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Rethinking Canadian Aid

Stephen Brown
Molly den Heyer
David R. Black

Section II: The Canadian Context and Motivations

Chapter VIII. Preventing, Substituting or Complementing the Use of Force? Development Assistance in Canadian Strategic Culture

Justin Massie et Stéphane Roussel

Texte intégral

1Decades ago, analysts complained that security and foreign aid policies were generally conceived as distinct spheres of activity (Spicer 1966, 14–22). Since then, states have adapted their foreign policy to make development aid and security operations coherent tools aimed at similar politico-strategic goals. The “militarization” and “securitization” of aid and peacebuilding are now common, albeit often criticized, features of policies addressing conflict resolution and failed and failing states (Hook and Lebo 2010; Newman 2010; Woods 2005).

2This change is due not only to the broader meaning of “security,” but of security policies as well, which now encompass both “soft” and “hard” power strategies. In fact, the Western-led military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq have led to a surge of interest in counterinsurgency, which is increasingly being confused with “robust peacebuilding” (Gilmore 2011), thereby conceptually and operationally blending together two formerly very distinct state policies: war and aid. This trend, however, has not received sufficient attention in terms of foreign policy analysis. When did military operations and development assistance policies become integrated foreign policy tools? For what politico-strategic purposes? Despite a significant literature on human security, failed and failing states, peacebuilding, humanitarian wars, and even foreign aid as an instrument of foreign policy, the relationship between official development assistance (ODA) and the use of military force as converging tools of statecraft remains under-analyzed.

  • 1 Space limitations prevent us from utilizing a process-tracing methodology to examine aid allocatio (...)

3The purpose of this chapter is to propose an integrated framework for understanding the relationship between ODA policies and military interventions from a foreign policy perspective. Since we are interested in both the conceptual link and its application on the ground, we conduct our inquiry through the concept of “strategic culture.” Using a constructivist approach to strategic culture, which focuses on how national cultures and identities constitute national interests and the appropriate means to pursue them, we suggest three main foreign policy strategies on the security-development continuum: foreign aid as (1) a means to prevent future military action and/or violence escalation; (2) a preferred alternative to the use of force in the attainment of states’ national objectives; and (3) a complement to military action for similar political objectives. A systematic and historical analysis of Canada’s foreign aid policy reveals, somewhat surprisingly, that a complementary approach to ODA and military interventions was pursued well before the advent of the “3D” approach (defence, diplomacy, development) in the 2000s. We illustrate the shift from a conflict prevention strategy to a complementary one by contrasting Canada’s main defence and aid policies to its actual allocation of ODA and military interventions since the late 1940s.1 We argue that strategic culture allows us to makes sense of this shift, notably by highlighting the country’s predisposition to support a Western-led liberal order.

Foreign Aid and Strategic Preferences

4With regard to security policies, states have pursued three types of development assistance strategies, depending on their strategic preferences. First, for much of the Cold War period, they treated foreign aid as a preventive tool. The conventional wisdom was that aid served to achieve security goals, such as the preservation of the West’s spheres of influence against the Soviet Union or the prevention of conflict initiation and escalation (Boschini and Olofsgard 2007). Western states thus used ODA as an operational (immediate), rather than structural (long-term) preventive tool; moreover, they used it to combat communism rather than poverty. Notwithstanding valid critiques of those priorities, contemporary understandings of peacebuilding insist that development assistance is an essential tool to prevent conflicts and promote lasting and sustainable peace (Jeong 2005; OECD 1997, 2001). It should thus not be surprising if ODA continues to be used for conflict prevention.

5A second strategy consists of using foreign aid as an independent tool, geared towards goals unrelated to security. ODA, from this perspective, represents a substitute for military force, used according to its own logic and aimed at other political, economic, and social objectives (Belloni 2007). When adopted, this strategy means that states do not implement the security-development nexus, explicitly or tacitly, in their foreign policies. Hence, rather than “securitizing” aid, states pursue alternative objectives, such as poverty reduction, gender equality, or economic development for their own sake. Only indirectly or unintentionally do these objectives contribute to peace and security.

