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Jones: Is North America dead?

By: /
30 January, 2012

One of the growing fallacies of the emerging international order is that it’s all about the regions. (See Ian Bremmer, and Nadar Mousavizadeh.) Really? So why was NATO involved in Libya? Why is China threatening Iran on the Straits of Hormuz? Why hasn’t the Arab League solved Syria? Why does Europe – of all places – need nudging and help from the US and the IMF? Why does Vietnam want the US navy back in the South China Seas?

Yes, there’s a deepening of regional economic penetration around each of the emerging powers. But that’s only possible because of the operation of the global financial and economic system. And it’s powered – literally – by global energy markets, and secured by the US global presence. Regions are nodes of the global, not the other way around. For Canada, it would be a major mistake to define its strategy in purely North American terms. Deepening in North American and globally is not a contradiction – it’s a reflection of reality.

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Journalism in Canada has suffered a devastating decline over the last two decades. Dozens of newspapers and outlets have shuttered. Remaining newsrooms are smaller. Nowhere is this erosion more acute than in the coverage of foreign policy and international news. It’s expensive, and Canadians, oceans away from most international upheavals, pay the outside world comparatively little attention.

At Open Canada, we believe this must change. If anything, the pandemic has taught us we can’t afford to ignore the changing world. What’s more, we believe, most Canadians don’t want to. Many of us, after all, come from somewhere else and have connections that reach around the world.

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