Canada, A Rising Middle Power

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In the decades following World War Two, there were a number of movements which focused on global developments. Groups such as the United Nations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization were centres of international cooperation. In these dealings there were, of course, great powers; the countries that had the greatest riches and militaries often dominated the global political stage. Beyond that, there were countries which were not the biggest or strongest, but were influential through other means. These were middle powers, and Canada is one of them.

A middle power is a country that uses its influence on issues which are perceived as “minor” in the scale of international politics – often because the great powers are too busy with other incidents1. influential through soft power and multilateralism. Soft power can be defined as having a culture and policies that appeal to other states2. A middle power is also influential because its policies are credible and it is an independent state3. Essentially what this means is that a middle power takes part in international politics (and in doing so, has an influential role) through international organizations and also through multilateral discussions – often during crises. Canada played the role of middle power exceptionally well in the two decades following World War Two by taking part in international organizations and playing an influential role in multilateral discussions.

International organizations such as NATO and the UN are essential not only for global peace, but also as a place where middle powers can exert their influence. It is understandable that since the inception of such organizations that many crises have been averted, resolved, or dealt with in some way thro...

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