An Integrated Neoclassical Realist and Constructivist Approach to the Study of Canadian Foreign Policy: Canada's Response to the 2011 Intervention in Libya
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The following project is an examination of Canadian foreign and defence policy. Specifically, it is argued that growing trends in Canadian foreign policy necessitate a theoretical framework that is able to accurately examine the variables that factor into the decision making process, both domestically and internationally. A combination of both neoclassical realism and constructivism make this possible, as it is crucial to understand how power and ideas intersect when conducting foreign policy. In order to test this framework, the Canadian involvement in the 2011 intervention in Libya led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is examined. The case study examines the international, domestic, and ideational factors which led to Canada’s enthusiastic response to the opportunity to become involved. It is argued that including strategic culture arguments into a neoclassical realist framework best describes Canada’s involvement in the intervention, and is indicative of growing trends in Canadian foreign and defence policy.