The International Dimension of Canadian Federalism

AuthorKathy L. Brock/Geoffrey Hale
 
The International Dimension of
Canadian Federalism
Traditional ideas of international relations are often based on unitary
concepts of sovereignty and single-point diplomacy. National gov-
ernments, as successors to the centralized monarchies and princely
states of previous centuries, typically manage relations with other
countries through the prism of the national interest, including but
not limited to major risks to national security and, to some extent,
national unity. e def‌inition and applications of these concepts
ref‌lect the priorities, interests, and values of senior political leaders,
their public service advisers, and major societal i nterests. Diplomatic
and security relations are carried out through the prime minister and
senior ministers, advised and aided by a permanent sta of senior
political advisers, diplomats, and military/security professionals.
Parts of this picture have shaped Canada’s relations with Great
Britain, the United States, and other countries since it began to
emerge as a distinct entity within the British Empire in the early
twentieth century. Large elements of foreign and security policies
have been managed from the federal Prime Minister’s Oce, the
Privy Council Oce, and the Department of External Aairs (now
Global Aairs Canada).

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