Canada on the United Nations Security Council

A Small Power on a Large Stage

By (author) Adam Chapnick
Categories: International relations, Politics and government, Society and Social Sciences
Publisher: UBC Press
Paperback : 9780774861625, 320 pages, February 2020

Table of contents


1 Training Wheels

2 An Auspicious Start

3 The Forgotten Years

4 Transformation

5 Keeping the Peace?

6 The Gang of Five in the Trudeau Era

7 Going All In

8 Constructive Internationalists at Work

9 A Mission on a Mission

10 Rejection and Its Aftermath


Notes; Bibliography; Index

This is the definitive history of the Canadian experience, both its successes and failures, on the world’s largest stage – the United Nations Security Council.


While the Canadian commitment to the United Nations itself has always been strong, Ottawa’s attitude towards the Security Council, and to service upon it, has been much less consistent. This book tells the story of Canada’s attempts since 1946, both successful and unsuccessful, to gain a seat as a non-permanent member on the Council. Impeccably researched and clearly written, this is the definitive history of the Canadian experience on the world’s most powerful stage.


  • Short-listed, Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing, The Writers' Trust of Canada 2020
  • Short-listed, J.W. Dafoe Book Prize, J.W. Dafoe Foundation 2020


This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of Canadian foreign policy and global engagement and will be a useful resource in graduate and upper-level undergraduate courses on these topics.

- Tyler Chamberlain

Full of insights and surprises, [Canada on the United Nations Security Council] is a welcome addition to Canadian foreign policy.

- Daniel Livermore

Chapnick carefully and methodically documents Canada's six terms on the UNSC.

- Kevin Brushett, Royal Military College Of Canada