April 25, 2009

Home-grown IR: The Canadianization of international relations By Kim Richard Nossal in the Journal of Canadian Studies

Speaking of differences between the US and Canadian Political Systems...I've heard a few times about this shift from US-centered International Relations and Political Sciences courses those that are more Canada-centric. Although, as I learned in Canadian Political Science, the study of politics began in the US and moved to the US. Initially the textbooks and course material were 100% American, but have since evolved over time to form to the unique Canadian political landscape. I'd like to give you the entire paper on the subject, but that wouldn't quite be fair-use or the Canadian equivalent (fair-dealing), so here's an except:


Home-grown IR: The Canadianization of international relations

By Kim Richard Nossal
Publication: Journal of Canadian Studies
Date: Saturday, April 1 2000

Over the quarter-century since T.H.B. Symons issued his report on Canadian studies, the discipline of international relations (IR) and Canadian foreign policy studies - found to be so meagre and Americanized by Symons - has been transformed. In English-speaking universities, the discipline has been


Canadianized in a number of ways, including the development of a vibrant literature and a national approach distinct from the American mainstream. Most important, however, the IR professoriate has been progressively Canadianized, not simply in terms of citizenship, but also in doctoral training. Moreover, the pattern of IR hirings altered how international relations is taught in Canada, creating a theoretical pluralism that, again, is distinct from the American academy. In short, the vision articulated by Symons and other Canadian nationalists in the early 1970s has been almost perfectly realized in the case of international relations and Canadian foreign policy studies. The very success of the push for Canadianization has, however, given rise to the growth in postmodern theoretical approaches that are not unquestioningly nationalistic. As these perspectives increasingly take over mainstream scholarship, the pursuit of such overtly national projects as Canadian foreign policy studies will become more problematic

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