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Canadian Govt. & Politics: International Relations — Clarifying

International Relations: Clarification and Direction: Finding the Facts


The following are selected sources relevant to Canada's international relations in post-WWII Canadian government and politics. These sources should be consulted in addition to those listed in the main sections of this guide.



FTAA Glossary: Free Trade Area of the Americas. By Yolande Bernard et al. Terminology Bulletin 257. Ottawa: Translation Bureau, Public Works and Government Services, 2004. Expanded edition. 2,314 p.

Has 5,527 terms used in the process of establishing the FTAA and in its ongoing work. Entries are in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. No definitions, but a few terms have an explanatory, context, or idiomatic usage note.

Glossary of NAFTA Terms. By Christian De Fouloy. Dordrecht: M. Nijhoff Publishers, 1994. 135 p.

Published the year the NAFTA came into force, this dictionary defines and explains acronyms, abbreviations and terms found in the 2,000-page trade agreement and its environmental and labour side agreements.

Glossary of Terms: An Informal Guide to 'WTO speak'. World Trade Organization.

A brief list defining terms and abbreviations frequently used by the WTO and in related publications. Entries organized by topic.

Mini-dictionary of International Development. Hull, Quebec: Canadian International Development Agency, 1990. 108, 117 p.

A short dictionary intended for youth, with definitions in French and English for commonly used terms in international development, such as first, second and third worlds.

NATOTerm: The Official NATO Terminology Database. By NATO Standardization Office. Continuously updated.

Contains non-classified military terminology, as well as non-military terminology relevant to NATO. Terms and definitions in English and French.

Penguin Dictionary of International Relations. By Graham Evans and Jeffrey Newnham. Toronto: Penguin Books Canada Ltd., 1998. 623 p.

Provides over 700 definitions of terms that reflect international relations in the post-Cold War period. Included are theories, concepts, organizations and events, specialist terms, etc. Definitions are like brief essays with cross-references.

Facts & Figures

General | Dates | People | Statistics


Global Affairs Canada.

The homepage of the main federal department dealing with international relations links to current information on the department: organization chart, budget estimates, planning and performance reports, related legislation, etc., and a brief history of the department.

Canadian Foreign Policy Handbook. By Mel Himes. Montreal: Jewel Publications, 1996. 481 p.

This reference book compiles a great deal of information from many sources on Canada's diplomatic relations: aid, trade, defence, etc. It lists, for example, the Parliamentary critics for External Affairs and National Defence from 1946-1993, the date, place and participants of G7 Summits, government officials responsible for Foreign Affairs and Defence, the number of Canadian forces from 1914 on, a brief description of the three major parties' election platforms regarding foreign relations issues from 1945-1993, etc. Some of the information given is for a limited time period, but all sources are cited, so users can in most cases follow the citations to find more.

Departments and Roles, 1867 to Today. Parlinfo. Library of Parliament.

This page gives all the Department's name changes over the years, the Ministers responsible and some other positions, with their terms of office.

General | Dates | People | Statistics


Canadian Foreign Policy Chronology. In: Canadian Foreign Policy Handbook, by Mel Himes. Montreal: Jewel Publications, 1996. p. 319 - .

This chronology lists key foreign policy related events from 1946 to 1990.

Chronology of Arms Control Related Events. (Title varies.) Annex in SIPRI Yearbook. By Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Annual.

Each annual issue includes a chronology of the arms control and security-related events of the year.

Chronology of Major Events in Postwar Canadian Foreign Policy. In Canadian Foreign Policy in a Changing World by John Kirton, Toronto: Thomson Nelson, 2007 p. 505-542.

A Guide to Canadian Diplomatic Relations 1925-2019. By Linwood DeLong. Canadian Global Affairs Institute. Jan. 2020. 105 p.

Lists countries with which Canada has, or at one time had, diplomatic relations. Dates provided for each country are the date of diplomatic recognition; date relations were first established, severed and re-established; date the first Canadian diplomatic mission was opened, and the date it officially became an embassy or high commission.

General | Dates | People | Statistics


Canada in London: An Unofficial Glimpse of Canada's Sixteen High Commissioners, 1880-1980. By Nancy Gelber. London, Canada House, 1980. 93 p.

Canadian Government Offices Abroad. Global Affairs Canada.

