What is the significance of G20 politics at a time of immense volatility?
The G20 falls between its initial role in 2008 as a crisis committee and the more ambitious scenario of it performing as a steering committee with a much wider policy ambit. My co-authored book traces this trajectory but more attention needs to be given to this question as the G20 hosting functions move from Russia to Australia.
Do older institutions (G8 or the UN) matter anymore?
We are in a moment of messy multilateralism with space for both older informal clubs such as the G8 and universal bodies such as the UN. I will be at a pre-summit G8 conference in Northern Ireland so will be able to get a sense of how and towards what issues the G8 is dealing with.
What are the latest trends in Celebrity Diplomacy/activism?
There is a massive amount of activity in this area. A good sense of the range can be gained from my blogs.
What does the trend towards informal summits (G20 or the BRICS) mean for Global Governance?
I am spending more time researching the BRICS – helped in part by a grant from the Chanchlani India Policy Centre – at the University of Waterloo. How the BRICS develop as a club will tell us a lot about how rising powers will act in the global system.
What is the impact of‚’rising’‚ countries in the global system ‚– and are these ‚’rising’ states the BRICS or BRICs plus other states?
The BRICS grab most of the publicity but the wider set of BRICSAM or BRICS plus countries – including South Korea, Indonesia, Turkey and Mexico deserve attention as well. I am involved in a number of projects – including one with Yonsei University in Seoul on aspects of this wider dynamic of global change.
What space‚- or role – is there in International politics for small and middle powers?
This is a long-term interest of mine going back to publications on Middle Powers in the early 1990s. In any many ways the position of these countries has been squeezed but there is sill ample room for niche diplomacy and other forms of resilience.The co-edited book I produced with Tim Shaw, The Diplomacies of Small States: Between Vulnerability and Resilience, is an updated, soft cover version of an earlier 2009 collection. This publication is indicative of the increased interest that small states are receiving at the moment in International Relations.I have also co-edited a Special Issue of Third World Quarterly – due for publication in September or October of this year – on Foreign Policy Strategies of Emerging Powers in a Multipolar World. This collection looks at the options for BRICS and middle powers in comparative perspective.
Have the traditional diplomatic habits been eroded in Canada’s foreign policy?
Faced with the challenge from a cluster of dynamic rising states (i.e., China, India, and Brazil), and increasingly influenced by powerful non-state actors (e.g., transnational corporations, think tanks, and private foundations), the 21st-century global landscape is beginning to look very different—and stark judgments have been made about the nature of Canada’s influence. Is it true that Canada’s role on the world’s stage is a diminished one?  Or, might it be that the evolving architecture of global governance also brings with it new avenues of influence for middle powers such as Canada?