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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.

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.

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.

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.

International Women’s Day Panel: Migration Research in the Field
Mar 9 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

In honour of International Women’s Day, the IMRC will hold a lunch and panel discussion by current graduate students on their experiences working and conducting research in the field as women and with women. Participants and themes include:
Lana Gonzalez Balyk, “Reflecting on Research in Ecuador.” Lana touches on the context of Colombian refugees in Ecuador, and then describes and discusses the warm welcomes and frank chats that she experienced with research participants. She concludes that little has changed for them, and that the situation of Colombian refugees in Ecuador goes increasingly unnoticed due the recent large scale displacement of Venezuelans (a focus of her doctoral research).
Allison Petrozziello, “TBD.”
Monica Romero, “Erasing boundaries between the researcher and research participants: interviewing asylum seekers in Canada.” This talk will focus on the issues emerging from interviewing and doing participant observation with asylum seekers in Ontario, particularly how asymmetrical relations and self-reflexivity can counter hierarchies of power.
Yazgulu Sezgin, “Syrian refugees in Turkey and protection mechanisms available for Syrian women.” In her talk, Yazgulu focuses on the gaps and challenges faced by Syrian refugee women in Turkey and protective as well as preventative mechanisms of sexual and gender-based violence. Additionally, she discusses good practices aiming to promote gender equality among refugee communities.

An Inconvenient Ukraine
Mar 10 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

Ukraine is all over the news – corruption, comedians, Capitol Hill, conflict. You think you know Ukraine? Think again. Join us for a talk and conversation with Jill Sinclair from the Department of National Defence.
About the speaker
Ms. Jill Sinclair is currently serving as Canadian Reform Advisor to the Ukrainian Minister of Defence. Ms. Sinclair is a former Assistant Deputy Minister with the Department of National Defence (DND) and former Executive Director, Directorate of Strategic Concepts, Leadership and Engagement at the Canadian Defence Academy, as the Canadian representative to the Ukrainian Defence Reform Advisory Board (DRAB). Ms. Sinclair served as Assistant Deputy Minister (Policy) with the Department of National Defence between 2008 and 2014. Prior to this, she had an extensive career with the Privy Council Office and the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Smuggling, Trafficking and Extortion: New Conceptual and Policy Challenges on the Libyan Route to Europe
Mar 12 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

This talk contributes a conceptual and empirical reflection on the relationship between human smuggling, trafficking and kidnapping and extortion in Libya. It is based on qualitative interview data with Eritrean asylum seekers in Italy. Different tribal regimes control separate territories in Libya, which leads to different experiences for migrants depending on which territory they enter, such as Eritreans entering in the southeast Toubou controlled territory. Dr. Triandafyllidou puts forth that the kidnapping and extortion experienced by Eritreans in Libya is neither trafficking, nor smuggling, but a crime against humanity orchestrated by an organized criminal network. The talk will detail this argument and discuss the implications offering some insights from the practice of Italian courts.
About the speaker
Anna Triandafyllidou holds the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Migration and Integration at Ryerson University, Toronto. Prior to taking up the CERC at Ryerson in August 2019, Triandafyllidou was based in Florence, Italy, where she held a Robert Schuman Chair at the European University Institute and directed the Cultural Pluralism Research Area as part of the European University Institute’s Global Governance Programme. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies since 2013.
Her recent books include: Migration and Globalisation Handbook (Ed., Edward Elgar Publishing, 2018); The Problem of Religious Diversity: European Challenges, Asian Approaches (Eds. with T. Modood, Edinburgh University Press, 2018); Multicultural Governance in a Mobile World (Ed., Edinburgh University Press, 2018); Global Governance from Regional Perspectives (Ed., Oxford University Press, 2017); The Routledge Handbook of Immigration and Refugee Studies (Ed., Routledge, 2016). She is the author of What is Europe? (with R. Gropas, Palgrave, 2015), Migrant Smuggling: Irregular Migration from Asia and Africa to Europe (with T. Maroukis, Palgrave, 2015) and Immigrants and National Identity in Europe (Routledge, 2001).
She is currently completing a new book on Migration, Globalisation and the Nation.

Current Trends in Terrorism and Insecurity in South Asia
Mar 19 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

South Asia is especially affected by the scourge of terrorism, with countries like Afghanistan, India and Pakistan listed among the top ten in the world. Although the current terrorism landscape is shaped by Islamist militancy, there are existing territorial disputes and ethnic conflicts that also flare up and develop a complex web of insecurity in the region.
The leading terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda, the Islamic State, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and the Taliban intend to pursue their respective goals in South Asian countries, ranging from establishing a caliphate to liberating territories. To pursue these objectives they compete as well as operate flexibly to accommodate each other. However, instead of the affected states devising common counterterrorism strategies, they adopt varying models that at times prove counter-productive to the neighboring states. This situation, in turn, intensifies insecurity among the neighboring states and provides more advantage for terrorist groups to leverage. In the absence of effective transnational cooperation, Afghanistan, India and Pakistan continue to endure the menace of terrorism.
This lecture will address the current terrorism trends in South Asia, the challenges posed, and the counterterrorism approaches adopted by the individual countries in the region.
About the speaker
Dr Dalbir Ahlawat, Department of Security Studies and Criminology, Macquarie University, Australia.
Dr Ahlawat has broad experience of working with government agencies and academic institutions. He has worked as an Honorary Associate with Macquarie University, Visiting Fellow with the University of New South Wales, and Center Associate with the University of Pittsburgh-USA. In addition, he has worked in collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and International Organization for Migration.
Dr Ahlawat has over 15 years experience in conducting research on topics related to strategic and security issues. He has worked in/on Latin American countries, the United States, Africa, Asia and Australia. Based on the research outcomes, he has published three books and more than 20 research papers in journals, edited books and think tank publications. In addition to his research and publications, he has wide experience of research supervision that include PhD and Post Graduate research projects supervision.
Co-hosted with the Department of Criminology, Wilfrid Laurier University, Brantford Campus

Thinking Itself is Dangerous: Reading Hannah Arendt Now
Mar 19 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

What can Hannah Arendt’s life and work teach us about our present political moment? Arendt scholar Samantha Rose Hill will talk about the renewed interest in Hannah Arendt’s work, and why we should be reading Arendt now to better understand the politics of today.
In the wake of Donald Trump’s presidency, and the rise of illiberalism world-wide, many have turned to the work of Hannah Arendt, a twentieth-century German Jewish political thinker, to understand our contemporary political moment. Since 2016, Arendt’s 1951 The Origins of Totalitarianism has been selling at record numbers. Nearly 600 pages long, Origins distils the various elements of totalitarianism, like the collapse between truth and fiction, the breakdown of the rule of law, the privatization of public goods, the decline of the nation-state, the rise of mass homelessness, rootlessness, loneliness, and the need for solitude.
How can Arendt’s work in Origins and one of her other masterpieces, The Human Condition from 1958, help us understand our contemporary political moment? How have our political conditions changed in the 21st century? How has digital media technology transformed social relations? Is it possible to stop and think about what we are doing today? Hannah Arendt’s work is not a roadmap into the future, but it can help us orient ourselves to the present political crises and, perhaps in the process, teach us to love the world.
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This event is presented in cooperation with the departments of Philosophy and Germanic & Slavic Studies at the University of Waterloo, and the Balsillie School of International Affairs.

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.