6Lastly, a third strategy entails the exact opposite of substitution: ODA is deliberately used simultaneously and in coordination with the use of military force in a conflict or post-conflict zone, towards common political objectives. This complementary strategy is precisely what the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development recommended in its 1997 policy statement (OECD 1997, 3). Though this strategy faces critiques similar to the ones operational preventive strategies faced during the Cold War, it remains “key to attaining sustainable peace” according to a United Nations Security Council declaration (UNSC 2011). Peacebuilding, in other words, is conceived of as an integrated and coherent agenda involving mutually reinforcing development- and security-related policies. From this perspective, for example, antiterrorist policies and development assistance are inextricably linked.

7The choice between these three strategies is significantly shaped by a state’s identity-based strategic culture. Canadian development assistance has, according to many analysts, oscillated between the pursuit of material self-interest, altruistic goals, and identity promotion (Nossal 1988; Pratt 1999). It is often considered an integral part of Canada’s “liberal internationalist” strategic culture. The latter implies that Canada shares a sense of responsibility to allocate a significant portion of its public resources to ODA, to support a liberal, Westernled international order, and to reflect Canada’s ethno-cultural identity (Pratt 1994; Thérien 1989). It follows that Canada’s foreign aid policy is expected to shadow the international aid regime’s evolving norms, ranging from anti-communist preventive measures to purely socio-economic development (of donors and/or beneficiaries) and now to an integrated “3D” policy vis-à-vis failed and failing states (Jacquet 2002). A systematic examination of the security-development nexus in Canadian foreign policy broadly supports this expectation, with a noteworthy caveat: the Canadian government has preferred a complementarity strategy over the two alternatives, decades before its official formalization, albeit to varying degrees.

1945–1960: A Modest Preventive Tool

8The first comprehensive statement about Canadian foreign policy is the “Gray Lecture,” delivered in January 1947 by Louis St-Laurent, who was Secretary of State for External Affairs at that time. In this speech, St-Laurent exposed the basic principles of Canadian foreign policy and provided a first rationale for foreign aid: to create a favourable, stable environment for international trade, and hence for Canadians themselves. He argued, “the continued prosperity and well-being of our own people can best be served by the prosperity and well-being of the whole world” (St-Laurent 1947, 10). In this spirit, Western Europe and China were the first countries to receive Canadian economic assistance. The primary objective was to prevent these countries from falling into the USSR’s growing sphere of influence, while at the same time supporting Canada’s commercial interests (Bothwell 1998, 58).

9Over the years, it became clear that Canada privileged a preventive strategy rather than a purely substitutive one aimed at its own economic development. During the 1950s, Canadian aid was essentially directed towards South-East Asian countries. The first concerted effort was the Colombo Plan, established in 1950. Canadian aid focused on three Indian subcontinent countries: Ceylon (Sri Lanka), India, and Pakistan (Dobell 1988, 353). This emphasis reflected more a commitment to the “new Commonwealth” than any economic rationale. In the context of the communist victory in China, the emergence of guerrillas in French Indochina and, later, the Korean War, the purpose of this aid program was to promote stability in societies plagued with poverty and viewed as vulnerable to Communist influence. In other words, Canada conceived of foreign aid as a conflict prevention tool, as well as a reflection of the country’s British origins and anti-communist stance.

10Yet Canada’s aid program remained modest, to say the least. In 1950, development assistance amounted to only 0.13 percent of Canada’s gross national income (GNI). Ten years later, it had risen to only 0.16 percent. These figures cast doubts on the level of strategic thought behind Canada’s apparent conflict prevention strategy (Spicer 1966, 3). At best, it saw foreign aid as an instrument to prevent some key states from falling in the communist camp, as the Marshall Plan did for Western Europe. However, Canada could “free ride” on Anglo-American foreign aid policies, while benefiting from the newly acquired status of pro-Western aid donor.

  • 2 All data pertaining to Canadian military operations in this chapter are drawn from Canada’s “Opera (...)

