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Keywords:

  • Globalization;
  • cultural diplomacy;
  • cultural insecurity;
  • Canadian foreign policy;
  • cultural policy

A content analysis of material generated by the 1994–1995 foreign policy review process in Canada was conducted in an effort to understand how culture came to be officially constituted as the third pillar of Canadian foreign policy. The analysis showed significant differences among actors in terms of modes of legitimization of cultural diplomacy. State agents, by refusing to consider culture as a referent object in a broadened notion of security and by assimilating it into a system of civic values, resisted pressures from academics and groups that favored introducing societal conceptions of culture as relevant for the making of foreign policy. The result is nevertheless a new, albeit defensive and still ambiguous, form of implication of foreign policy in the cultural mission of the state in Canada.