Justin Trudeau’s New Tactic: Sock Diplomacy


Republicans adopted the red “power tie” in the 1980s and Jeremy Corbyn is known for “geography-teacher chic.” Building a political brand is smart, especially when it comes to international politics; you can cut through the chatter (and Twitterstorm) to get your agenda noticed above the fold.

From celebrating May 4th (key to Star Wars fans) to NATO, Eid Mubarak, and gay pride, Canada’s 23rd prime minister, Justin Trudeau, has both elevated the identity-building power stockings and also opened himself up to criticism that he’s superficial. Which is it?

It seems to have gotten him noticed by Angela Merkel at the NATO summit.





But over all, the socks have been a source of, well, pride and applause on an international scale — a symbol both of Mr. Trudeau’s ability to embrace multiculturalism and of his position as a next-gen leader not bound by antiquated traditions and mores. Besides, they’re a good icebreaker. (See: Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany bending down to admire Mr. Trudeau’s choice at NATO.) After all, even when there’s no obvious theme to celebrate, Mr. Trudeau rarely chooses the plain pair, opting for argyle or stripes instead, among other patterns. When he met the chairwoman of Xerox, he was wearing a diamond style. She complimented him.


Booklist |Geoffrey Hale, So Near Yet So Far

ACUNS – Review of “So Near Yet So Far”

Americans love to make fun of Canada–but the political and economic realities are very different.  A deep, academic analysis of the US/Canada bilateral relationship–including “single point diplomacy” and other features of this complex relationship.  David Borys reviews the book for the Academic Council on the UN System:

Geoffrey Hale takes on the monumental task of analyzing Canadian-American relations in his book So Near, So Far: The Public and Hidden Worlds of Canada-US Relations. In this 2012 publication, Hale offers us a window into the vastly complex and multi-layered aspect of the relationship between Canada and the United States (US) through the examination of four distinct themes: political-strategic, trade-commercial, cultural-psychological, and institutional-procedural.  He then applies this thematic framework in a well-balanced examination of three broad policy clusters: policies related to homeland security and how they affect economic integration and interdependence, management of trade disputes, and the evolution and partial coordination of energy policies. As Hale readily admits, however, many of these clusters overlap involving both national and regional government bodies on both sides of the border in the ‘intermesticity’ of Canada-US relations. Needless to say, the character of the relationship is what makes it truly unique and unlike any other bilateral partnership.

via ACUNS – Review of “So Near Yet So Far”.

Terrorist Haven in Mali, France Pushes for UN Peacekeepers


France’s foreign minister is seeking for the U.N. vote next month to approve peacekeepers for Mali. These peacekeepers would be put in place because of the Islamic extremists who had taken control of northern Mali. Mali used to have French colonial rule and France is deeply concerned that Mali is becoming a terrorist haven, including links to al-Qaid. Canada has become involved with Mali by sending a C-17 military transport plane. French Prime Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, stated, “The entire region’s security is at stake and, in fact, our own security is at risk as well. Not only France or Europe, but all democracies. This is why we can act together.”

Source: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/03/14/3285295/france-april-un-vote-on-mali-peacekeepers.html


-Kelsey (post for the week of 18th-24th)