Why Canada Did Not Go To War in Iraq: A Hegemonic Discourse Analysis

Jonas Holmlund


This essay discusses from a post-structuralist perspective why Canada did not participate in the United States-led war against Iraq in 2003 from a post-structuralist perspective. The essay argues that the question “why” must be understood through the discourse formed by the US which aimed for international governance and how this discourse related and worked together with a Canadian identity and genealogy. A Canadian identity in the form of a long tradition of both integrated relationship with the US and a commitment to multilateral co-operations like the United Nations. Furthermore, that the key factor to answer the question “why” lies in how the US failed to produce and uphold a hegemonic discourse that had enough power to limit Canada’s framework, wherein they could act.


post-structuralism; Canada; War; Iraq

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