Canada’s Feminist Foreign Policy and Human Security Compared


Smith, Heather, and Tari Ajadi. 2020. “Canada’s Feminist Foreign Policy and Human Security Compared.” International Journal: Canada’s Journal of Global Policy Analysis 75 (3): 367–82.

Authors: Heather Smith, Tari Ajadi


Canadian federal governments regularly try to craft a unique image of Canada in the world; however, the Trudeau government’s embrace of feminist foreign policy feels strikingly similar to the late 1990s when human security was embraced. There seems to be a “sameness” in the promotion of a progressive values-based discourse that has transformative potential for Canadian foreign policy. The question is, does this sense of sameness bear out when we dig into the comparison? Drawing on speeches given by government ministers; policy documents, such as the Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP); media; and scholarship, we compare and contrast analyses of the sources of the human security and feminist foreign policy discourses and then identify common critiques. We also examine two significant differences. We find there is consistent Liberal articulation of values-based discourses and policies that have unmet transformative potential. In both cases, style and rhetoric are privileged over transformative change.

Keywords: human security, feminist, Canadian foreign policy, feminist foreign policy, gender

Topics: Feminist Foreign Policy, Gender, Security, Human Security Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Canada

Year: 2020

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