About Roland Paris

Director of CIPS and Associate Professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. Webpage.

Roland Paris

The Truth About Canada’s Mission in Afghanistan

Canada’s military mission in Afghanistan officially ends this month. It began in 2001 with the dispatch of a small number of special operations troops to oust the Taliban and punish al-Qaeda militants in wake of the 9/11 attacks, and grew to include the deployment of a battle group to secure the southern province of Kandahar between 2006 and 2011. At its peak… Read More

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Has Canada Finally Discovered Digital Diplomacy?

After years of sitting on the sidelines, Canada finally seems to be taking social media seriously as tool of diplomacy. Foreign Minister John Baird delivered a speech on Friday—appropriately in Silicon Valley, the world’s capital of technological innovation—embracing digital diplomacy in stronger terms than ever before. “The closed world of démarc… Read More

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Implications of the Kabul Restaurant Attack

Since news broke of Friday’s horrific suicide attack on the largely foreign clientele of a Lebanese restaurant in Kabul, attention has understandably focused on the civilians who lost their lives, including two Canadians. But the event, which comes at a critical moment, could also have major implications for the international presence in Afghanistan.… Read More

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Baird’s Tough Talk on Human Rights Rings Hollow in Bahrain

Canada’s “principled” foreign policy keeps running into problems in Bahrain, the Gulf monarchy that violently suppressed pro-democracy protests in 2011. When Foreign Minister John Baird visited the country in April, he made no public comment about Bahrain’s repressive practices, including the regime’s continued incarceration of democracy activi… Read More

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There Is More to Foreign Policy than Trade

The problem with Canada’s new Global Markets Action Plan is not that it seeks to promote Canadian commercial interests in foreign markets where our companies have the potential to succeed. No, the problem is that this strategy now looms over the rest of Canada’s foreign policy, which has largely withered during the years that the Conservatives have been in… Read More

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Missing in Action: What Happened to Canada’s Foreign Policy?

In July 2011, shortly after Canadian voters handed the Conservatives a majority government, Prime Minister Stephen Harper observed that “since becoming prime minister…the thing that’s probably struck me the most in terms of my previous expectations—I don’t even know what my expectations were—is not just how important foreign affairs/foreign relati… Read More

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Ready for Another Great Season at CIPS

We’ve been working hard to prepare an excellent series of fall events at CIPS. Here are a few highlights: Next week, CIPS will present talks by the celebrated Pakistani journalist and author Ahmed Rashid, and by one of the world’s leading experts on democracy promotion, Thomas Carothers. Later this month, John Mundy, Canada’s most recent ambassador to Ira… Read More


A Response to Deepak Ohbrai on Digital Diplomacy

I am pleased that Deepak Ohbrai, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, has responded to my recent writing on Canada’s lackluster approach to digital diplomacy. He highlights Ottawa’s support for the Global Dialogue on the Future of Iran as “a perfect example of our government’s commitment to using social media as a means of sp… Read More

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The Digital Diplomacy Revolution: Why Is Canada Lagging Behind?

From the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute: A new report by Roland Paris, CDFAI Senior Fellow and Director of the Centre for International Policy Studies at the University of Ottawa, examines the burgeoning world of digital diplomacy and concludes that Canada is falling behind in the communications revolution. Paris states that “th… Read More

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The Afghanistan Mission: What Went Wrong?

The US-led invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001, which deposed the Taliban regime, was followed by a major international effort to stabilize that country. More than a decade later, this effort has yielded neither security nor political stability in Afghanistan. At their peak in 2011, there were more than 130,000 foreign troops in the International Se… Read More

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