11It is worth noting that, though primarily aimed at conflict prevention, Canada’s ODA went to some extent hand-in-hand with its newly found international security role: peacekeeping. While Ottawa agreed to take part in three UN military observation operations in the Middle East, the Kashmir area, and Lebanon, Canadian ODA policy did not target Lebanon or other Middle Eastern states during that period.2 Moreover, despite actively taking part in the Korean War (1950–53), Canada only began to provide ODA to South Korea in 1964. Canada’s aid policy was thus primarily aimed at conflict prevention, but the complementarity between its aid and military commitments in India and Pakistan remains noteworthy, as it indicates a parallel between its security and development policies, despite the lack of any official statement to that effect.

1961–1967: Expansion, Status Enhancement, and Conflict Prevention

12In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Canadian aid programs grew significantly. Targeted first to Commonwealth members, Canadian development assistance was extended to French-speaking countries in Africa and was mostly motivated by conflict prevention and status enhancement rationales. “It was a logical step to take in view of Canada’s bilingual and bicultural character,” noted Canada’s External Aid Office in 1967 (Cermakian 1968, 231). The most important motive, after 1965, was to counter the French-speaking province of Quebec’s growing activity in the region and thus reaffirm Canada’s status as a sovereign and bicultural state (Gendron 2006). Foreign aid was conceived by Prime Minister Pearson as an important tool for nation-building in the sense that it was aimed at showing French-speaking Canadians that their country’s (and not Quebec’s) foreign policy was serving and representing their specific interests.

13The expansion of Canada’s development assistance programs to francophone Africa took place alongside greater peacekeeping commitments. In addition to ongoing participation in UN operations in the Kashmir area and the Middle East, Ottawa committed troops to six new peacekeeping missions, including for the first time in French-speaking Africa, with up to 500 soldiers operating in the Congo. Canadian forces would help to restore order in Congo and, as Sean Maloney observes, to prevent a NATO split, Soviet infiltration, and American involvement in the region. ODA followed a similar logic. Canadian officials agreed that “any aid money from North America would be funnelled through the UN to maintain the appearance of impartiality,” but that Canada would “highlight Soviet machinations when they provided aid to the Congo” (Maloney 2002, 115–16).

14Nevertheless, it is not clear that foreign aid acquired a new status vis-à-vis the use of force in the 1960s. The Canadian government was ready to contribute to peacekeeping missions to avoid direct involvement from great powers and thus prevent the escalation of regional tensions into worldwide conflicts (Canada 1964, 80). However, despite Canadian military involvement in Yemen, West New Guinea, and the Dominican Republic, none of these regions received Canadian ODA. While Canadian troops were deployed in the Middle East and Kashmir areas, India and Pakistan remained Canada’s top two ODA recipients. Therefore, while we must note the correlation between Canadian military involvement in the Kashmir area and ODA to India and Pakistan, the nature of the former (a UN military observation), the continued aid to these two countries (both received continuous and substantial ODA from 1950 to 2010), the nature of the Colombo plan, as well as the absence of any Canadian strategic thought specifically linking peacekeeping to ODA, tend to indicate the prevalence of a conflict-prevention strategy in the 1960s.

1968–1976: The Articulation of Canada’s First Security-Development Policy

15While the early 1960s witnessed a significant increase in the relative budget dedicated to development assistance – which peaked in 1975 – it is not before the end of the decade that the Canadian government articulated a clear vision of its function as a security instrument. It created the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) in 1968 and published the first white paper two years later. Among the latter’s central theme was that hard power alone could not defeat communism; soft power was also required (Pratt 1994, 340 n28). The idea was hardly new, but it nevertheless represented a major strategic change, formally and officially articulating a security-development policy focused on conflict prevention.

