Intervention and Conflict Management in a Changing World & The Responsibility to Engage: Canada and the Ongoing Crisis in Darfur

Published: 2007    |    By: Fen Osler Hampson & David Black    |    Volume 64, No. 4


Intervention and Conflict Management in a Changing World 

The theme of the 2007 National Foreign Policy Conference was Conflict, Reconstruction and the Dilemma of Intervention. In his opening keynote remarks Professor Hampson reviewed the changing patterns of conflict between and within states, analysing the familiar sources of conflict- state failure, group rivalries, bitter competition for resources and wealth – as well as the rise of terrorism. Against this background Professor Hampson discussed the crucial and often successful role of international intervention, by global and regional organizations, by individual states large and small, and by non-governmental institutions, in helping states riven by conflict to bring it under control and to rebuild their societies. He concluded with five recommendations for Canadian policy and action.

The Responsibility to Engage: Canada and the Ongoing Crisis in Darfur 

This article assesses the response of the Canadian government to the ongoing crisis in Darfur against the leadership expectations generated by Canada’s role in instigating G8 action on Africa, and in championing the international “Responsibility to Protect.” It concludes that, while Canada has met the test of international respectability and burdensharing among its western peers, it has fallen short of the expectation of a leadership role to which its own previous statements and actions have given rise. Moreover, there are signs of a further retreat from these expectations under the current government. There is a need for continued engagement and leadership in terms of consensus-building, prevention, and practical responses to such ‘supreme humanitarian emergencies’

About the Author

Fen Osler Hampson is Professor of International Affairs and Director of the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University. This article is based on his opening address to the 2007 National Foreign Policy Conference of the Canadian International Council on March 22, 2007

David Black is Professor of Political Science and International Development Studies, Dalhousie University.