Is an event missing? Let us know at

Add these events to your calendar: iCal (.ics file, approx. 300 kBytes)

Researching Western Foreign Terrorist Fighters in Syria and Iraq
Sep 20 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

Lorne Dawson will provide a snapshot of the results of three years of research involving interviews with Westerners who have traveled to Syria and Iraq to support various jihadist groups, and the family members and friends of such fighters. He will discuss how this unique body of primary data is helping to develop a more refined understanding of who these foreign fighters are, how they became foreign fighters, and their motivations.
About the speaker
Lorne L. Dawson is a Professor in the Departments of Sociology and Legal Studies, and Religious Studies, at the University of Waterloo. He has written three books, edited four books, and published seventy academic articles and book chapters. Most of his research was in the sociology of religion, but work on why some religions become violent led to research on the process of radicalization leading to terrorism. He is the Project Director of the Canadian Network for Research on Terrorism, Security and Society (, and the Principal Investigator of a project studying Western foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq. In recent years he has published on various aspects of the role of religion in motivating religious terrorism, the social ecology of radicalization, and jihadist uses on the internet and social media. He makes numerous invited presentations to academic and government groups, and is frequently interviewed in the media about terrorism.

When Would Capitalism End? Marx’s Changing conception of the ‘Critique of Political Economy’
Sep 20 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

This event is sold out. To join the waitlist, click here. 
In recognition of Karl Marx’s 200th birthday, the Waterloo Centre for German Studies (WCGS) is honoured to welcome distinguished Professor Gareth Stedman Jones for the Grimm Lecture 2018. He is Professor of the History of Ideas at Queen Mary University of London and author of Karl Marx: Greatness and Illusion (2016).
In order to separate what is living from what is dead in Marx’s theory, it is necessary to separate Marx from ‘Marxism.’ Throughout the 20th century, Marxism has been associated with the assumption that capitalism would necessarily end in collapse. Engels certainly believed this. But was this Marx’s position? Marx’s thought changed. Professor Stedman Jones examines three phases in Marx’s picture of capitalism and how it might end – the period ending in the 1848 Revolutions, the period ending 1859, and the period 1864-1869. He concludes by examining Engels’ editing of Marx’s unfinished manuscript Capital.
For related reading/viewing about this lecture, visit the WCGS site.
The 2018 Grimm Lecture is co-sponsored by the Balsillie School of International Affairs, the Dean of Arts at the University of Waterloo, the departments of History, English, Sociology and Legal Studies, Philosophy, and the Global Engagement Program.

PhD Defence – Yes but No: Havana Peace Agreement’s Ambiguous Sway on Colombia’s Rural Development Policy
Sep 25 @ 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Andrés Garcia’s PhD defence.
Advisor: Jennifer Clapp
Committee: Reina Neudeldt, Derek Hall, Yasmine Shamsie
External Examiner: Cristina Rojas, Carlton University
.fusion-button.button-1 .fusion-button-text, .fusion-button.button-1 i {color:#ffffff;}.fusion-button.button-1 {border-width:0px;border-color:#ffffff;}.fusion-button.button-1 .fusion-button-icon-divider{border-color:#ffffff;}.fusion-button.button-1:hover .fusion-button-text, .fusion-button.button-1:hover i,.fusion-button.button-1:focus .fusion-button-text, .fusion-button.button-1:focus i,.fusion-button.button-1:active .fusion-button-text, .fusion-button.button-1:active{color:#ffffff;}.fusion-button.button-1:hover, .fusion-button.button-1:focus, .fusion-button.button-1:active{border-width:0px;border-color:#ffffff;}.fusion-button.button-1:hover .fusion-button-icon-divider, .fusion-button.button-1:hover .fusion-button-icon-divider, .fusion-button.button-1:active .fusion-button-icon-divider{border-color:#ffffff;}.fusion-button.button-1{width:auto;}Notice of Doctoral Dissertation Examination

Policy Analyst Recruitment and Development Program Information Session
Sep 25 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Natural Resources Canada has for the last few years organized a comprehensive, department-specific program to recruit policy analysts and economists. Through our Policy Analyst Recruitment and Development Program (PARDP), we are creating opportunities for creative, passionate and talented Canadians to make a contribution to the sustainable stewardship of natural resources at home and overseas.
As always, we are hoping to recruit a pool of highly motivated, energetic and analytically minded people at the Master’s or PhD level for our 2017-2018 campaign. Fields of study include: Economics, Statistics, Sociology, Agricultural Economics, Forest Economics, Resource Economics, Public Administration, Resource Management, Environmental Studies, or other related disciplines.
This information session will provide you with a quick overview of the program and the opportunities it presents for soon-to-be graduates like yourself. It is also an opportunity to ask any questions you might have to people that have successfully navigated the application process.
The link for this year’s competition can be found here:
The deadline for applications is October 8, 2018.

