by Stephen M. Saideman
The time has come to roll out the Canadian Defence and Security Network. We have been working on funding the CDSN for several years, so we are elated and just a wee bit anxious. We have built an excellent team of scholars and defence scientists to lead the effort and already have a terrific staff to do much of the heavy lifting and day-to-day management. In addition to that, we have so many partners in a variety of sectors in Canada and beyond who strengthened our application through the commitments they have made. I am so very grateful for the work done thus far and the work to be done by our leadership team (David Bercuson, JC Boucher, Andrea Charron, Irina Goldenberg, Phil Lagassé, Anessa Kimball, Alex Moens, Alan Okros, Stéphane Roussel, Stéfanie Von Hlatky, and Srdjan Vucetic),* the folks at CDSN HQ (Jeffrey Rice, Melissa Jennings, Alvine Nintai), the people at NPSIA, our dean (Andre Plourde), grants facilitator extraordinaire (Kyla Reid), other folks at Carleton including our VP for Research (Rafik Goubran), and our partners and participants. I look forward to working with these terrific people along with others who join our efforts.
* Note we have plenty of Francophones on our leadership team that will help compensate for my being linguistically lame. While my blog here is unilingual, we will try to make sure that much of our stuff will be accessible in both official languages.
Of course, as you are reading this, you are asking yourself: what is the Canadian Defence and Security Network and what is it supposed to do?
It is a partnership involving academics at both civilian and military universities, units within the Canadian Armed Forces, elements of the Department of National Defence, think tanks, advocacy organizations, a survey firm, and more. We have a set of common objectives:
- To create a coherent, world-class research network.
- To advance our understanding of defence and security issues.
- To tailor research initiatives to provided evidence-based knowledge to inform policy-making
- To facilitate the transfer of knowledge and data across various divides.
- To improve the defence and security literacy of Canadians (and beyond).
- To build the next generation of experts with an emphasis on equity, diversity and inclusion.
How will we reach those objectives? The CDSN will focus on five themes to coordinate research efforts–military personnel, defence procurement, operations, civil-military relations, and security–while also providing resources via our headquarters to assist its members and its partners to collaborate and amplify their work.
To provide an example, one can imagine an event organized by scholars in Kingston or Calgary. The CDSN Headquarters (based at CSIDS at NPSIA) will help provide contacts to reach out beyond the networks of the organizers, assist if grant-writing is required, will help publicize the event through the CDSN’s social media efforts (yes, we have some experience in that stuff) including a blog, twitter account, and podcast, and then after the event, provide a repository for the data generated, the papers and policy briefs that are produced and spread the findings via our website.
Please note, despite our years of prep work, we are very much a work in progress. We are officially launching the CDSN on May 24th, and our first major event will be the Kingston Conference on International Security (KCIS) in early June. While that event has been a great conference involving not just Queens’s Centre for International and Defence Policy but also the NATO Defence College and the US Army War College’s Strategic Studies Institute and various CAF elements, we hope that the CDSN will help KCIS have a broader reach across Canada, and it will probably provide our first podcast content! We will also be supporting the Women in International Security-Canada Annual Workshop later in June.
For our first year, we will be focusing mostly on developing our infrastructure and figuring out how to help the various members of the CDSN community. In years 2-7, we will have thematic workshops on our five areas of research; book workshops for junior scholars; post-docs; surveys of the Canadian public; network analyses; summer training institutes for scholars, military officers and policy officers; an annual conference; defence fellowships for military officers; and capstone events that will bring the best young presenters from events across Canada together to present to defence policy-makers.
Our twitter account is: https://twitter.com/CdsnRcds. The website will be populated as time goes on, and we will certainly have facebook, instragram and other social media accounts that we will be announcing over the next few months. Our logos are a work in progress, but this is what we have thus far:
If you are interested in joining our efforts or have questions, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.