Organized by country, this page links to the websites of Canadian diplomatic and consular offices (embassies, high commissions, consulates, and trade offices) around the world. Information posted varies, but all have at least contact information. For earlier information see the publication "Canadian  Representatives Abroad"  (title varies), 1949-2002, or "Canadian Heads of Post" (entry below).

Diplomatic Gateway to Canada. Global Affairs Canada. Office of Protocol of Canada.

Links to their websites and provides the names and addresses of foreign missions (diplomatic and consular offices) and international organizations in Canada. For earlier information see print copies of "Foreign Representatives in Canada" or "Diplomatic, Consular and Other Representatives in Canada" available in depository libraries (1943 - . Title varies slightly over the years), or contact the Office of Protocol.

Canadian Heads of Posts Abroad Since 1880. Global Affairs Canada.

Alphabetical lists by country ("posts") or names ("people"). Information provided: Heads of posts, their official title, whether career officer or political appointment, dates of appointment, presentation of credentials and termination of the mission.

Departments and Roles: 1867 to Today. Parlinfo. Library of Parliament.

This table allows you to see the Minister, Deputy Minister, Parliamentary Secretary, and Opposition Critics for the Global Affairs and related federal government departments since Confederation. A brief biographical profile is available in some cases.

Envoys Extraordinary: Women of the Canadian Foreign Service. By Margaret Weiers. Toronto: Dundurn Press, 1995. 288 p.

A chronicle of the careers of twenty-two women in the Canadian Foreign Service based on interviews with the women and written sources.

Previous Ministers and Deputy Ministers of Global Affairs Canada. Global Affairs Canada.

Deputy Ministers:

The Global Affairs website "History of the Department " section, has a photograph with the name and terms of office for all Ministers and Deputy Ministers since 1909.

See also the Note on Major Biographies in the main part of this guide: Facts & Figures -- People.

General | Dates | People | Statistics


Canadian Foreign Post Indexes. Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2003 - . Monthly. 2003 - . Cat. no. 62-013.

The post index is a comparative measurement showing the difference between the retail price of goods and services in a foreign location to prices in Canada. It is used to calculate the living allowance for Canadians working for the government outside of Canada. This publication includes the Global Affairs Canada Post Indexes and Canadian Forces Post Indexes.
Guide to the Post Index:

Global Affairs Canada. International Assistance Open Data.

This page has links to information about the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) and related statistics on Canada's aid spending, Canada's official development assistance statistics reported to the OECD Development Assistance Committee, statistical data on Canada's international assistance by country from 2000 to the present, the annual Statistical Report on International Assistance from 2012 to the present, and more. See: Understanding the Data for definitions of terms and explanations of the data.

Global Affairs Canada Office of the Chief Economist.

Responsible for advising the government on international trade and global economic issues, this office publishes statistics on the balance of payments, foreign direct investment, merchandise trade, and economic indicators. Regular publications include:
Canada's State of Trade. (or State of Trade). Annual. Print and online: 2000 - . An annual review of world trade developments and Canada's trade and investment performance.
Monthly Trade Report. Online: Jan. 2000 - .

SIPRI Databases. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

SIPRI is an independent, international research institute established in 1966 that compiles data on arms and security issues from public sources worldwide. The website has lots of datasets, statistics and information. Open access databases include, among others:
Arms Transfers Database, with data since 1950;
Arms Industry Database, with information on the largest arms-producing and military services companies;
Multilateral Peace Operations Database, with statistics on country contributions, budgets, fatalities, etc., since 2000;
Military Expenditures Database, with annual military spending by country since 1949;
National Reports on Arms Exports, including Canada's: "Exports of Military Goods from Canada", an annual report since 1990.

SIPRI Yearbook: Armaments, Disarmament and International Security. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Published by Oxford U. Press since 1986. Annual. Print: 1968/69 - . (Online: 2010 - . By subscription.)

This yearbook provides detailed analyses and statistics on world security: the world situation and conflicts, military spending, armaments, non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament. Annexes include a list of all the arms control and disarmament agreements in force with the parties involved and a chronology of arms control and security-related events for the year.

Statistics Canada's International Trade Statistics.

This page (accessible from the statcan homepage by clicking on the "Subjects" tab and selecting "International Trade", provides links to international trade data in various forms (data tables, analytical publications, databases, reference sources, etc.

Trade Data Online. Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. (Formerly Industry Canada.)

