The Ambiguous Champion: Canada and South Africa in the Trudeau and Mulroney Years

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University of Toronto Press, 1997 - Political Science - 466 pages
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The Ambiguous Champion is the First Comprehensive and critical study of Canadian foreign policy towards South Africa. Freeman challenges the conventional belief that successive Canadian governments took the high road, leading the international struggle against apartheid. She shows that Canadian policy, like the policy of other Western states, was complex, ambiguous, and contradictory. Freeman's approach offers an alternative understanding of the forces shaping Canadian foreign policy.Legend has it that Canadian prime ministers, from Diefenbaker to Mulroney, led the way in the international campaign against the apartheid state in South Africa. Yet before Mulroney came to power, except on a few occasions in the Commonwealth, Canadian prime ministers did little to support the anti-apartheid cause. While Mulroney did significantly better, invoking concrete economic sanctions and tackling Margaret Thatcher within the Commonwealth, the policies of his government were compromised and limited; the claims made for it excessive. The state championed a cause, but followed through in a highly ambiguous way. Central to the explanation is an exploration of the influence groups within civil society, especially the private sector, on the formation of state policy. Attention is also given to the way which churches, trade unions, universities, anti-apartheid groups, and the media played in calling for a stronger Canadian policy against apartheid. The approach offers an alternative way of understanding how foreign policy is made which goes beyond the South African case.The Ambiguous Champion will challenge scholars in Canada and abroad in their analyses of relations with South Africa. It is a majorcontribution to both the history and theory of Canadian foreign policy.

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