Events

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Jan
20
Mon
2020
Film Screening: MLK: A Call to Conscience
Jan 20 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

A free public screening to mark Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. day. The documentary, “A Call to Conscience”, gives greater insight into Dr. King’s civil rights and anti-war views and deconstructs his most important but least known speech “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break the Silence”. This powerful film puts Dr. King’s legacy into a contemporary context, particularly in light of the new Poor People’s Campaign, the Black Lives Matter movement and the ongoing wars in the Middle East. The film includes rare archival footage and interviews with pre-eminent King scholar Dr. Clayborne Carson, academic Dr. Cornel West, African-American historian Dr. Vincent Harding, & Institute for Policy Studies fellow Phyllis Bennis. The screening will be followed by a discussion, led by Tamara Lorincz, about nonviolent resistance, social justice and peace activism in this current era of the climate emergency and the Trump presidency. Copies of Dr. King’s speech will be made available.
Co-hosted by the BSIA Conflict & Security Research Cluster, PACS-CAN and KW Peace.

Jan
21
Tue
2020
Moving Beyond ‘Slavery Scandals’: Reflecting on Global Fish Work
Jan 21 @ 11:30 am – 1:00 pm

Photo credit: Melissa Marschke and Peter Vandergeest
Since 2014 governance initiatives in fisheries have been forced to respond to the outbreak of ‘slavery scandals’ concerning working conditions on fishing vessels, particularly in Thailand. These scandals are framed through a simplified narrative that invokes slavery, human trafficking and fisheries crime, dramatic narratives being successful in making the often extremely dangerous and difficult working conditions found in off-shore fishing visible. However, these slavery narratives do not fit well with the grounded and often ambiguous legalities and illegalities found in industrial fishing, and provide poor guidance towards improving these working conditions. Our research flags how little is understood about migrant labour on the high seas, and how poor working conditions persist far beyond mainland Southeast Asia. In this talk we take up these issues drawing on fisheries research based in Thailand and Taiwan, both of which rely almost entirely on migrant workers from Southeast Asia as their workforce.
About the speakers
Melissa Marschke is an Associate Professor at the School of International Development and Global Studies at the University of Ottawa. She is currently involved in research projects examining (a) work across the seafood sector, and (b) sand livelihoods, with a geographical focus on Southeast Asia (but more recently she has become interested in seafood in Canada and the Caribbean).
Peter Vandergeest is Professor of Geography at York University. His current research is concerns working conditions and labour relations in the commercial fishing industry, focussing on migrant workers and state jurisdiction across ocean spaces. Geographically his research is oriented to Taiwan and Southeast Asia, and he also maintains research on forest conservation in the latter region.

Jan
23
Thu
2020
In Conversation with Ambassador Rispal: Canada-France Relations in a Challenging World
Jan 23 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

