Shifting purpose: Asia's rise and Canada's foreign aid by ProQuest

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									Gregory Chin


Shifting purpose
Asia’s rise and Canada’s foreign aid




This article analyzes Canada’s foreign aid relations with Asia, including the
range of motivations and reasons why the Canadian government, at this
historical juncture, should rethink how and why it gives scarce public
resources to promote, among other things, the wellbeing of people in Asian
countries and strategic ties with Asia. This includes addressing not just
developmental purposes in Canada’s aid relations with Asia but other—
namely diplomatic and commercial—purposes. The basic argument is that
Canada has a tradition of successfully leveraging its foreign aid relations with
Asian countries for a comprehensive set of foreign policy objectives, but that
more recently Ottawa has been slow to respond to Asia’s dramatic evolution
and to key shifts in the global order more broadly.1 Canada’s aid strategy has


Gregory Chin is an assistant professor in the department of political science and faculty of
graduate studies at York University, where he teaches global politics, comparative politics,
and east Asian political economy. He is also a senior fellow at the Centre for International
Governance Innovation (CIGI). He thanks Ercel Baker, Lisa Chin, and Bernie Frolic for their
suggestions; David Malone for his comments as discussant at the “symposium on Canada-
Asia relations,” Ottawa, 30 March 2009; and Yuen Pau Woo and Ryan Touhey for their
editorial guidance.
1 On the rising powers and shifting global order, see Andrew F. Cooper and Agata
Antkiewiz, eds., Emerging Powers in Global Governance (Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier
University Press, 2008); and Gregory Chin and Eric Helleiner, “China as a creditor: A
rising financial power?” Journal of International Affairs 62 (fall-winter 2008): 87-102.


                                          | International Journal | Autumn 2009 | 989 |
| Gregory Chin |



not been adjusted adequately to allow for the effective recalibration of
Canada’s foreign relations with the rising powers of that region.
     While it has become fashionable in the international donor community
to speak of the issue-area as “developmental assistance” or “development
cooperation,” it is suggested that development—the pursuit of economic and
social progress in low-income countries—is only one of the purposes of
foreign aid. Foreign aid is understood here as a policy tool, which can be
used to achieve a number of purposes. The purpose of aid is evident not only
in the goals that are s
								
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