Navigating A New World: Canada's Global Future

Paperback | August 3, 2004

byLloyd Axworthy

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In Navigating a New World Lloyd Axworthy charts how we can become active citizens in the demanding world of the twenty-first century, to make it safer, more sustainable and more humane. Throughout he emphasizes the human story. As we meet refugees from civil war and drought, child soldiers and landmine victims, the moral imperative is clear: this is a deeply compassionate appeal to confront poverty, war and environmental disaster.

Before Lloyd Axworthy entered global politics, "human security" -- a philosophy calling for global responsibility to the interests of individuals rather than to the interests of the nation state or multi-national corporations -- was a controversial and unfamiliar idea. When put into action, human security led to an international ban on landmines, initiatives to curtail the use of child soldiers, and the formation of the International Criminal Court. Today, with conflict raging across the planet -- and building -- the need for a humane, secure international governance is more vital than ever. So how can Canada reject a world model dominated by U.S. policy, military force and naked self-interest? How can we rethink a global world from the perspective of people -- our security, our needs, our promise, our dreams?

Lloyd Axworthy delivers recommendations that are both practical and radical, ranging from staunch Canadian independence from the U.S. to environmental as well as political security; from rules to govern intervention when nations oppress their own citizens, to codes of conduct on arms control and war crimes.

Arresting and provocative, Navigating a New World lays out just why Canada has the skills to lead the world into a twenty-first century less nightmarish than the last, and help make the world safer and more just for us all. This is a call for action from one of Canada''s most eloquent statesmen and thinkers, and is essential reading for all Canadians.

Where is the line we draw in setting out the boundaries for being responsible for others? Is it simply family and close friends? Do we stop at the frontiers of our own country? Does our conscience, our sense of right or wrong, take us as far as the crowded camps of northern Uganda, surrounded by land mines, attacked repeatedly by an army made largely of child soldiers? I believe we in Canada have a special vocation to help in the building of a more secure order. We need not be confined to our self-interest. -- from Navigating a New World

From the Hardcover edition.

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From the Publisher

In Navigating a New World Lloyd Axworthy charts how we can become active citizens in the demanding world of the twenty-first century, to make it safer, more sustainable and more humane. Throughout he emphasizes the human story. As we meet refugees from civil war and drought, child soldiers and landmine victims, the moral imperative is clear: this is a deeply compassionate appeal to confront povert...

From the Jacket

In Navigating a New World Lloyd Axworthy charts how we can become active citizens in the demanding world of the twenty-first century, to make it safer, more sustainable and more humane. Throughout he emphasizes the human story. As we meet refugees from civil war and drought, child soldiers and landmine victims, the moral imperative is clear: this is a deeply compassionate appeal to confront povert...

Lloyd Axworthy has been a Member of Parliament and a cabinet minister in several portfolios including employment and immigration, transport and foreign affairs. He served as Director and CEO of the Liu Institute for Global Issues at the University of British Columbia. Currently he is the President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Winnipeg and has been appointed a Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General to f...

other books by Lloyd Axworthy

Format:PaperbackDimensions:464 pages, 8.98 × 6.03 × 1.03 inPublished:August 3, 2004Publisher:Knopf CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0676974643

ISBN - 13:9780676974645

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Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Idealism of Axworthy Former Minister of Foreign Affairs under Jean Chretien of the Liberals, Lloyd Axworthy outlines his vision for International Relations and what Canada's role can and should be in the New World Order. With his experience as international statesman, Axworthy is well positioned to write such a book imparting his political wisdom for future hopefuls. The book is written as part memoir, part commentary and part manifesto. Axworthy writes about the experiences as a college student in Winnipeg and Princeton, the debates and discussions that would shape the man who he was to become. As a reader, one can't help but see the youthful idealism and perhaps naivety which never left Axworthy even through his public life. The climax of his personal experiences was the culmination of meetings between governments and NGOs that resulted in the landmark Ottawa Treaty to ban the use of landmines of which the NGO, International Campaign to Ban Landmines, won the Nobel Peace Prize for. As for Axworthy's vision for the future, predictably, he campaigns for a greater role for the UN, multi-lateralism and the use of soft-power to bring about democratic progress. According to Axworthy, Canada with its historical role as peace makers should lead the way in this new liberal interationalist world. In many ways, Axworthy could be labeled a Wilsonian. Unlike other reviewers, I found Axworthy to be quite bi-partisan in his writing overall. The writing itself is straightforward if not unnecessarily lengthy, the result of which is mostly likely due to the ill-advised attempt to stuff a memoir and commentary into one text.
Date published: 2008-08-07

