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Annika Enning

Annika Enning


National Roles and International Initiatives: Canada's Engagement as an Elected Member of the United Nations Security Council

(Supervisors: Manuel Fröhlich, Trier / Ursula Lehmkuhl, Trier)

Since the establishment of the United Nations, Canada has served six terms as a non-permanent member at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC): in 1948, 1958, 1967, 1977, 1989 and 1999. During these two-year terms, Canadian representatives increasingly developed an interest in agendas such as active conflict mediation, peacekeeping, disarmament, reform of the UN sanctions regime, multilateralism and human security.

Although Canada is among the member states with the most non-permanent memberships at the UNSC (only seven countries have served more terms), studies on Canadian UNSC terms are still small in number. We have some knowledge about Canada’s position during its first term at the UNSC (Dunton 2020; Mackenzie 2009) and the prominent term of 1999-2000 (Riekhoff 2002), during which Canadian actors supported human security and the emergence of the responsibility to protect norm. We have some historical overviews across the terms (Chapnick 2012; 2019). However, we do not yet have systematic comparisons between the thematic focus points of these terms as well as the related election campaigns. Similarly, the literature on Canada as a ‘middle power’ is comprehensive, although the term has been criticised in later works (Chapnick 2000; 2013; Cooper 2015; Holmes 2015; Hynek and Bosold 2010; Murray 2013; Murray and McCoy 2010; Welsh 2010). This leaves room to move beyond the broad middle power concept by looking at issue-specific strategies in Canadian foreign policy.

This project argues that to understand strategic Canadian international engagement at the UNSC, a closer look at what roles Canada plays on the UNSC stage is helpful. By doing this, we can examine how Canada presents itself during the election campaigns and the term itself. Broad designations as ‘middle power’ cannot account for the complexity and issue-specificity of Canadian strategic engagement at the UNSC. Role theory offers a variety of approaches and a conceptual tool kit to examine what images of and expectations for Canadian foreign policy in specific issue areas emerge, both in Canada and internationally. The projects asks: how did roles shape and inform Canadian UNSC campaigns and terms? What elements and dynamics informed these negotiation processes? The goal is not to explain a specific foreign policy but to identify gradations of role performance in Canadian foreign policy at the UNSC, to explore how role conceptions develop and change over time and how they become more or less central. Using these concepts, the project traces Canadian role dynamics in the context of three particularly active terms as a non-permanent member of the UNSC (1977-78, 1989-90 and 1999-00) and the respective election campaigns.


Chapnick, Adam (2000): “The Canadian Middle Power Myth”, in: International Journal 55 (2), 188-206.
Chapnick, Adam (2012): “A Great Small Country on the International Scene: Looking back at Canada and the United Nations”, in: International Journal 67 (4), 1063-1072.
Chapnick, Adam (2013): “Middle Power No More? Canada in World Affairs Since 2006”, in: Journal of Diplomacy & International Relations 14 (2), 101-110.
Chapnick, Adam (2019): Canada on the United Nations Security Council: A small power on a large stage (Vancouver/Toronto: UBC Press).
Cooper, Andrew F. (2015): “Beyond the middle power model: Canada in a reshaping global order”, in: South African Journal of International Affairs 22 (2), 185-201.
Dunton, Caroline (2020): “Willing to serve: Empire, status, and Canadian campaigns for the United Nations Security Council (1946–1947)”, in: International Journal: Canada's Journal of Global Policy Analysis 75 (4), 529-547.
Holmes, John W. (2015): “Most Safely in the Middle”, in: Duane Bratt/Christopher J. Kukucha (eds.), Readings in Canadian foreign policy: Classic debates & new ideas (Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press), 42-54.
Hynek, Nikola/David Bosold (eds.) (2010): Canada's foreign and security policy: Soft and hard strategies of a middle power (Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press).
Mackenzie, Hector (2009): “Knight Errant, Cold Warrior or Cautious Ally? Canada on the United Nations Security Council, 1948–1949”, in: Journal of Transatlantic Studies 7 (4), 453-475.
Murray, Robert W. (2013): “Middlepowermanship and Canadian Grand Strategy in the 21st Century”, in: Journal of Diplomacy & International Relations 14 (2), 89-99.
Murray, Robert W./John McCoy (2010): “From Middle Power to Peacebuilder: The Use of the Canadian Forces in Modern Canadian Foreign Policy”, in: American Review of Canadian Studies 40 (2), 171-188.
Riekhoff, Harald von (2002): “Canada and the United Nations Security Council, 1999–2000 – a reassessment”, in: Canadian Foreign Policy Journal 10 (1), 71-106.
Welsh, Jennifer M. (2010): “Canada and the World: Beyond Middle Power”, in: John C. Courtney/David E. Smith (eds.), The Oxford handbook of Canadian politics (New York: Oxford University Press), 361-377.


Since 2019
Doctoral Candidate at IRTG Diversity
04/2017 - 05/2019
M.A. Democratic Policy & Communication, University of Trier
2016 - 2017
Study of Journalism, Cologne School of Journalism
2014 - 2015
Studies at the College of International Relations of Ritsumeikan University Kyoto
2012 - 2016
B.A. Political Science/Ethnology, Albert-Ludwigs University Freiburg

Work Experience

Trainee, German Embassy Rome
10/2017 - 09/2018
Research Assistant at the International Research Training Group IRTG Diversity at the University of Trier
09/2017 - 02/2018
Voluntary Project Manager: Excursions for international students of the University of Trier
10/2015 - 09/2016
Voluntary editor and moderator of the university radio station uniFM, Unicross Freiburg


(co-authored with Manuel Fröhlich) "Ein Spiegel deutscher UN-Politik", in: Vereinte Nationen 71 (4), 147-153.
"The Simultaneity of Non-simultaneous Sovereignty Conceptions and Rapid Norm Change at the United Nations General Assembly Debates on R2P", in: Charlotte Kaiser/Ouennassa Khiari/Viktoria Sophie Lühr (eds.), Temporalities of Diversity – Temporalités de la diversité – Zeitlichkeiten der Vielfalt. Diversity / Diversité / Diversität Vol. 6 (Münster: Waxmann), 89-112.
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