A database of trade statistics for Canadian trade in goods (by province, region or country) with over 200 countries (by product and by industry), from 1990 to the present. Data are from Statistics Canada and the U.S. Census Bureau

Provincial and territorial statistics related to international relations:

Statistics Canada and Global Affairs Canada's statistics often include provincial breakdowns. The departments responsible for intergovernmental relations, or the statistical agency in some provinces may also provide provincial/territorial compilations of statistics related to their interprovincial and international trade. For example: BC Trade Data, International Trade Statistics Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs, etc.

Overview & Background Information

The Global Affairs Canada website links to two brief archived texts that provide some background information: "Punching Above our Weight": A History of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, covers 1867 to 2008, and Canada and the World: A History of Canadian Foreign Policy covers 1867 to 1993. For a more detailed history see the 3-volume history: Canada's Department of External Affairs, in particular, Vol. 2: Coming of Age, 1946-1968 by John Hilliker and Donld Barry, McGill-Queen's U. Press, 1995 496 p., and Vol. 3: Innovation and Adaptation, 1968-1984 by John Hilliker, Mary Halloran, Greg Donaghy, U. of Toronto Press, 2017 592 p.

Encyclopedias | Annual Reviews | Textbooks | Parliamentary and Legislative Research Papers


Encyclopedia of International Relations and Global Politics. Ed. by Martin Griffiths. London, New York: Routledge, 2005. 936 p.

Substantial articles written by international scholars cover all aspects of global international relations, each with a list of recommended further reading. Fifty articles are major, 5,000-word critical introductions on core contemporary topics (theoretical approaches, concepts, issues and international organizations). Has a detailed index.

Encyclopedia of the North American Free Trade Agreement, the New American Community, and Latin-American Trade. By Jerry Rosenberg. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1995. 576 p.

The author, a professor of international business, provides definitions and explanations of terms, concepts, issues, controversies, ideologies, recommended actions, etc., from the 2,000-page NAFTA treaty, its side agreements, the planned New American Community (NAC), and other trade accords.

Encyclopedias | Annual Reviews | Textbooks | Parliamentary and Legislative Research Papers

Annual Reviews:

Canada Among Nations. By Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University and the Centre for International Governance Innovation. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press. (Editors and publishers vary.) 1984 - . Annual.

Each year, leading scholars, practitioners, journalists and members of the NGO community review and assess Canada's foreign policy.

Canada in World Affairs. By Canadian Institute of International Affairs (CIIA). (Authors vary.) 1941-1985. Every 2-3 years.

This now discontinued publication reviewed Canada's involvement in world affairs, including its policies on defence, international trade, immigration, and development assistance, in the previous 2-3 years, based on primary sources and newspaper reports.

Canadian Annual Review of Politics and Public Affairs. (Formerly Canadian Annual Review) University of Toronto Press. 1960 - .

An important series that highlights and analyzes the major issues of the year in Canadian government and politics. Each volume has a section on foreign affairs and defence policy.

Canadian Yearbook of International Law. By Canadian Council on International Law. 1961 - .

An academic, peer-reviewed journal, each annual issue also includes a digest of Canadian practice in international law  including parliamentary declarations, Canadian treaty actions, positions stated by Canada’s Department of Global Affairs, and important Canadian cases in international law.

Report to Parliament on the Government of Canada's International Assistance. Global Affairs Canada. (Formerly by CIDA. Report to Parliament on the GOC's Official Development Assistance.) 2008/09 - .

Provides a comprehensive overview by bringing together details from all federal organizations that are involved in providing international assistance, including the government's engagement with international financial institutions such as the IMF and World Bank.

See also Primary Sources -- What was Written -- Government for annual reports by government agencies and departments.

Encyclopedias | Annual Reviews | Textbooks | Parliamentary and Legislative Research Papers

Textbooks (Selected Titles):

Canada and World Order: The Multilateralist Tradition in Canadian Foreign Policy. By Tom Keating. 3rd ed. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2012. 336 p.

Covers major events and policies since the 1940's.

Canada's International Policies: Agendas, Alternatives and Politics. By Brian Tomlin, Norman Hillmer, Fen Hampson. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2007. 400 p.

Written by international relations professors, this book provides a detailed look at Canada's foreign policy making process since the Cold War: how and why policies changed. Featured areas are trade, investment, development and human security issues. Includes case studies.

Canadian Defence Policy in Theory and Practice. Ed. by Thomas Juneau, Philippe Lagassé, and Srdjan Vucetic. Palgrave MacmIllan, 2020. 425 p.

Provides an overview and analyses of debates and issues in Canadian defence policy with a focus on policy-making.