Extra Content

Read from the Book

Conflict is our actuality. Conversation is our hope. -- David Tracy, The Analogical ImaginationPrologue: Canada and the WorldCanadians are on the road to global citizenship. Increasingly in work, travel, education and in personal and political engagement the world is our precinct, with international trade, finance, technology and business driving much of our global interests. But there is also a political, cultural and even moral dimension to our emerging role in global society.Canadians take pride in what we do in the world. Our sense of identity is often tied up in such achievements as peacekeeping, placing in the top rung of the United Nations Human Development Index of best places to live, and winning a gold medal in Olympic hockey or a Man Booker Prize in literature. The values we express internationally help define who we are when other distinctions are being erased. Equally, our welfare is closely tied to international rules and practices. Daily while at Foreign Affairs I saw how little separates what we do inside our border from what happens outside and vice versa. We occupy the global village that Marshall McLuhan prophesied we would half a century ago. What this means is that we win in a stable, equitable, cooperative world. We lose when it is turbulent, divisive and unfair. It only makes sense, therefore, to examine carefully what we can do to tip the global system in a constructive way. That is what I would like this book to achieve.I don’t feel we yet fully understand the responsibilities and obligations that come with being a global citizen or make the full connection between the need for well-resourced international initiatives and our domestic interests. Too often we try to do things on the cheap, and avoid the tough commitments. In the federal election of 2000, I watched with some dismay how the entire campaign unfolded with nary a word about foreign policy. There was great discussion of domestic economic priorities, but nothing on how to strengthen our capacity for effective international action–and this despite growing disenchantment with a variety of global developments, expressed most notably in protests and demonstrations.My own years at Foreign Affairs were very much occupied with the effort to define a distinctive international place for Canada. When I arrived there in 1996, a decided shift was taking place in the perceptions and calculations arising out of the end of the Cold War and the surge of globalization in economics, technology and information. In the early nineties there had been fond hopes of a new era of prosperity based on the liberalization of markets, deregulation and the global movement of capital. Poverty in the Third World would be whittled away by the powerful forces of the marketplace. By the middle of the decade, though, that tide of optimism was on the wane. Inequities were growing, not receding. The value of global trade and investment agreements was under challenge by Southern countries, and there was growing skepticism from civil-society groups. The spectre of ecological disaster was creeping into prominence.Similarly, President George Bush Sr.’s bold claims for an emerging system of security based on international cooperation -- the “New World Order” -- had already run aground in Somalia and Bosnia. The United States was increasingly shy of exerting direct leadership in the security requirements of an era of messy internal ethnic conflicts. The United Nations was discredited by its inaction in Rwanda and impoverished by the nonpayment of dues by the world’s superpower and other financial shirkers. There was a definite vacuum in defining security needs and responses.This was especially so in scoping out answers to the dark side of globalization -- the increasing threats from international terrorists, pedophiles, drug dealers, small arms traders, illegal-diamond merchants and people smugglers. The same networks of information that allowed capital to move around the world in seconds, or brought scenes of suffering into living rooms around the globe, gave these predators the capacity to exploit the vulnerable and establish international connections that could overwhelm the capability of individual nations to protect their citizens. Drug trafficking, for example, had become a multi-billion-dollar business and confronted police forces with the most sophisticated tools of communication, transportation and organization. Ugly signs of dangerous terrorist networks were being detected. Already in 1996 I was calling for a starvation policy to deny criminal perpetrators access to money and arms.There was an obvious demand for more effective international teamwork to meet all these challenges. Halting steps were being organized at the UN, the G-8, the OECD. But there was an opposite pull. The strong hold of beliefs in national sovereignty, and anti-internationalist feelings, meant that many governments resisted multilateral cooperative ventures. The philosophy of go-it-alone was alive and well even in the face of a shared risk. Traditional notions of national interest were stoutly defended even while they simply didn’t match the tempo of interdependence that was under way.Complicating the efforts to govern this global interdependence was the pre-eminent position of the U.S. The collapse of the Soviet Union had confirmed the dominance of American power and influence as the reality of the global system. With this came increasing U.S. claims that its dominant position carried special responsibilities and therefore prerogatives to act unilaterally. The Clinton administration generally set its actions inside the framework of international institutions and laws. But not so the government of George W. Bush. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, launched an aggressive U.S. effort to assert U.S. interests, repudiate multilateral, collaborative governance, and follow a radical security doctrine that prescribes the use of U.S. military supremacy to establish the U.S.’s unchallenged right to determine the character and shape of the world -- what might be called imperial ambitions.From a Canadian point of view, the U.S.’s reluctance to submit to international treaties and agreements, and its new doctrine of pre-emption, are cause for great concern. While over the past decade most agreements in arms control and environmental or human rights have not been ratified by Congress, now the Bush administration is not just a reluctant signatory but also a ferocious opponent of any agreement that does not directly serve specific ambitions of the U.S. -- hardly a promising atmosphere in which to construct a new global architecture.From the Hardcover edition.

Table of Contents

Prologue: Canada and the World

Part I: Emma and Us
Chapter 1 -- The Road to Gulu

Part II: The Tenth Floor
Chapter 2 -- Vocational Training
Chapter 3 -- Choices and Consequences

Part III: Border Choices
Chapter 4 -- How to Make Love to a Porcupine
Chapter 5 -- The North American Condo

Part IV: Human Security
Chapter 6 -- The Ottawa Process
Chapter 7 -- Chronicle of a Death Foretold
Chapter 8 -- Responsibility to Protect
Chapter 9 -- A New Court for a New Century
Chapter 10 -- The Crowded Global Village

Part V: The United Nations
Chapter 11 -- Rewiring the UN
Chapter 12 -- Rebirth of a Country

Part VI: Environmental Security
Chapter 13 -- The Machine in the Garden
Chapter 14 -- Kyoto and Beyond

Part VII: Searching for Survival in a World of Weapons
Chapter 15 -- Disarmament on Earth, Disarmament in Space

Part VIII: The Two Emmas
Chapter 16 -- Putting Our Ship in Order
Chapter 17 -- Navigating a New World