Today’s world is more complex and uncertain. The 70-year-old world order is being challenged and questioned: what we take for granted – multilateralism , liberalism, free trade – are being put to the test.
In this challenging environment, how can France and Canada work together to address those issues, take a stand to defend and promote our values, develop trading relations and build a better future?
About the speaker
Minister Plenipotentiary First Class Kareen Rispal was named Ambassador of France in Ottawa by decree of the President of the Republic on April 20, 2017. She assumed her duties on June 22, 2017.
Holding a Master’s degree in Law and an alumnus of the Institut d’études politiques and the  École nationale d’administration, she joined the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1986. She began her service in Paris with the department responsible for atomic and space-related affairs before moving to the Economic and Financial Affairs Directorate. International and European Affairs Counselor with the Minister for Industry and Regional Development, she then joined in 1991 the staff of Bernard Kouchner, the Secretary of State responsible for humanitarian aid, as his technical advisor.
From 1993 to 1997, she was head of the External and Commercial Relations Department of the Secretariat-General of the Interministerial Committee for European Economic Cooperation before becoming the European Affairs Policy Officer at the Centre d’analyse et de prevision (CAP).
As Deputy Director of European Community Law and International Economic Law at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Legal Affairs Directorate from 1997 to 2000, she was then named First Counsellor at the Embassy of France in London.
In 2002, Noëlle Lenoir, Minister Delegate for European Affairs, chose Ms. Rispal to lead her staff. Ms. Rispal was then named Deputy Director of European Cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She moved to New York in 2006, first as First Counsellor at France’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations, then as Cultural Counsellor of the French Embassy and Permanent Representative of French universities in the United States.
Upon her return to France, from 2011 to 2014 she served as Director of Sustainable Development and Public Affairs with the Lafarge Group.
Serving as Director for the Americas and the Caribbean from 2014 to June 2017, Ms. Rispal is also the Senior Officer for Gender Equality with the Ministry of Affairs of Foreign Affairs and sits on the High Council for Equality between Men and Women.
As an Officer of the National Order of Merit, Chevalier of the Legion of Honour, and Chevalier of the Order of Agricultural Merit, Ms. Rispal presented her credentials to His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, on June 22, 2017.
Ms. Rispal is married and has four children.

Jan
28
Tue
2020
UNESCO Chair in Food, Biodiversity and Sustainability Studies Launch Event
Jan 28 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Join us for the launch of the UNESCO Chair in Food, Biodiversity and Sustainability Studies.
Wilfrid Laurier University Professor Alison Blay-Palmer has been named United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Chair in Food, Biodiversity and Sustainability Studies. Led in Canada by the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, the prestigious UNESCO Chairs program promotes international inter-university cooperation in key priority areas for the agency. The chair program involves more than 781 institutions in 116 countries. It includes relatively few Canadian English-language universities, making Blay-Palmer only the fourth Ontario scholar to participate in the program.
The launch will include remarks from Sébastien Goupil, Secretary-General of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, Deborah MacLatchy, President and Vice-Chancellor of Wilfrid Laurier University, Jonathan Newman, Vice-President Research, Wilfrid Laurier University, Ann Fitz-Gerald, Director BSIA and Chairholder Blay-Palmer. Remarks will be followed by a reception.
Click here for more details about the event, the UNESCO Chair and to register.

Jan
31
Fri
2020
Canadian Political Economy: Cutting Edge Issues and Debates
Jan 31 @ 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

This special workshop will introduce the forthcoming book Canadian Political Economy (Heather Whiteside, ed., University of Toronto Press) and will reflect on the field of Canadian Political Economy (CPE) more broadly. In the book, experts from a number of disciplinary backgrounds come together to explore Canada’s empirical political economy and the field’s contributions to theory and debate. Considering both historical and contemporary approaches to CPE, the contributors pay particular attention to key actors and institutions, as well as developments in Canadian political-economic policies and practices, explored through themes of changes, crises, and conflicts in CPE. Offering up-to-date interpretations, analyses, and descriptions, Canadian Political Economy is accessibly written and suitable for students and scholars. Through 17 chapters, the book’s topics include theory, history, inequality, work, free trade and fair trade, co-operatives, banking and finance, the environment, indigeneity, and the gendered politics of political economy. Linking longstanding debates with current developments, this volume represents both a state-of-the-discipline and a state-of-the-art contribution to scholarship.
The workshop will feature eight of the chapter contributors, focusing on the following themes in CPE:
Angela Carter, Waterloo: resource exploitation and environmental concerns
Bryan Evans, Ryerson: public sector restructuring
Carlo Fanelli, York: urban processes
John Peters, Laurentian: rising inequality
Julie MacArthur, Auckland: social economy and co-operatives
Heather Whiteside, Waterloo: theory and debate
Peter Graefe, McMaster: social policy transformations
Stephen McBride, McMaster: continental integration
The workshop will ask where CPE is going, what’s missing, and what’s needed for future research. We look forward to audience participation and a lively discussion of issues both current and longstanding.