16Soon after his election in 1968, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau exposed his foreign policy objectives. The main one was to encourage the economic and social development of developing countries (Canada 1970, 11), an international projection of Canada’s social justice system (Noël and Thérien 1995). Nevertheless, ODA’s relationship with security remained crucial. The government feared that a reduction in the development effort would have “tragic consequences for peace and global order” (Canada 1970, 8). The 1971 White Paper on Defence added that Canadian Forces “can also give support to foreign policy objectives through increased assistance in economic aid programs” through their capabilities in “such fields as engineering and construction, logistic policies, trades and technical training, advisory services, project analysis and air transport” (Canada 1971, 14). Thus the Department of National Defence (DND) conceived of its assets, for the first time, as potentially supplementing development assistance programs, albeit without any reference to Canada’s commitments in India, Pakistan, and the Middle East.

17Despite budget increases and some notable discrepancies between CIDA and DND’s approach to ODA, Canadian foreign aid remained relatively stable, as it continued to focus on conflict prevention. Ottawa did not allocate development aid to Middle Eastern countries until 1976, when it added Egypt to Canada’s list of recipients, followed in 1981 by Lebanon and Jordan. The Indian subcontinent remained Canada’s primary ODA area of concentration, while some French-speaking African states continued to rank among Canada’s top ten ODA beneficiaries (OECD 2010b). And most notably, Canada added Indonesia to the list in 1972 in order to help prevent communist influence in the region and to maintain stability following the United States’ withdrawal from the country (Nossal 1980, 226–27). In other words, in spite of the complementary approach invoked in the 1971 White Paper on Defence, and the fact that its aid and military policies were increasingly working in parallel on the Indian subcontinent and in the Middle East, Canada’s ODA policy continued to focus on conflict prevention, while emphasizing the country’s position as a reliable Western ally, and its bicultural status.

1977–1992: Towards a Complementary Strategy

18Brian Mulroney’s Conservative government upset the country’s emerging security-development policy. Among the government’s top ODA objectives during that period was the opening of new markets for Canadian businesses. While official discourse made some reference to the altruistic values of Canadian society, the government increasingly conceived of foreign aid as a tool to promote global and Canadian prosperity, as well as a secondary tool to prevent conflict initiation and escalation. A substitution strategy thus often took precedence over its security-related alternatives. CIDA’s 1987 policy statement emphasized trade as a substitute to security-related aid purposes, but also directly addressed conflict prevention by stating that poverty reduction is a prerequisite to peace and, hence, development must be understood as a necessary condition for greater international security (CIDA 1987, 90). Most notably, however, the policy statement indicating the growing importance of human rights in Canadian foreign policy was increasingly perceived as a means to achieve strategic goals while avoiding direct military confrontation. By the mid-1980s, human rights had become a central piece of the Mulroney government’s foreign policy, in particular the fight against apartheid in South Africa (Black 2001). Promoting human rights was then a substitute for ODA as a conflict prevention tool aimed at fostering peace and stability.

19If, in terms of official policy statements, substitution took precedence over conflict prevention, the latter remained relevant at the operational level. African and Caribbean Commonwealth states, as well as francophone African countries, remained Canada’s top ODA recipients, in addition to Indonesia. Exemplifying the continued anti-communist security policy, between 1980 and 1988, Canada substantially increased its aid to El Salvador – the third largest recipient of American ODA in 1985 —as well as its aid to Grenada following the US invasion in 1983 (OECD 2010b). Canada’s ODA policy thus remained a soft-power tool, helping sustain the liberal politico-military order defended by the West against the Soviet Union (Thérien 1989, 19).

20As conflict-prevention strategies persisted despite growing trade concerns, a complementary approach grew in importance, although remaining under-conceptualized. Numerous examples illustrating this trend include the following: CIDA targeted Lebanon following Canada’s military involvement in the country in 1978 and the 1982–84 Western multinational force; Canadian ODA to Afghanistan resumed following the USSR’s withdrawal from the country in 1988, as Canadian military personnel took part in the 1988–90 United Nations Good Offices Mission in Afghanistan and Pakistan (UNGOMAP); and Canada’s participation in the United Nations Transition Assistance Group (UNTAG) in 1989 coincided with a thirteenfold increase of ODA allocated to Namibia that year, from $150,000 to $2 million (2009 constant USD, OECD, 2010b).

