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Queen's University

Centre for International and Defence Policy

People in Motion: Ethnic Diasporas and the Evolution of the Canada-US Security Community, 1861-2011

David Haglund


The bicentenary of the War of 1812 is nearly upon us.  During the next few years there will be much scholarly and policy reflection upon not just that war itself but also and especially upon the “long peace” that, ever since 1814, has characterized the general state of strategic relations between the North American neighbours.  Some scholars claim that their contemporary “security community” owes its very existence to the ability of leaders and publics of the two countries, as well as in Britain, to forge a new kind of transnational collective identity.  In so doing, it is said, they ensured not only that conflict between them would henceforth be an impossibility, but that the quality of their interstate relations would be on a decidedly higher plane than that of any other interstate relations – so high a plane, in fact, as to require being described as a “special relationship.”  Yet the quality of the affective ties between the North American countries has sometimes been strained as a result of activities associated with “ethnic diasporas” within North America, and this project examines the three most significant cases of diasporas, over the past century and a half, that have been said to possess significance for bilateral security relations, respectively the Irish-American, the German-American, and the North American Islamic diasporas. For more information, contact Professor Haglund...

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