Feb
5
Wed
2020
Escaping the Frame: Migrant Workers (from Indonesia) in the Margins of Development (in Dubai)
Feb 5 @ 11:45 am – 1:00 pm

The Indonesian government focuses substantial and increasing regulatory attention on low-income overseas migrant workers during their pre-departure training and visa registration periods within Indonesia. Its migration apparatus is again active in managing and surveilling workers during their return journeys into the nation’s territory. However, the state’s migration apparatus tends to turn a blind eye to migrant workers while they are abroad. According to interviews with Indonesian migration officials, the lack of overseas capacity is entrenched in lack of infrastructure and resources, as well as geopolitical subordination to the states of labor recipient countries. For many migrant workers, this lack of state attention is not only a welcome relief, but indeed is actively sought through efforts to escape the gaze of both labor sending and receiving states. This talk examines migrants’ desires to escape state regulation in contrast with national rhetoric about the need to “strengthen state capacity” vis-à-vis migrants for the sake of development. It discusses the implications of this case for theorizing the postcolonial labor sending state’s role in transnational migration politics.
About the speaker
Rachel Silvey is a professor in the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto, and the Richard Charles Lee Director of the Asian Institute at the Munk School of Global Affairs. She received her Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Washington, Seattle, and a dual B.A. from the University of California at Santa Cruz in Environmental Studies and Southeast Asian Studies. Her research focuses on gender, labour and migration with a specialization in Indonesia. She has published in the fields of migration studies, cultural and political geography, gender studies, and critical development studies. Major funded research projects have focused on migration, gender, social networks, and economic development in Indonesia; immigration and employment among Southeast Asian-Americans; migration and marginalization in Bangladesh and Indonesia; religion, rights and migrant women workers in Saudi Arabia; labor sending states in the global care economy; and most recently the climate/migration nexus.

Feb
6
Thu
2020
Social Practices of Rule-Making for International Law in the Cyber Domain
Feb 6 @ 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

In 2013, despite deteriorating relations between Russia and the United States and increased global contention over cybersecurity issues, participating states in the First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly agreed on a landmark report endorsing the applicability of existing international law to state military use of information technology. Given these conditions, the timing of this agreement was surprising. Mark Raymond argues that state representatives engaged in a rule-governed social practice of applying old rules to new cases, and that the procedural rules governing this practice help to explain the existence, timing and form of the agreement. They also help to explain further agreements expressed in a follow-on report issued in 2015. The case study findings presented here demonstrate that social practices of rule-making are simultaneously rule-governed and politically contested, and that outcomes of these processes have been shaped by specialized rules for making, interpreting and applying rules. The effectiveness of procedural rules in shaping the outcome of a contentious, complex global security issue suggests that such rules are likely to matter even more in simpler cases dealing with less contentious issues.
About the speaker
Mark Raymond (@MRaymondonIR) is the Wick Cary Assistant Professor of International Security and Director of the Cyber Governance and Policy Center at the University of Oklahoma. He is an External Affiliate of the Ostrom Workshop at Indiana University, and a Fellow with the Center for Democracy and Technology, and was previously a Carnegie Fellow at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. He is the author of Social Practices of Rule-Making in World Politics (New York: Oxford University Press, 2019). His work appears in various academic journals including International Theory, Strategic Studies Quarterly, The Cyber Defense Review, the UC Davis Law Review, and the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs. He is also the co-editor of Organized Chaos: Reimagining the Internet (Waterloo, Canada: CIGI, 2014). He has served as a senior advisor to the United States Cyberspace Solarium Commission, testified before the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development, and participated in the UN Internet Governance Forum. His current research projects examine the politics of global rule-making, as well as Internet governance and cybersecurity governance. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto.

