Canada In The World

Settler Capitalism and the Colonial Imagination

By Tyler A. Shipley  

Paperback $60.00

An accessible and empirically rich introduction to Canada’s engagements in the world since confederation, this introductory textbook charts a unique path by locating Canada’s colonial foundations at the heart of the analysis. Canada in the World begins by arguing that the colonial relations with Indigenous peoples represent the first example of foreign policy, and demonstrates how these relations became a foundational and existential element of the new state. Colonialism—the project to establish settler capitalism in North America and the ideological assumption that Europeans were more advanced and thus deserved to conquer the Indigenous people—says Shipley, lives at the very heart of Canada.

Through a close examination of Canadian foreign policy, from crushing an Indigenous rebellion in El Salvador, “peacekeeping” missions in the Congo and Somalia, and Cold War interventions in Vietnam and Indonesia, to Canadian participation in the War on Terror, Canada in the World finds that this colonial heart has dictated Canada’s actions in the world since the beginning.

Highlighting the continuities across more than 150 years of history, Shipley demonstrates that Canadian policy and behaviour in the world is deep-rooted, and argues that changing this requires rethinking the fundamental nature of Canada itself.

“Shipley meticulously traces the racial capitalist line that runs through Canadian history, insisting that we understand that Canada moves in the world as a state that is dedicated first and foremost to the interests of white capital.”

— Sherene H. Razack, author of Dying From Improvement

“The book fundamentally disrupts the notion that Canada is a benevolent, helpful, middle power, and sets the record straight on the colonial and imperial aspects of the Canadian state.”

— David P. Thomas, author of Bombardier Abroad

“Canada in the World should be both rigorously studied and strenuously debated by all who seek to understand the country’s past, transform its present, and reimagine its future.”

— Ian McKay, McMaster University

“Shipley’s outstanding scholarship is matched by the accessibility of his writing; this book will reach across audiences of all varieties, as it deserves.”

— Veldon Coburn, University of Ottawa

Request Exam Copy


  • Introduction: “History Will Be Re-Written”
  • Part I: Conquest and Colonialism: Canada’s First Foreign Policy
  • Colonial Encounters
  • Conquest and Genocide
  • From the Potlatch to the Residential Schools
  • Part II: Canada and the Catastrophe Years
  • The Great War and the so-called ‘Birth of a Nation’
  • Flirting with Fascism: Canada Between the Wars
  • Hard Questions Concerning Canada’s ‘Good War’
  • Part III: Peacekeeping the Cold War
  • Scorching the Earth: When Peace Looks Like War
  • A Part of Our Heritage: Canada’s Commitment to Colonialism
  • Canada and the End of History
  • Part IV: The New Canadian Imperialism
  • The Dark Heart of Peacekeeping
  • “What the Afghans Need is Colonizing:” Canada’s War on Terror
  • Contemporary Canada and the Rise of Fascism
  • Conclusion: “Canada is Back


  • Tyler A. Shipley

    Tyler A. Shipley is a Professor of Society, Culture and Commerce in the Department of Liberal Studies at Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning. He holds a PhD in Political Science from York University.

Subscribe to our newsletter and take 10% off your first purchase.