What’s Next for NAFTA… and North America? A Panel Discussion
Sep 26 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

The renegotiation of NAFTA has roared back into the headlines since late August. At this panel discussion, experts from CIGI, Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo will shed light on the talks and their implications for Canada, North America, and the world.
A light lunch will be served.
About the panelists
Hugo Perezcano Díaz is the deputy director of International Economic Law with the International Law Research Program (ILRP) and was previously a CIGI senior fellow with the ILRP. Prior to joining CIGI, he was an attorney and international trade consultant in private practice. Hugo worked for the Mexican government’s Ministry of Economy for nearly 20 years, serving as head of the trade remedy authority, and formerly as general counsel for international trade negotiations. Hugo was lead counsel for Mexico in investor-state dispute settlement cases under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and other international investment agreements.
Patricia Goff is Associate Professor and Chair of political science at Wilfrid Laurier University and Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), both in Waterloo, Ontario. She specializes in international political economy, international relations theory, and international organizations, with a particular interest in trade and the cultural capacity of international organizations. She is the author of Limits to Liberalization: Local Culture in a Global Market Place (Cornell University Press) and co-editor of Identity and Global Politics: Empirical and Theoretical Elaborations (with Kevin Dunn) and Irrelevant or Indispensable: The UN in the 21st Century (with Paul Heinbecker).
John Ravenhill is Director of the Balsillie School of International Affairs and Professor of Political Science at the University of Waterloo. His work has appeared in most of the leading journals of international relations including International Organization, World Politics, Review of International Political Economy and Review of International Studies. His most recent books are The Oxford Handbook of the International Relations of Asia (co-edited with Saadia Pekkanen and Rosemary Foot) and the fifth edition of Global Political Economy (both from Oxford University Press). In 2016, he received the International Studies Association’s International Political Economy Section’s Distinguished Scholar award.
Debora L. VanNijnatten is Professor, Political Science and North American Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, Associate Faculty with the Balsillie School of International Affairs, and Research Partner with the Great Lakes Policy Research Network  Her research and publications have focused on transboundary environmental governance in North America, Canada-U.S. environmental relations and Canada’s international environmental policy.

Re-Imagining Borders Technologies; Designing New Political Forms
Sep 27 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

This paper will explore the nature of an alter-politics emerging around borders and border walls. Much of the debate on borders – both academically and politically – has revolved around a dichotomy: whether they should be open, or closed. The open borders argument is about free and unfettered movement for all; and the closed borders argument suggests people should be able to create and maintain an inside and an outside. I will argue for an emerging speculative politics that imagines borders beyond this dichotomy, using different terms — such permeable, temporary, multi-layered; and different forms – such as welcome lounges, or flyways. I trace various political movements that are re-articulating the meaning of borders in theory and in practice, including the new sanctuary movement, while pushing anthropological methods into the speculative: how might we imagine, design and amplify some of these possible alternate political forms?
About the speaker
Miriam Ticktin is Associate Professor of Anthropology at The New School for Social Research. Her research has focused in the broadest sense on what it means to make political claims in the name of a universal humanity. She is the author of Casualties of Care: Immigration and the Politics of Humanitarianism in France (University of California Press, 2011) and In the Name of Humanity: The Government of Threat and Care (co-edited with Ilana Feldman, Duke University Press, 2010), along with many other articles and book chapters. She is a founding editor of the journal Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism and Development. Ticktin is currently at work on two related book projects: 1) a short book on innocence as a political concept, and how it produces an unending search for purity; 2) a book on practices of containment at the border, from border walls to spaces of quarantine.

Visible Yet Invisible: The Disciplinary Mechanism of Self-surveillance Among Undocumented South Asian Men in Rural Greece
Oct 4 @ 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

Photo credit: Reena Kukreja
“We go to the farm, work, and then come back to spend the rest of the time in the ‘dera’ (residence). We do not go anywhere else. This is the story of my life here for 12 years.”
“I feel like I am living in a prison without walls. I dare not step out of the dera for fear of police arresting me.”
– Undocumented South Asian male migrants
During the day, large groups of undocumented male migrants from India and Pakistan are visible as agricultural workers in the farmlands of rural Megara and Thiva regions of Greece. Come evening, their labouring bodies become totally invisible from the rural landscape. In this talk, Reena Kukregja relates the Foucauldian biopolitics of power and the disciplinary mechanism of self-surveillance to the contradictory  (non)presence of racialized labouring bodies of South Asian men in rural Greece. She draws upon interviews of South Asian male migrants there to reveal the processes through which the disciplinary mechanism of the state, exercised through the threat of arrests and deportations, works efficiently to make them conform to a certain set of societal behaviours, erase their presence from Greek public spaces, and extract productive labour efficiently from them. The invisible coercive power of the state’s gaze makes the men self-surveil and regulate their movements by ‘containing’ themselves in the residences after work. It also does away with the need for overt displays of punishment and disciplining. Further, the sequestering of the men in isolated physical spaces of residences or deras that are located in the farms of local Greek farmers reinforces their “othering,” and prevents local Greeks from building solidarity with them.
About the speaker
Reena Kukreja, an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Global Development Studies and Cultural Studies, Queen’s University, divides time between teaching, research, and filmmaking. She has directed several award-winning documentaries on rural women in India and South Asia. Her current research focuses on two strands of South Asian masculinities: the first examines the intersections of xenophobia, Islamophobia, securitization of citizenship, and border controls on undocumented South Asian male migrants in Greece; and the other examines the role of religion, caste, and political economy in shaping relational male identities and masculinity among lower classes of rural Indian men in contemporary North India. She has published in Modern Asian Studies and the Journal of Intercultural Studies. She is currently completing her book manuscript, Partial Truths, Negotiated Existences: Examining Dispossession of Matrimonial Choice in Cross-Region Marriages in India (Cornell University Press).