21More important, Canada took part in significant military operations in the Middle East, the former Yugoslavia, and Somalia during that period. It contributed to the United Nations Iran-Iraq Military Observer Group (UNIIMOG), the 1990–91 Persian Gulf War, and the 1991–2003 United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observer Mission (UNIKOM). Iraq received Canadian ODA from 1991 until the 1998 economic sanctions. The aid was resumed and greatly increased in 2003, following the US–UK invasion. Canada’s military participation in the 1992–95 United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) in the former Yugoslavia also coincided with ODA allocation in that area, beginning in 1993. Finally, as Canada contributed militarily to the 1992–95 United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM), the latter received a ninefold ODA increase in 1992 (OECD 2010b). In other words, despite a conceptual shift from preventive to substitutive rationales in Canadian official statements, Canada’s actual aid and military policies indicate a growing preference towards a complementary strategy. This trend coincided with Canada’s increasing military troop deployment in ever more UN and NATO peace operations.

1993–2000: Formalizing the Peacebuilding Complementary Approach

22The 1990s witnessed two significant changes. First, after a brief period of euphoria following the end of the Cold War, the war in Yugoslavia and the multiplication of sources of tension in Europe and elsewhere raised new concerns. “Crisis prevention and management” became the new international priority. Canada was thus asked to contribute to numerous newly created UN and NATO peace operations. It responded positively, mainly due to its quest for reliable ally status (Massie 2009). The second change was purely domestic: The fight against public debt and the deficit became a major issue in Canada. The impact on development programs was immediate and drastic. Between 1992 and 2001, the percentage of GNI allocated to ODA was cut by more than half, falling from 0.46 percent to 0.22 percent (OECD 2010a).

23These changes warranted a reassessment of the nature of the relationship between security and foreign aid. In the 1991–92 foreign policy review, the Mulroney government reaffirmed the function of foreign aid as being to “alleviate poverty as one of the root causes of political instability” (Canada 1993, 92). At the end of Mulroney’s mandate, the conflict prevention strategy had thus re-emerged conceptually. Yet the growing complementary approach explains many new top ten ODA recipients, including the former Yugoslavia, Egypt, and Mozambique (OECD, 2010b). Regarding the latter, Canadian troops took part in the 1992–94 United Nations Operation in Mozambique, which monitored the ceasefire in the country.

24In its 1995 White Paper on Foreign Affairs, the newly elected Chrétien government reaffirmed the now classic conflict prevention strategy (Canada 1995, 2). However, the most important new step was to pave the way for a very important concept, which was officially integrated in the Canadian official discourse in the following months: human security (Gervais and Roussel 1998). The concept of human security was mainly promoted by Minister of Foreign Affairs Lloyd Axworthy. He and his advisers were apparently reluctant to address the issue of the use of force as a means to implement human security. As a result, the Canadian military never really integrated the concept, since its place was never made clear within its strategic thought (Dewitt 2004). It was not until the Kosovo war, when the use of force was instrumental in putting an end to massive ethnic cleansing, that the relationship was formally addressed. Distinct from human development, the government now conceived of human security as potentially involving “the use of coercive measures, including sanctions and military force, as in Bosnia and Kosovo” (DFAIT 1999, 4 and 7–8). In other words, “hard” security policies and “soft” development aid were now distinct but complementary parts of a post-conflict peacebuilding agenda (Hynek and Bosold 2009).

