The stability and the predictability of the old rules-based international order is gone. COVID-19 pandemic lays bare the fragility of the old order. Its primary architect, the United States, seems no longer interested in its defence. Revanchist and revisionist powers such as China and Russia are busy subverting it while democracies from Europe to Indo-Pacific are scrambling to patch the old order up.

But that is not enough. We need to have more ambition to become a leading voice in the community of democracies. We need to move beyond even-handed finger wagging as foreign policy. We need foreign affairs departments with direction, staffed by experts in the regions of the world where our interests are most at risk. Why have we not been well prepared to take a leadership role on the world stage?  How must we reform the bureaucracy? What should a new, recalibrated middle-power foreign policy look like? How should we cooperate with allies and like-minded partners to advance common interests and values in the post-COVID era?

The panelists on this webinar take a hard look at these questions and suggest ways in which Canada and its fellow democratic middle powers should prepare their foreign policy apparatus and their foreign policy thinking for this brave new world.


  • Richard Fadden, Former National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister
  • J. Berkshire Miller, Senior Fellow, Macdonald-Laurier Institute and Japan Institute of International Affairs
  • Ann Fitz-Gerald, Director of the Balsillie School of International Affairs and Professor in Wilfrid Laurier University’s Political Science Department
  • Shuvaloy Majumdar, Munk Senior Fellow, Macdonald-Laurier Institute (moderator)

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