Canada’s Natural Resources: Let’s Not Abandon Our Strengths
Oct 25 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

It has become difficult to initiate natural resource extraction projects in Canada. Construction-aggregate mining in southern Ontario has been subject to unpredictable and cost-prohibitive regulation, as are major pipelines in western Canada. Natural gas development is prohibited in eastern Canada because of fear of fracking; fracked gas is thus imported from Pennsylvania. The cost to our economy is significant in terms of foregone tax revenue and lost opportunities for rural Canadians, who might not aspire to urban life, and for the country’s professional engineering and geoscientific communities, which are “high tech” players internationally.
About the speakers
Maurice Dusseault is a Professor, Engineering Geology at the University of Waterloo and a registered professional engineer in Alberta and Ontario. He frequently works with governments and industry as an advisor and instructor. He carries out research in petroleum geomechanics (drilling, hydraulic fracturing, reservoir geomechanics), and is a world expert on new production methods, deep waste sequestration in sedimentary basins, and reservoir geomechanics.
Richard Jackson is a Fellow at Geofirma Engineering and Adjunct Professor, Earth & Environmental Sciences at the University of Waterloo.

China in Africa: A Model for Africans or a New Colonialism?
Oct 26 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

There have been contacts between China and African states that extended over centuries. During the Cold War, China played a role supporting anti-colonial/anti-apartheid struggles across the continent. Since 1978, China has undergone a rapid process of modernization that catapulted the country into a leading role in international trade, investment, political influence, and even as a growing military power.
Nelson Mandela’s role in South African relations is of special interest, and his views on the People’s Republic of China are noteworthy.
As China’s role in the international system expands, Beijing’s relations with countries of the African continent continue to deepen. Against the context, a distinct but important question is whether or not the Chinese model of development can or even should be applied to African circumstances?
African views, both of governments and peoples vary widely, from a welcome embrace of an alternative to Western powers, particularly former colonial powers, to a resentment of Chinese trade dominance and investment policies.
The variance in views, raises yet another question: whether Sino-African relationship is one of equality or one that is manifested in what some have described as ‘neo-colonial’ policies that seek to extend and cement Chinese dominance of the region? Answers to this question will vary depending within the range of African countries, as well as polling undertaken on this point.
What is clear, however, the profile of China within Africa continues to rise, and there is reason to believe that China will maintain a high-profile, and even an expanded role on the African continent in the 21st century.
About the speaker
Professor Houlden is the Director of the China Institute, Professor of Political Science and Adjunct Professor of the Alberta School of Business at the University of Alberta. He has also served as a Governor of the International Development Research Centre’s (IDRC) Board of Governors and was a Member of the Government of Alberta’s Asia Advisory Council. He was born in Calgary, Alberta, and attended the University of Calgary where he received his B.A., and subsequently did graduate work at Carleton University in Ottawa, and at the University Nacional in Lima, Peru.
Professor Houlden joined the Canadian Foreign Service in 1976, and has served in the East Asian, China, Caribbean, Latin American and Defence Relations, and as Director of the Eastern and Southern African Divisions of the then Department of Foreign Affairs . Abroad he has been posted to Havana, Hong Kong (twice), Warsaw, Beijing (twice – most recently as Minister 2001-2004), and as Executive Director of the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei (2004-2006). While a Foreign Service officer, Prof. Houlden studied at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (1981-1983), and at the National Defence College in Kingston (1992-1993). Twenty-two of his years in the Canadian foreign service were spent working on Chinese affairs for the Government of Canada. His last assignment before joining the University of Alberta in 2008 was as Director General of the East Asian Bureau of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
Under Professor Houlden’s leadership, the China Institute has focused on contemporary China studies, with an emphasis on Canada’s trade, investment and energy linkages with the People’s Republic of China.
Professor Houlden has written two co-edited volumes on the South China Sea, published in 2012 and 2018. The Director is a frequent media commentator on Asian affairs, with Canadian, Chinese and other international news organizations.