25Canada’s newly crafted complementary strategy did materialize on the ground. Throughout the period, the Canadian Forces actively took part in several UN and NATO-led peace operations, concentrating the bulk of their troops in Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia, Haiti, East Timor, and Ethiopia/Eritrea, in addition to the 1999 Kosovo war. However, no obvious ODA policy shift was discernible in the mid-1990s. Former Yugoslavian states, Ethiopia, and Rwanda continued to receive steady development aid, ODA to Haiti increased slightly, and Timor-Leste was added to Canada’s list of aid recipients in 2000. Yet, in 1995, none of them figured among Canada’s top ten recipients (OECD 2010b). This contrasts sharply with the major recipient countries in 2000: Ex-Yugoslavian states ranked first and Haiti fifth (CIDA 2002, 49). The substantial increase in development assistance to the latter thus tends to illustrate the growing importance on the ground of a complementary strategy. Contrary to previous historical periods, Canadian authorities seemed, by the end of the 1990s, to have implemented a more coherent and consistent post-conflict peacebuilding strategy, in which aid was a central component of Canada’s conflict-resolution policy.

2001–2013: Institutionalizing the Peacebuilding Complementary Approach

26Many have argued that the attacks of September 11, 2001 marked a shift towards the securitization of peacebuilding (Jacquet 2002; Marclay 2008). However, the preceding analysis suggests that a development-security complementary approach had been at work in Canadian foreign policy years before 9/11, be it conceptually, operationally, or both. Nevertheless, 9/11 did have an impact on Canada’s security-development strategy. Having put an end to its public finance deficit, the Canadian government almost restored its ODA budget to pre-austerity levels. Foreign aid amounted to 0.38 percent of Canada’s GNI in 1995, 0.25 percent in 2000, 0.34 percent in 2005, 0.33 percent in 2010 (OECD 2010a), and 0.27 percent in 2013 (OECD 2014).

27The attacks of 9/11 also marked a sea change in the conceptualization of the interdependence of security and development, around two broad assumptions: Poverty, and the frustration it creates, is among the major sources of terrorism; and failed and failing (i.e., impoverished) states provide a sanctuary and a recruitment ground for terrorism (Marclay 2008). This conceptualization reinforced the coherence of the security-development nexus and the complementary strategy that it entails. Indeed, Canada’s first major post–9/11 foreign policy review, the 2005 International Policy Statement (IPS), identified three purposes for foreign aid: to prevent, at the socio-political level, conflicts from emerging, notably through the “responsibility to protect” rationale; to complement military initiatives, according to the “three block war” or “3D” approaches; and to allow Canada to make a distinctive and notable contribution to international peace and security (Canada 2005). In other words, it advanced both conflict-prevention and complementary strategies to further Canada’s status as an active, distinctive, and cosmopolitan world actor.

28It is thus not surprising that Afghanistan was Canada’s prime ODA recipient country as early as 2002. It was soon replaced, ranking second to Iraq in 2003, following the US–UK invasion (CIDA 2005, 33). While Canada did not officially take part in this war, it contributed significantly to the war effort: Its military contribution exceeded those of all but three members of the “coalition of the willing” (Engler 2009, 45). Other major Canadian military interventions also coincided with increased ODA allocation, most notably in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (CIDA 2002, 34; 2004, 33; 2006, 33), Haiti (CIDA 2006, 33; 2011, 3), and Sudan (CIDA 2008, 39).

29The prime example of the institutionalization of Canada’s complementary strategy remains Afghanistan. Following the deployment of Canadian troops in the country in the fall of 2001, ODA to Afghanistan doubled every year from 2001 to 2003, and again between 2005 and 2007, following Canada’s commitments in Kandahar. ODA increased from $6.66 million in 2000 to $345.39 million in 2007 (in 2009 constant USD). Though Afghanistan was not among Canada’s thirty top recipient countries in 2001, it ranked third in 2002, second from 2004 to 2006 and in 2010, first in 2003 and from 2007 to 2009 (OECD 2010b), and second in 2011–12 (OECD 2014).