Canadian Foreign Policy in a Changing World. By John Kirton. Toronto: Thomson Nelson, 2007. 562 p.

This textbook has an extensive bibliography and many appendices including "Major Foreign Policy Doctrines, 1947-2006" summarizing the Canadian government's priorities over the years, a chronology of major events, etc.

Canadian Foreign Policy: Selected Cases. Ed. by Don Munton and John Kirton. Toronto: Prentice Hall, 1992. 430 p.

Contains major cases from 1945 to 1991 selected for their importance in defining the direction of Canada's foreign policies since 1945. Cases cover peace and security, economic, environmental and humanitarian issues among others.

De Paris à Washington: la politique internationale du Québec. By Luc Bernier. Sainte Foy: Presses de l'Université du Québec, 1996. 173 p.

The author, a professor at l'Ecole nationale d'administration publique, describes the province's foreign policy over the years.

Empire to Umpire: Canada and the World into the 21st Century. By Norman Hillmer and J. L. Granatstein. 2nd ed. Toronto: Thomson Nelson, 2008. 393 p.

A narrative history of Canada's foreign policies and roles in international affairs from 1896 to 2006. Each chapter covers a different period.

The Politics of Canadian Foreign Policy. By Kim Richard Nossal, Stephane Roussel and Stephane Paquin. 4th ed. McGill-Queen's University Press, 2015. 424 p.

Considered a standard description of how foreign policy is made in Canada.

The Provinces and Canadian Foreign Trade Policy. By Christopher Kukucha. UBC Press, 2009. 256 p.

Readings in Canadian Foreign Policy: Classic Debates and New Ideas. Ed. by Duane Bratt and Christopher Kukucha. 3rd ed. Don Mills: Oxford University Press, 2015. 416 p.

Encyclopedias | Annual Reviews | Textbooks | Parliamentary and Legislative Research Papers

Parliamentary and Legislative Research Papers (Selected Titles):

Canada's Approach to the Treaty-Making Process. By Laura Barnett. Background Paper 2008-45-E. Ottawa: Library of Parliament, 2008. Revised 2018. 12 p.

Canadian Arctic Sovereignty. By Matthew Carnaghan and Allison Goody. Background Paper PRB 05-61E. Ottawa: Library of Parliament, Parliamentary Research and Information Service, 2006. 11 p.

Appendix has a brief chronology of related events.

Canadian Defence Policy. By Michel Rossignol. Backgrounder BP-173E. Ottawa: Library of Parliament, Research Branch, 1988. 57 p.

Canadian Provinces and Foreign Relations. By Anne-Marie Jacomy-Millette, Françoise Coulombe and James Lee. Background Paper BP-97E. Ottawa: Library of Parliament, Research Branch, 1991. 25 p.

Development Aid in a Changing Climate: The Challenge of Fragility in the Least Developed World. By Mohamed Zakzouk. Background Paper 2010-12-E. Ottawa: Library of Parliament, 2010. 24 p.

Human Rights, Global Markets: Some Issues and Challenges for Canadian Foreign Policy. Background Paper BP-416E. By Gerald Schmitz and Corinne McDonald. Ottawa: Library of Parliament, Research Branch, 1996. 33 p.

Appendix has a chart comparing international labour rights policies in the U.S. and Canada.

International Deployment of Canadian Forces: Parliament's Role. By Michael Dewing and Corinne McDonald. Background Paper PRB-00-06E. Ottawa: Library of Parliament, Parliamentary Information and Research Service, 2006. 52 p.

Lengthy appendices provide a list and description of all of Canada's combat and other deployments (App. 1), and a chart showing Canadian military participation in peace operations since WWII, whether there was debate in Parliament, or if a vote was taken (App. 2).

Parliamentary Involvement in Foreign Policy. By Laura Barnett and Sebastian Spano. In Brief 2008-60-E. Ottawa: Library of Parliament, 2013  8 p.

Strengthening Parliamentary Oversight of International Trade Policies and Negotiations: Recent Developments in Canada and Internationally. By Peter Berg and Gerald J. Schmitz. Background Paper PRB 05-68E. Ottawa: Library of Parliament, Parliamentary Information and Research Service, 2006. 23 p.

The World Trade Organization: Selected Challenges and Canada's Priorities. By Bashar Abu Taleb nd Offah Obale. Background Paper 2019-50-E. Ottawa: Library of Parliament, 2020. 17 p.