This open-access book series honours and celebrates the intellectual legacy of John Wendell Holmes, one of Canada’s foremost diplomats and foreign policy educators.

In the words of his late colleague, John Halstead: “John Holmes had the knack of shedding new light on old truths, of going to the heart of the matter and of winning understanding for unpleasant facts with wit and elegance. His simplicity was never oversimplified and his objectivity was never offensive … Humility was his hallmark, tolerance was his touchstone and moderation was his motto.”

Holmes was trained in history. He used his understanding of the past, drawn from a combination of his personal experience in Canada’s Department of External Affairs and his comprehensive engagement in the relevant historiography, to offer thoughts and observations on the state of Canadian foreign policy and prospects for Canada’s future. Paradoxically, inasmuch as he was a traditionalist – a strong believer in the importance of personal diplomacy and the role of the state in the international realm – later in life Holmes found himself at the forefront of calls to embrace a more expansive understanding of global statecraft to include a variety of non-traditional threats to what is now known as human security.

Prospective authors are invited to submit manuscript proposals that consider Canada’s historical relationship to a major geographical region; an international organization or institution; or a significant issue in international relations or global governance. We are interested in comprehensive works of synthesis that integrate the wealth of new research on Canadian foreign policy that has been produced since Holmes’s passing.

Books must be no longer than 100,000 words (including notes), written in accessible prose. They should be drafted with the needs of Holmes’s traditional audiences – university undergraduates, foreign policy practitioners, and informed Canadians with an interest in foreign policy – in mind.

Authors whose proposals are accepted for the series will I have access to modest financial support. The funds can be applied towards research assistance, the publication process, and promotion efforts.

The series is sponsored by the Centre for International Governance Innovation with funding from the John Holmes Trust.

For detailed information on how to submit your proposal, please visit our Become an Author page. Questions and queries may be directed to