30Conceptually demonstrating this institutionalization of Canada’s security-development complementary strategy, Canada’s 2008 counterinsurgency manual justifies the military’s role in providing not only humanitarian assistance, but also the “delivery of aid.” Indeed, it makes clear the distinction between humanitarian and development assistance, and instructs Canadian military personnel that “in order to avoid initial delays in development, the campaign plan from the outset must include details for sustainable development” (Canada 2008, 5-24, 5-28). The likely military tasks within these domains include the provision of water, fuel, and power, and the restoration of health and public buildings and services, as well as interim governance of commercial support and economic institutions, education institutions and infrastructure, and public civil service institutions (e.g., health, customs, media), in addition to humanitarian assistance and aid distribution (Canada 2008, 5-24). The 2012–13 government report to Parliament on ODA similarly emphasizes “ensuring security and stability” as one of Canada’s five foreign aid objectives, though this priority amounted to less than 1 percent of CIDA’s thematic priority spending, in contrast with 25 percent of DFAIT’s thematic ODA allocations (Canada 2013, 5 and 12).

31Nonetheless, CIDA’s first program and management priority remained to support “Canada’s strategic role in Haiti and Afghanistan” – the two most important recipients of bilateral ODA —and its first core program activity was to help “fragile states and crisis-affected communities” (totalling $788.2 million, close to 23 percent of CIDA’s budget). This suggests that a complementary strategy has been institutionalized in CIDA’s operating and governing structures. If this logic is correct, we should see reduced ODA allocations to both Haiti and Afghanistan following the end of Canada’s military operations in both countries, and increased aid to new host countries of Canadian soldiers. While Libya received only humanitarian assistance from Canada throughout and after NATO’s military intervention in that country, the inclusion of Ukraine as a country of focus for Canada’s international development efforts suggests that the trend towards a complementary strategy is likely to last.


32Canadian security-development policy broadly followed the evolving international norms and expectations of conflict prevention during the Cold War and post–9/11 eras. According to this conceptualization of Canadian foreign policy, international security and ODA are part of the same continuum. They represent different tools, complementing each other to reach the same goal: global stability through the promotion, enforcement, and maintenance of a Western-led liberal order. In part because of its unique strategic cultural predisposition, Canada concentrated most of its conflict prevention strategy in the spheres of influence of the US, the UK, and France, and actively took part in many UN and NATO-led peace operations. It furthermore developed and applied a complementary approach to post-conflict peacebuilding years before the attacks of 9/11, albeit in conjunction with a conflict prevention strategy.

33Thus, the interdependence between security and development was stronger before 9/11 than conventional wisdom would have it. For only a brief period, roughly in the 1980s, did Canadian authorities officially conceive of and practice development assistance as a substitutive tool towards goals unrelated to security concerns. The systematic, historical examination of the concomitant variations between ODA and military policies demonstrates how Canada’s strategic preferences predisposed it to prefer conflict prevention ODA strategies towards Cold War peacekeeping and a complementary strategy vis-à-vis contemporary peace operations, increasingly multidimensional, robust, and not neutral. This trend, at a minimum, implies that the Canadian government is likely to allocate future ODA to states where it deploys military troops, unless it finds alternative ways to secure its status as a reliable and active Western ally.


34In consultation with the editors, the University of Ottawa Press has retracted the chapter “Why Aid? Canadian Perception of the Usefulness of Canadian Aid in an Era of Economic Uncertainty” by Dominic H. Silvio, published in Rethinking Canadian Aid (2014), for having included verbatim excerpts of other sources without using quotation marks or properly attributing the text to the original sources, including the following:

  • Czaplińska, Agata. 2007. “Building Public Support for Development Cooperation.” Madrid: Instituto Complutense de Estudios Internacionales. Internet.​11859/​1/​PP02-07.pdf.
  • Gulrajani, Nilima. 2012. “Improving Canada’s Performance as a Bilateral Donor: Assessing the Past and Building for the Future.” In Stephen Brown, ed. Struggling for Effectiveness: CIDA and Canadian Foreign Aid. Montreal and Kingston: McGill–Queen’s University Press: 53–78.
  • Otter, Mark. 2003. “Domestic Public Support for Foreign Aid: Does It Matter?” Third World Quarterly, vol. 24, no. 1: 115–25.
  • Smillie, Ian. 1998. “Optical and Other Illusions: Trends and Issues in Public Thinking about Development Cooperation.” In Ian Smillie, Henny Helmich, Tony German, and Judith Randel, eds. Public Attitudes and International Development Co-operation. Paris: OECD: 21–39.
  • Smillie, Ian. 2003. “Canada.” In Ida Mc Donnell, Henri-Bernard Solignac Lecomte, and Liam Wegimont, eds. Public Opinion and the Fight against Poverty. Paris: OECD: 73–80.

