Globalism vs Internationalism

by Ana-Maria on May 6, 2017 - 3:16pm

As many know, the ongoing conflict in Syria has triggered the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. Million of people inside Syria need urgent help, including those who are internally displaced. Indeed, hundreds of people have died during the conflict and many more are injured every day. More than that, thousands of Syrians have sought refuge in the neighbouring countries of Egypt, Iraq, Turkey, etc. and thousand more have made the harrowing journey to Europe in search of a better life. In brief, the Syrian conflict has, without any doubt, draw the attention of “developed” countries like Canada.

Since the conflict started Canada has given generously to the various international efforts to support the Syrian people, including those living as refugees in neighbouring countries. Until today, Canada has committed humanitarian, development and security assistance in response to the Syrian crises. More than that, Canada has actively contributed to surveillance aircraft and a refuelling plane to the coalition fighting ISIL in Iraq and send special forces on the ground. However, some wonder if Canada could do more. Indeed, in the article wrote by David Pugliese in the national post, the author is wondering if Canada will finally get military involved in Syria. According to the article, the Liberal government has no plan to join other nations in the training of Syrian forces, who are fighting both the Syrian government as well as the troops from the extremist Islamic State.

The fact is that, concerning the Syrian conflict, Canada is approaching the subject by an isolated worldview which consists of remaining apart from the affairs or interests of other countries and especially from their political affairs. In other words, those outside borders of the country are responsible for themselves and that letting them involve Canada in their affairs commits us to alliances limiting our flexibility of action, and potentially forcing us into disastrous wars. Nevertheless, politicians in the West, today, generally tend to care about the “strategic” situation and so tend to be less isolationist than they campaign on. Indeed, we live in a world, whether we like it or not it is difficult to pretend that other nations do not exist. Thus, active engagement is necessary and the outside world is too important to be ignored. In other words, countries like Canada are adopt a mixt of globalism, which is promoting the development of worldwide interconnections and interdependencies, and internationalism which is a philosophy that believes a nation should not concern itself (or not much) with affairs of the world.

In my opinion, by offering refugees resettlement, humanitarian assistance, funds and security to Syria, Canada should try to stay away from the military involvement in this conflict. The fact is that Canada’s humanitarian assistance funding is helping to meet the food, shelter, health, protection and emergency education needs of Syrians affected by the crisis. Also, Canada is providing security-related assistance to address the impact of the Syrian crisis, both in Syria and in the region. These funds will help mitigate the threat of chemical weapons and other weapons and materials of mass destruction. Therefore, I do not think that it will be good for the Canadian government to get military involved in Syria because the country is helping enough by not sending Canadian troops in war zones.

Do you think that a country like Canada should get involved in the affairs of other countries or it should stay out of it and do not mind about the world's problems? Should a country adopt globalism or internationalism as a worldview?




The article is very well summarized and the main ideas are really clear, although I can’ help but wonder if Canada did get involved, military wise would it really have to be linked to violence? Could the military just simply get involved by training Syrian soldiers to fight appropriately? Canada is amazing when it comes to helping others, which Is why we are such a loved country, although we provide food, shelter and security is that really enough? As a country who doesn’t face much war are crisis we should be hand on with helping these people, not by necessarily only offering them a home, but changing their home so they can have a better life in their country. As much as we embrace multiculturalism, if we keep accepting all these refugees, but don’t improve their homes than eventually it’s going to cause problems in Canada, and we will run out of room and money. So, does the principle of making sure Canada is still up in running so we can continue to help others still apply?

The summary of the article and your ideas and views on the matter are very well written out. I think you have done a good job at looking at the Syrian conflict from two world views and the complications that come with military involvement. Like you, I do think the Canadian government should stay away from any form of violent action concerning the Syrian conflict, and such actions should be considered as a final option when all others have failed. However, as a "developed" country and an important figure on the international level, I do not think offering asylum to refugees is all the Canadian government can accomplish. They should consider on site humanitarian assistance, like you said, and adopt a more hands on approach to become more involved and more informed about the conflict and by the same, staying far from military actions. All this opinion of main is solely based on my very limited knowledge of the complexity that is the Syrian conflict. I am also not fully aware what Canada has accomplished to help put a close to this war. As of that, is there any type of somewhat effective solution that can actively help Syria and at the same time, keep countries from resorting to violence?


Many of the posts of our class explored issues related to the Middle Eastern crisis and Trump’s ban. Yours looked at Canada’s involvement in the war, which is the reason why I chose to comment. I feel like it is hard to judge how Americans handle their foreign affairs because they have different past experiences that have shaped their worldview with fear.

I partly agree with you when you say that you think that Canada’s implication in the war should stay strictly humanitarian, in the way that I don’t think we should get involved militarily. On the other hand, I think that giving food, shelter, money, and others will cause a long-term problem of dependency. Therefore, it would be better for Canada to open more spots to receive immigrants that will be able to start over in a new country. Those immigrants will eventually find a job and won’t be dependant to Canada’s humanitarian gifts. Offering a new life to those who want one is so much better than offering them food. I understand that the implications of immigration vs donation are deeply different, but in my worldview, it is better to truly help 1 person than to fail to help 100. Do you agree?

The summary of the article is very clear and presents the different point of view. I like the way you explained the different worldviews!
I somewhat agree with you. Canada is doing a lot for Syrian habitants. Our government is helping them without being involved in the war. It really matters for Syrian refugees!
However, we could surely do more. As br1amb3r explained before, we can’t accept every single Syrian refugees in our country. We should help the Syrian community to stop the war in their country and to help them “rebuild” it. But how could we do that without being involved in this war? The situation is really tricky.
Canada is considered as a peaceful country and as a “humanitarian” helper rather than a “military” helper. We had the chance to grow up in a country where there is no armed conflict and no war. We were taught to be respectful and non-violent. So are we ready to get involved in a war? Some could argue that the war is far away from our country and that Canada could deploy few military force in Syria. But a war is a war, and if we are involved, we are involved until the end.
On the other hand, most of the canadians were taught that we should protect people who are in distress and who are in minority, which means that our country should protect Syrian from the war.
There are two basic beliefs that are in conflict. The belief that we should not get involved in armed conflict, and the one that we should protect minorities from danger.
My opinion is divided. What do you think? Which belief should “win”?

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