Joining Empire: The Political Economy of the New Canadian Foreign Policy

Joining Empire: The Political Economy of the New Canadian Foreign Policy

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By Jerome Klassen
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2014
World Rights
344 Pages
ISBN 9781442614604
Published Sep 2014
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ISBN 9781442646742
Published Sep 2014
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A fresh assessment of the neoliberal political economy behind Canadian foreign policy from Afghanistan to Haiti, Joining Empire establishes Jerome Klassen as one of the most astute analysts of contemporary Canadian foreign policy and its relationship to US global power. Using empirical data on production, trade, investment, profits, and foreign ownership in Canada, as well as a new analysis of the overlap among the boards of directors of the top 250 firms in Canada and the top 500 firms worldwide, Klassen argues that it is the increasing integration of Canadian businesses into the global economy that drives Canada’s new, increasingly aggressive, foreign policy.

Using government documents, think tank studies, media reports, and interviews with business leaders from across Canada, Klassen outlines recent systematic changes in Canadian diplomatic and military policy and connects them with the rise of a new transnational capitalist class. Joining Empire is sure to become a classic of Canadian political economy.

Jerome Klassen is a Research Fellow at the MIT Center for International Studies.

Introduction: Political Economy and the New Canadian Foreign Policy

Part I: Theory and Method

1. Understanding Empire: Theories of International Political Economy

Part II: American Power and Continental Integration

2. Hegemonic Liberalism: The Political Economy of US Primacy

3. Continental Neoliberalism and the Canadian Corporate Elite

Part III: Canadian Capital and Transnational Neoliberalism

4. Global Exploitation: The Internationalization of Canadian Capital

5. Transnational Class Formation: Globalization and the Canadian Corporate Network

Part IV: The State and Foreign Policy

6. Armoured Neoliberalism: The Power Bloc and the New Imperial State

7. One of the Big Boys: Canada in Afghanistan and Haiti

Conclusion: Canada and Empire: The Counter-Consensus

“With a far-reaching and insightful analysis of a rich array of comparative evidence, and a careful critical analysis of the literature, Klassen shows persuasively that there has been no ‘hollowing out of corporate Canada,’ as commonly alleged, but rather reconstruction of Canadian capital within a more general process of elite reproduction in North America. Of particular interest is Klassen’s penetrating review of social movements that are seeking to come to grips with these processes and shape a more humane and just future.  A very significant study, with implications far beyond the important and revealing case of Canada.”

Noam Chomsky, Department of Linguistics and Philosophy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Joining Empire makes a major contribution to the analysis of recent changes in Canadian class formation. Jerome Klassen’s empirical research is extremely impressive, and he displays a deep knowledge of the literature on both Canadian political economy and Canadian foreign policy.”

Laura Macdonald, Institute of Political Economy, Carleton University

Joining Empire is perhaps the most lucid and empirically grounded analysis of the formation of the transnationalized fraction of the Canadian corporate elite and the development of an imperial power bloc to date… This book is a major contribution and deserves to be widely read.’

Neil Burron, Canadian Journal of Sociology, vol 41:01:2016

‘Considering the dominance of Neoliberalism, this contribution could not be timelier… Klassen’s greatest theoretical contribution is how he ties together the vectors of Empire to provide a well-rounded view of capitalism.’

David Plazek, American Review of Canadian Studies, February 2016, February 1, 2016

‘This is political economy scholarship at its best… This study’s importance is not just Canada-centric; its theoretical framework and methodology are relevant to scholars researching foreign policy in other Western nation-states…. Highly recommended.’

A.F. Johnson, Choice Magazine vol 52:11:2015

‘We now have a theoretically sophisticated and up-to-date account of how Canadian foreign and security policy expresses the class interests of Canadian capital.’

Bill Burgess, Labour/Le Travail, vol 76: Fall 2015, January 1, 2016

Errol Sharp Award awarded by the Society for Socialist Studies (Canada) - Winner in 2015
Outstanding Academic Titles awarded by CHOICE (Canada) - Winner in