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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

Advancing Democracy Abroad: A Proposal to Create the Democracy Canada Institute

Conference Paper by Thomas Axworthy, Leslie Campbell

This paper was presented by Thomas Axworthy and Leslie Campbell at a conference entitled Canada’s Role in International Assistance to Democratic Development. Axworthy and Campbell argue that state-building, civil society-building, and democracy-building are of critical importance at the dawn of the 21st century; Accordingly, in this paper they explore the question of whether Canada can make a contribution to international democratic capacity-building. They note that this is more than just an academic exercise, given that the 2004 Speech from the Throne announced the creation of Canada Corps – an initiative that includes Canadian experts, young professionals and volunteers for the delivery of international assistance in areas of governance and institution building.

Axworthy and Campbell argue that while Canada Corps is a worthwhile idea, transferring governance knowledge and skills requires a more highly-trained and specialized group of people. To this end they recommend the creation of the Democracy Canada Institute, an organization funded by, and reporting to, Parliament – one which would support existing Canadian organizations in the field and work closely with Canada’s political parties to use their expertise in advancing democratic development abroad.

This paper includes an outline of Axworthy and Campbell’s preliminary conceptualizations of the structure and substance of the Democracy Canada Institute. They argue that the Democracy Canada Institute would reinforce the established governance, democracy, human rights and media development community in Canada by providing a more coherent policy structure and a higher Canadian profile abroad.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): Thomas Axworthy; Leslie Campbell;
Publisher: Institute for Research on Public Policy [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2004; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: International; National;
Registration Required: No Language: English
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / International Trade, Development & Finance / Civil Society & Democratization
Policy Articles / International Trade, Development & Finance / Civil Society & Democratization / 2004
Policy Articles / International Trade, Development & Finance


Keywords / Tags:

international democratic development; Canada Corps; Democracy Canada Institute; governance; human rights; Canadian influence abroad;