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Support for international human rights has become an entrenched part of Canada's national mythology. Despite the gravity of human rights issues and how Canada appears to champion various causes, the role of human rights in Canadian foreign policy has received surprisingly little scrutiny.
In Why Canada Cares, Andrew Lui brings clarity to this under-explored part of Canada's identity. Lui provides a chronological and theoretically grounded analysis of human rights in Canadian foreign policy since 1945. He argues that while the country has rarely proven willing to sacrifice material advantage for international human rights causes, Canada has pursued human rights as part of a broader attempt to cement individual rights as the cornerstone of Canadian federalism and aimed to mitigate friction between the country's diverse social groups. In other words, international human rights were implemented as a way to express and establish an expansive vision of what Canadian society should look like in order to survive and flourish as a coherent and unified political entity. The first comprehensive, single-authored book on the topic, Why Canada Cares uncovers the foundations of Canada's international human rights policies and offers insight into their possibilities and limits.