US partisan perceptions of Stephen Harper’s shift in foreign policy
19 décembre 2018
Par Jonathan Paquin
While Stephen Harper’s foreign policy sparked heated debates during his entire tenure as prime minister, these debates were mainly confined to Canadian foreign policy circles. Little attention was paid to allies’ perceptions of these developments and, more specifically, to the perception of the United States, Canada’s main economic and security partner. How did the Bush and Obama administrations perceive these changes? Were they seen as a break from Canada’s past? Did Harper’s handling of foreign policy alter White House calculations with respect to Canada? Based on a series of semi-structured interviews conducted in Washington DC with executive officials a few months prior to the end of the Harper era in 2015, this essay shows that despite a widespread perception in Washington that Canada’s foreign policy approach had changed under Harper, partisanship was the main dividing line in terms of how this approach was perceived and assessed.