Feb
26
Wed
2020
The Politics of Immigration Detention in Canada and Spain
Feb 26 @ 11:45 am – 1:00 pm

Immigration detention represents one of the most extreme sanctions in response to entering or living in a country without legal status. Yet laws, political discourses and public debates construct different narratives to legitimize the use of detention as a reasonable and fair response to human mobility. Likewise, each country configures and modifies its immigration detention system as a result of a particular combination of socio-historical, political and economic factors, geopolitical dynamics and mutations in international migration patterns. In this talk, Dr. Ballesteros Pena will discuss how Spain and Canada configure and legitimize their immigration detention complexes. She situates her analysis within the context of the proliferation of different spaces, technologies, and practices of detention and containment of people on the move both in the Global North and in the Global South. Besides comparing the forms and practices of detention adopted by Spain and Canada, she also pays particular attention to the political rationalities that underpin the contrasts and/or similarities between the two countries.
About the speaker
Ana Ballesteros Pena is a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies, University of Toronto, Canada & Faculty of Law, University of A Coruña, Spain). She holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of Barcelona in Spain. Her PhD research analyzed female incarceration in the Spanish penitentiary system. Ana’s current research project Governmigration. Governing irregular immigration through detention: discourses and practices from an interdisciplinary approach analyzes the governance of irregular migrants and asylum seekers in Canada and Spain, paying particular attention to how migrants are governed in the community after detention.

Feb
27
Thu
2020
Varieties of Ignorance in Economic Policymaking
Feb 27 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

One of the puzzles that recent world events pose for scholars interested in the role of ideas and expertise in politics is the widespread and highly visible effort by many political leaders to cultivate certain kinds of willful ignorance. While we may be tempted to see this pattern as characteristic of a highly novel “post-truth” age, in this talk Dr Jacqueline Best wants to suggest that we take this troubling trend as an invitation to examine the role of ignorance more generally in political economic thinking and practice. When we look back at key moments in the history of economic policymaking, we find a variety of forms of ignorance, ranging from cluelessness to wishful thinking to outright denial. Drawing on some preliminary archival findings from her research on the early Reagan and Thatcher years, Dr Best will suggest that these different forms of ignorance were simultaneously destabilizing and productive. Focusing on the prevalence of ignorance complicates the rather teleological stories that many scholars tell about the early days of neoliberal theory and practice, highlighting the messiness and contingency of their efforts. At the same time, by examining these early moments, it becomes clear that some of these forms of ignorance were ultimately very useful in enabling policymakers to discount the political effects of their economic actions.
About the speaker 
Jacqueline Best is a Full Professor in the School of Political Studies at the University of Ottawa. Her research is at the intersection of international relations, political economy and social theory. She has been a visiting professor at University College, Oxford University, the University of Queensland and the University of Sheffield. Professor Best has been awarded a number of research prizes, including most recently the Leverhulme Trust’s international visiting professorship. She has recently published Governing Failure: Provisional Expertise and the Transformation of Global Development Finance with Cambridge University Press. She a currently co-editor of the journal, Review of International Political Economy.

Mar
5
Thu
2020
Informal International Relations (IIR): A Research Agenda
Mar 5 @ 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

