“Other Diplomacies” and the Making of Canada-Asian Relations: An Interdisciplinary Conversation
Henders, Susan J.
Young, Mary M.
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How have societal interactions constituted Canada-Asia relations historically and up to the present? What understandings of Canada-Asia relations emerge if we focus on the diverse connections between Asian and Canadian societies at multiple levels rather than solely on state-to-state interactions? These questions were the starting point for a March 15, 2012 workshop organized by the York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR) with support from the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada. The workshop brought together scholars as well as practitioners from a range of disciplines (see Appendix 1). Discussions centered on preliminary case studies of Canada-Asia societal interactions in the realms of business, education, culture, migration and diaspora, labour markets, scholarly and technical experts, and NGOs and across local, national and transnational spaces, and the everyday realm. The goal was to begin to identify important research questions and empirical evidence that could illuminate the contemporary character of Canada-Asia societal connections and their wider implications. The workshop also explored the concept of “other diplomacies”, which workshop organizers Susan Henders and Mary Young (Forthcoming, 2012) offered as an analytical tool for framing the study of Canada-Asia societal interactions. This paper offers selected highlights from the day-long workshop conversation.