The Canadian Foreign Policy Journal (CFPJ) is a fully peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journal published three times a year by the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA) at Carleton University, in Ottawa, Canada.

The full article is available on the CFPJ website: Canada through the eyes of Southeast Asia: positive perceptions, shallow understandings


As Canada looks to deepen its ties with Southeast Asia, it needs to gain public support from the region. But how do ordinary Southeast Asians view Canada? Using original survey data from social media users in seven Southeast Asian countries, I find that Southeast Asians generally have a positive impression of Canada. However, they do not have a clear understanding of Canada, or of its current and potential engagement in Southeast Asia. There are also significant variations in perceptions of Canada from country to country, which may be correlated to the degree of democratic development in each country. These findings have implications for the implementation of Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy. First, Southeast Asians’ favorable disposition towards Canada is encouraging. It suggests that Southeast Asians are receptive to fostering closer ties with Canada. Second, the cross-national variation indicates that engagements with individual Southeast Asian countries, including public diplomacy efforts, can and should be tailored accordingly, as opposed to untargeted regional engagement.

About the Canadian Foreign Policy Journal

[CFPJ is a peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journal published three times a year by the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA) at Carleton University. Established in 1992, CFPJ is Canada’s leading journal of international affairs. The journal’s international advisory and editorial boards reflect diverse political, disciplinary and professional perspectives. Contributors are drawn from Canada and around the world. Essays are fully referenced, peer-reviewed, authoritative yet written for the specialist and non-specialist alike.  Its readers include government officials, academics, students of international affairs, journalists, NGOs and the private sector. Details regarding submitting articles commentaries and review essays to the Journal can be found here:]

About the Author

Isabel Chew is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of British Columbia.

Photo via Adam Scotti (PMO)

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