The Arctic Linked to the Emerging Dominant Ideas in Canada’s Foreign and Defence Policy

  • François Perreault Université du Québec à Montréal


From an international security studies perspective, this article offers a discourse analysis of Canada’s threat perceptions and security rhetoric in the Arctic between December 2005 and March 2009. It argues that since December 2005, the government of Canada has decided to securitize its political sovereignty, its northern identity, as well as its territorial integrity. The author offers a cultural explanation to these securitizations by arguing that Canada’s strategic changes in the Arctic are a lot more than just rhetoric; they seem to be linked to the emerging dominant ideas in Canada’s foreign and defence policy—hence, a phasing out of Canada’s traditional internationalism and middle power status and a phasing in of the ideas tied to continentalism and to major power status. After linking the Arctic to Canada’s place and role in the world, the author discusses the possible negative and positive effects of these processes of securitization. He then concludes the article by offering two specific recommendations to better Canada’s role in the Circumpolar World.

Author Biography

François Perreault, Université du Québec à Montréal

François Perreault is research associate for the Canada Research Chair in Canadian Foreign and Defence Policy, Université du Québec à Montréal.

How to Cite
PERREAULT, François. The Arctic Linked to the Emerging Dominant Ideas in Canada’s Foreign and Defence Policy. Northern Review, [S.l.], n. 33, apr. 2011. ISSN 1929-6657. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 01 dec. 2021.
Special Collection Articles