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Business & Economics Theory

Joining Empire

The Political Economy of the New Canadian Foreign Policy

by (author) Jerome Klassen

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2014
Theory, Economic Conditions, Diplomacy, Canadian
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2014
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    Publish Date
    Sep 2014
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    Publish Date
    Sep 2014
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A fresh assessment of the neoliberal political economy behind Canadian foreign policy from Afghanistan to Haiti, Joining Empire establishes Jerome Klassen as one of the most astute analysts of contemporary Canadian foreign policy and its relationship to US global power. Using empirical data on production, trade, investment, profits, and foreign ownership in Canada, as well as a new analysis of the overlap among the boards of directors of the top 250 firms in Canada and the top 500 firms worldwide, Klassen argues that it is the increasing integration of Canadian businesses into the global economy that drives Canada’s new, increasingly aggressive, foreign policy.

Using government documents, think tank studies, media reports, and interviews with business leaders from across Canada, Klassen outlines recent systematic changes in Canadian diplomatic and military policy and connects them with the rise of a new transnational capitalist class. Joining Empire is sure to become a classic of Canadian political economy.

About the author

Jerome Klassen is a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowin the MIT Center for International Studies at the Massachusetts Institute ofTechnology.

Jerome Klassen's profile page


  • Winner, Errol Sharp Award awarded by the Society for Socialist Studies
  • Winner, Outstanding Academic Titles awarded by CHOICE

Editorial Reviews

‘Considering the dominance of Neoliberalism, this contribution could not be timelier… Klassen’s greatest theoretical contribution is how he ties together the vectors of Empire to provide a well-rounded view of capitalism.’

American Review of Canadian Studies, February 2016

"Klassen’s book makes an important and worthwhile contribution to contemporary political science."

Canadian Journal of Political Science Vol 51:2 2018

‘This is political economy scholarship at its best… This study’s importance is not just Canada-centric; its theoretical framework and methodology are relevant to scholars researching foreign policy in other Western nation-states…. Highly recommended.’

Choice Magazine vol 52:11:2015

‘We now have a theoretically sophisticated and up-to-date account of how Canadian foreign and security policy expresses the class interests of Canadian capital.’

Labour/Le Travail, vol 76: Fall 2015

Joining Empire is perhaps the most lucid and empirically grounded analysis of the formation of the transnationalized fraction of the Canadian corporate elite and the development of an imperial power bloc to date… This book is a major contribution and deserves to be widely read.’

Canadian Journal of Sociology, vol 41:01:2016

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