NPSIA Well Represented at Upcoming Strategic Studies Conference at the University of Calgary

The Annual Strategic Studies Conference on “Global Security: Past, Present, and Future” at the University of Calgary’s Centre for Military and Strategic Studies (CMSS) is taking place on March 1-2. Three PhD students from NPSIA are presenting at the conference.

The annual conference is multidisciplinary and aims to stimulate discussions on a range of issues, both domestic and international. The conference acts as an open forum for public debate on topics ranging from terrorism and conflict prevention and management to arctic security and defence policy. The audience has also expanded to include students from all backgrounds and disciplines, current and retired military personnel, corporate representatives, and the general public.

The conference draws individuals from various professional and academic backgrounds while providing a stimulating and well-grounded exploration of contemporary and historical, and traditional and non-traditional security issues facing Canada and the world. By raising awareness of the most pressing and potentially pressing issues of the day, the conference empowers graduate students to inform, educate, and create continued interest in the strategic, defence, and security considerations shaping our national policy.

The two-day conference kicks off with an opening address by Dr. David Bercuson, the Director for the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies. Keynote speaker Dr. James Boutilier, the Asia-Pacific Advisor for the Maritime Forces Pacific Headquarters, will then deliver a talk titled “Alarming Uncertainties: 21st Century Challenges for Students of Global Security.” After his presentation, Dr. Boutilier will chair a panel on “Pacific Security in the 21st Century.”

Alejandro Pachon is a third year PhD student at NPSIA and will be presenting on the “Contemporary Dynamics of Civil Unrest” panel. His paper is entitled “Force and Turmoil. Towards a Theory of Armed Forces Behavior during Cycles of Mass Protest.” The paper focuses on the case of Tunisia and seeks to explore why the coercive apparatus of the state sometimes defects and decides to support the challengers of the regime.

Also presenting on the same panel is Marko Jovanovic who is beginning his PhD at NPSIA. He will be presenting his paper entitled “Invest, Divest, and Re-Invest: Extreme Interactions of Politics and Economics in the Global Political Economy during the Arab Spring.” The research presented examines the impact of economic sanctions on host nation economies through FDI in the resource extraction sector, using Libya as a case study. Overall, the paper addresses three broader issues: first, the wider international policy debate of the effectiveness of economic sanctions; second, the increasing relevance and scale of FDI flows in the 21st century global political economy due to continuing economic liberalization of local economies; and, third, Middle Eastern and North African countries strategic importance for global energy security and unique political risk challenges to inward FDI flow.

The final presenter from NPSIA is Joe Landry, a first year PhD student presenting on the “Human Security” panel. His paper is entitled “Understanding State Failure: A Two-Stage Empirical Analysis of the Influence of Exogenous Shock Events in Fragile States.” This empirical paper uses a two-stage large-N rare events logistic regression analysis to, 1) examine the structural causes of state fragility, and 2) determine the risk factors of state failure. It investigates how states at various levels of fragility respond to shock events such as terrorist attacks, natural disasters, economic shocks, and influxes of refugees. Findings indicate that high fragility scores lead to an increased propensity of state failure. Moreover, the study observes that the probability of state failure depends on the type of shock experienced. These results have key policy implications for international engagement in fragile states, indicating that greater attention must be paid to both the level of fragility and the nature of shock events in unstable environments.

We wish the best of luck to all of those representing NPSIA at this event!