-indigenous, ‘Western’
cultural imposition. To argue this point, it is necessary to review a
series of debates about human rights that have been occurring since the
1970s. In discussing these debates, I will refer to culturalist reaction
because it is a more descriptive and less polemical term than funda-
mentalism or Barber’s jihad. In the end, the culturalist reaction against
the West could be one factor in a 21st-century war.

Click here to read the article, or right-click to download as a PDF, and leave a comment to begin a discussion.

Featured Review – Robert R. Fowler reviews The Horseshoe Table

Filed under: featured article — internationaljournal @ 8:40 pm

While lucid, informative, and thoughtful, his account is overly protec-
tive of the UN secretariat and his own key role therein vis-à-vis the security
council, particularly when he recounts the two principal disasters that befell
the United Nations on his watch: Srebrenica and Rwanda. In both
instances, his efforts at explanation and detachment grate and are uncon-

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Featured article – Ed Morgan’s Fear and loathing in jus cogens

Filed under: featured article — internationaljournal @ 8:38 pm

We were somewhere around customon the edge of the convention when
the doctrine began to take hold. The purpose of this essay is to take a
Hunter S. Thompson-like journey to the heart of international law, to cir-
cumvent the banality of the discipline—a place that is “viciously over-
crowded…where almost everybody seems vaguely happy”—and ascend the
discipline’s heights in search of norms that have profound meaning.
Despite the attractiveness of seeking to remedy breaches of the most fun-
damental global rules, the trek may be a frustrating one. As will be seen, the
unyielding proliferation of arguments has at times threatened to reduce the
international legal world to one in which “there is not much left except…”,
well, fill in the blank.

Read the full article and leave a comment to begin a discussion.

March 7, 2008

Featured article – Ryan Touhey’s Canada and India at 60

Filed under: featured article — internationaljournal @ 5:25 pm
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“On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations, the Canada-India relationship is being re-examined in Ottawa with a sense of interest not seen since the early 1950s. After the equivalent of a prolonged diplomatic ice age punctuated by periods of high optimism from both sides, India is increasingly on Canadian minds to an extent that was unfathomable as little as seven years ago. Indeed, emerging India is now referred to as a “key” priority country by the Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.”

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