IA Events

Second Annual UCL-IA Canadian Studies Lecture: Hector Mackenzie on: Canada and the (Re)discovery of the Americas - An Historical Perspective

Publication date: Mar 5, 2014 9:50:51 AM

Start: Mar 24, 2014 6:00:00 PM
End: Mar 24, 2014 7:30:00 PM

Location: UCL-Institute of the Americas, 51 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0PN


Hector Mackenzie (Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development) - One of the distinctive emphases of the current Canadian government has been its development of an overall strategy for Canada’s relations with the Americas and the treatment of its bilateral and multilateral dealings with its neighbours in the Western Hemisphere as one of its key priorities in foreign, trade and development policies.

This lecture places this initiative in the context of Canada’s post-1939 international relations and especially the historical tendency of Canadian governments to pay greater attention to the North Atlantic and especially to relations with the United Kingdom and the United States and considerably less to the rest of the world, including Latin America and the Caribbean. For many years that outlook – and especially Canada’s understandable preoccupation with its continental neighbour – prompted policy-makers in Ottawa and analysts elsewhere to downplay or even overlook the importance of the rest of the hemisphere in the assessment of options and priorities for Canada in world affairs.

More recently, there has evidently been a greater awareness of how Canada’s values and interests could be advanced with partners in the Americas. This talk attempts to show how contemporary initiatives are built on the foundation of the past yet involve some significant differences from what has gone before.

Dr. Hector Mackenzie is a graduate of the University of Toronto and Oxford University, from where he received his DPhil in Politics (International Relations) for a study of Anglo-Canadian economic relations in the Second World War. After teaching at the University of Toronto and the University of Western Ontario, he joined the Department of External Affairs as an historian. He has been the Senior Departmental Historian of what is now the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development since 1991. He is an adjunct professor of history at Carleton University, where he frequently teaches courses in Canadian history, and a past President of the Association for Canadian Studies. He has also published extensively on the history of Canada’s international relations. The views expressed in this lecture are his alone, not those of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development or the Government of Canada.

Attendance is free of charge, but registration is required.