35As a result, this book is no longer available for purchase. A revised second edition of Rethinking Canadian Aid will be published in 2016. Owners of the first edition will be able to trade in their copy for the second edition free of charge.


36En collaboration avec les directeurs de l’ouvrage, les Presses de l’Université d’Ottawa retirent le chapitre « Why Aid? Canadian Perception of the Usefulness of Canadian Aid in an Era of Economic Uncertainty » de Dominic H. Silvio, paru dans Rethinking Canadian Aid (2014), parce qu’il comprend des extraits textuels, sans guillemets ou autre forme d’attribution des sources originales, des publications suivantes :

  • Czaplińska, Agata (2007), « Building Public Support for Development Cooperation », Madrid, Instituto Complutense de Estudios Internacionales. Internet.​11859/​1/​PP02-07.pdf.
  • Gulrajani, Nilima (2012), « Improving Canada’s Performance as a Bilateral Donor: Assessing the Past and Building for the Future ». Dans Stephen Brown (dir.), Struggling for Effectiveness: CIDA and Canadian Foreign Aid. Montréal et Kingston, McGill–Queen’s University Press, p. 53–78.
  • Otter, Mark (2003), « Domestic Public Support for Foreign Aid: Does It Matter? », Third World Quarterly, vol. 24, no 1, p. 115–25.
  • Smillie, Ian (1998), « Optical and Other Illusions: Trends and Issues in Public Thinking about Development Cooperation ». Dans Ian Smillie, Henny Helmich, Tony German et Judith Randel (dir.), Public Attitudes and International Development Co-operation, Paris, OCDE, p. 21–39.
  • Smillie, Ian (2003), « Canada ». Dans Ida Mc Donnell, Henri-Bernard Solignac Lecomte et Liam Wegimont (dir.), Public Opinion and the Fight against Poverty, Paris, OCDE, p. 73–80.

37Par conséquent, ce volume est retiré du marché. Une deuxième édition de Rethinking Canadian Aid paraîtra en 2016. Les PUO remplaceront à titre gracieux les exemplaires de la première édition.



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1 Space limitations prevent us from utilizing a process-tracing methodology to examine aid allocations and military interventions throughout the period under examination (1945 to 2013). We can thus merely suggest patterns of relationships between the two, as demonstrated by systematic geographic correlations, official documentation, and secondary sources, and identify periods of change. We cannot and do not suggest that the strategies pursued (preventive, substitutive, or complementary) have been intended as such by policy makers. Future research could study specific strategies adopted or discarded by examining in greater depth and detail the decision-making processes surrounding specific aid allocations and military interventions.

2 All data pertaining to Canadian military operations in this chapter are drawn from Canada’s “Operation Database” website (Canada 2009), as well as


Professor of Political Science at the Université du Québec à Montréal, and Research Fellow at the Centre interuniversitaire de recherche sur les relations internationales du Canada et du Québec (ÉNAP). His current research focuses on Canada’s strategic cultures and transatlantic burden-sharing in contemporary peace operations. He is the author of numerous papers on Canadian foreign and defence policy, including his latest book, Francosphère: L’importance de la France dans la culture stratégique du Canada (Montreal: Presses de l’Université du Québec, 2013)

Professor of Political Science at the École nationale d’administration publique (ÉNAP). From 2002 to 2012, he was Professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM), where he held the Canada Research Chair in Canadian Foreign and Defence Policy. His research interests relate to Canadian foreign and defence policy, with particular emphasis on relations with the United States and European countries. He currently directs three research programs: “Competing Views of Emerging Challenges in the Arctic,” “The (Neo)Continentalist Approach in Canadian Foreign Policy,” and “Quebec’s Public Opinion Attitude toward International Security.”

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