This talk provides a conceptual framework and outlines a research agenda for studying informal dimensions of international relations. It argues that the concept of IIR offers a useful framework for studying unofficial aspects of international relations. The focus on informality directs attention of researchers to areas such as clientelist networks of international life which extant IR approaches are unable, and in some cases unwilling, to investigate. In addition, studying IR from the IIR perspective will open the space for fruitful dialogue between IR scholars and comparative political scientists who are already exploring informal politics at the domestic level. Finally, examining international relations from the vantage point of informality will make the IR field more inclusive as it will provide tools and discourses to capture nuances of international politics of societies in the Global South and Eastern Europe where numerous studies show informality shape even more strongly political behavior and outcomes.
About the speaker
Thomas Kwasi Tieku is an Associate Professor of Political Science in King’s University College at The University of Western Ontario (UWO) and a member of the Advisory Board of The Africa Institute at UWO. He is the former Director of African Studies at the University of Toronto where he won the Excellence of Teaching Award. He has also coordinated the Social Justice and Peace Studies (SJPS) program at King’s, served as the Lead Researcher at the Centre for International Governance Innovations (CIGI) and was 2017 Carnegie Fellow at the University of Ghana, Legon. Thomas’ current research, which is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), focuses on informal international relations, conflict mediation, peacebuilding and international organizations. He has authored, co-authored or co-edited four (4) books and over twenty-eight (28) refereed journal articles and book chapters. Thomas’ latest single-authored book is Governing Africa: 3D Analysis of the Performance of African Union (Roman & Littlefield, 2018) and co-edited book (with Katharine Coleman) is African Actors in international Security (Lynne Rienner, 2018). He has served as a consultant to a number of organizations and governments, including the World Bank Group, the UN, African Union, and Government of Canada.

Mar
6
Fri
2020
Global Turbulence: Challenges for Canada and Modern Diplomacy
Mar 6 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

About the speaker
Senator Peter M. Boehm holds a PhD in History from the University of Edinburgh, a Master of Arts in International Affairs from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University and a Bachelor of Arts in English and History from Wilfrid Laurier University.
He was Deputy Minister for the G-7 Summit and Personal Representative of the Prime Minister (Sherpa) from July 2017, until his retirement from the Public Service in September 2018. Peter Boehm had previously been Deputy Minister of International Development, Associate, and, subsequently, Senior Associate Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. From 2013 to 2017, he concurrently served as Sherpa for the G-8 and subsequent G-7 Summits, as well as the Nuclear Security Summit.
A former career foreign service officer, he served as Ambassador to Germany from 2008 to 2012 and previously as Assistant Deputy Minister for the Americas, North America and Consular Affairs. Abroad, he was Minister (political and public affairs) at the Embassy of Canada to the United States in Washington and Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States. He has held a variety of diplomatic positions including assignments in Cuba and Costa Rica.
He was National Summit Coordinator for the Santiago and Quebec Summits of the Americas, Special Envoy for the Organization of American States Democratization Mission in Peru and Personal Representative (Sherpa) of the Prime Minister for the Summit of the Americas in Mar del Plata in 2005. From 2005 to 2008, he was the senior official responsible for the annual North American Leaders’ Summit.
He was appointed to the Senate of Canada, representing the province of Ontario in October 2018.

Jun
1
Mon
2020
Transforming Urban Food Systems in Africa (TUFSA) Workshop
Jun 1 @ 8:00 am – Jun 2 @ 5:00 pm

By invitation only
The workshop is a response to the fact that countries across Africa are rapidly transitioning from rural to urban societies. The UN projects that 60% of people living in Africa will be in urban areas by 2050, with the urban population on the continent tripling over the next 50 years. The challenge of building inclusive and sustainable cities in the context of rapid urbanization is arguably the critical development issue of the 21st Century and creating food secure cities is key to promoting health, prosperity, equity, and ecological sustainability. The expansion of Africa’s urban population is taking place largely in secondary cities: these are broadly defined as cities with fewer than half a million people that are not national political or economic centres. The implications of secondary urbanization have recently been described by the Cities Alliance as “a real knowledge gap”, requiring much additional research not least because it poses new intellectual challenges for academic researchers and governance challenges for policy-makers.
International researchers coming from multiple points of view including food studies, urban studies, and sustainability studies, are starting to heed the call for further research into the implications for food security of rapidly growing secondary cities in Africa. The workshop will convene these researchers to observe broad trends and compare case studies from eleven countries (Senegal, Ghana, Cameroon, Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Zambia). The workshop will consist of interdisciplinary presentations by scholars, faculty, post-doctoral fellows and graduate students that elucidate the past, present and future dimensions of transforming food systems in Africa’s secondary cities and how household food security is shaped by these systems.