As professors, students and lovers of international relations, we walk in the shadows of giants. Our field lost one of its giants yesterday with the passing of the undisputedly influential Kenneth Waltz.
Looking at interpretations of current events through an IR theory lens, it is astonishing at how often claims have been made that war is likely, and that we have no way of understanding what North Korea might do.
In yet another example of its limited abilities to impact international outcomes, the UNSC again this week agreed to sanction North Korea in an effort to deter threats of nuclear war.
It is often said that IR has become a complex and diverse field of study. With this expansion has come unclear limits as to what does, or does not, fall within the parameters of the field.
As a new year dawns, Canada should accept that the strategies and doctrines of the last 20 years do not apply to the current global context. Relying on outdated concerns makes little sense in 2013 and beyond.
Between 2006 and 2011, Stephen Harper’s “Restrained Pragmatism” was a shift towards a realist foreign policy strategy, but now he appears lost and this poses risks for Canada in the international state system.
Although it is assumed that individual leaders create and implement their own foreign policies, foreign policy is not nearly as leader-centric as observers tend to believe.
Unless there is some sort of extraordinary aggression taken by the Assad regime towards Turkey, NATO’s role should remain focused on harshly worded joint statements and nothing more. Article V invocation would be an overreaction.