Centre for International and Defence Policy

Queen's University
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Centre for International and Defence Policy
Centre for International and Defence Policy

Core Research at CIDP

Canadian Foreign and Defence Policy
Research Lead:  Professor Kim Richard Nossal

Foreign and defence decisions and objectives always have a domestic context. In Canada and in other countries, policy outcomes are affected by economic interests, public opinion, strategic culture, and the defence procurement process. Canadian interests and values also influence the pursuit of foreign and defence policy objectives through alliances and organizations such as NATO and NORAD. Finally, Canada’s bilateral relationship with the United States has always had a major impact on the policy choices of the government in Ottawa.

Research Questions:

  • What are the key factors that influence the contours of Canadian foreign and defence policy decisions?
  • What is Canada's role in global peacekeeping, peace enforcement, and warfighting and how is that role shaped by both domestic and global factors?
  • How does strategic culture affect Canada’s defence policy?

CIDP Experts:

  • Dr. Christian Breede:  Canada in Afghanistan
  • Dr. Jane Boulden:  Canadian national security, the United Nations
  • Dr. David Haglund:  Strategic culture, US-Canada relations
  • Dr. Houchang Hassan-Yari:  International defence policy
  • Dr. Stéfanie von Hlatky:  Defence policy, NATO
  • Dr. Chris Kilford:  Canadian-Turkish relations
  • Dr. Christian Leuprecht:  Canadian national security
  • Dr. Sean Maloney:  Canada in Afghanistan
  • Dr. Kim Richard Nossal:  Foreign policy, defence procurement, US-Canada relations
  • Dr. Joel Sokolsky:  Defence policy, strategic culture, US-Canada relations
  • Dr. Randall Wakelam:  Canadian defence policy

Regional Security Policy
Research Lead:  Dr. Jane Boulden

With rapidly changing security environments, constant analysis and research is required to inform policy makers, scholars, and students about regional trends. A number of fellows at the CIDP are engaged in research projects focused on regional security and regional transformation, ranging from the engagement of Canada in the Middle East and Asia to Iranian domestic politics and how these affect foreign policy choices in Ottawa.

Research Questions:

  • What factors contribute to regional instability?
  • Who are some of the emerging actors shaping regional transformation?
  • How do transnational groups affect regional security dynamics?

CIDP Experts:

  • Dr. Jane Boulden:  United Nations security in AfricaDr. Hassan-Yari--Iran and the Middle East
  • Dr. Brister:  East Asia
  • Dr. Dizboni:  Middle East
  • Dr. Andrew Grant:  Resource conflicts and mining in AfricaDr. Cox--Kurdish conflict in Turkey and Syria.
  • Dr. Oded Haklai:  Middle East and ethnic nationalism
  • Dr. Bruce Gilley:  East Asia
  • Dr. Nossal:  Canada, Australia, and the Middle East
  • Dr. Charles Pentland:  European Union
  • Dr. Stéfanie von Hlatky:  North America and Europe

Culture and the the Human Dimension of War and Military Operations
Research Lead:  Dr. Allan English

Culture reflects important assumptions, values, and aims that generate organizationally acceptable behaviours. It has been called “the bedrock of military effectiveness” because it influences everything an armed service does. Culture also affects research into the Human Dimension of War by influencing what questions can be asked, what research is considered “appropriate,” how evidence is gathered and interpreted, and finally what conclusions are deemed to be acceptable within a given culture. Fellows at the CIDP are at the forefront of analyzing how military culture is central to understanding the human dimension of war and military operations, particularly issues of physical and mental health, gender, combat motivation, and military personnel generation.

Research Questions:

  • How are gender dynamics, including the integration of women in combat roles, transforming military culture?:
  • How do combat motivations vary across different military institutions?
  • What factors affect trust within military units, and how does trust impact operational effectiveness?
  • What are the ethical, moral and legal ramifications of pursuing human performance enhancement in the military?

CIDP Experts:

  • Dr. Allan English:  Military culture; effects of culture on ethical military behaviour on operations 
  • Dr. Stéphanie Bélanger​
  • Dr. H. Christian Breede:  Human enhancement, soldiers and society
  • Dr. Robert Engen:  Combat motivation, health, and disease in armed forces
  • Dr. Christian Leuprecht:  Diversity in security organizations
  • Dr. Stéfanie von Hlatky:  Gender in armed forces, NATO’s Women, Peace and Security initiatives

Radicalization and Extremism
Research Lead:  Lieutenant-Colonel Patrick O'Halloran CD, PhD.

One of the dominant contemporary national and global security challenges is violent extremism and terrorism. Violent extremism is defined as encouraging, condoning, justifying, or supporting the commission of a violent act to achieve political, ideological, religious, social, or economic goals. The complexities of violent extremism need to be systematically analyzed so as to improve our understanding of causal mechanisms linking radicalization, extremism and terrorism, and to permit the development of effective counter-extremism and counter-terrorism policies, strategies and activities. Efforts to prevent the process of radicalization to violence have to be multi-sectoral, society wide and international if we are to prevent extremism from taking root.

Research Questions:

  • How can we reduce the risk of individuals succumbing to violent extremism and radicalization?
  • What are the assumptions about pathways to violent radicalization that inform their strategies and programs (outcomes, activities, output and resources)?
  • What are some valuable indicators of performance, success, and effectiveness of CVE programs, and what are the challenges pertinent to measurement and replication of program strategies and outcomes? 
  • What have been the societal perceptions and impacts of counter-terrorist initiatives?

CIDP Experts:

  • Lieutenant-Colonel Pat O’Halloran
  • Mr. Larry Brooks:  Intelligence, law enforcement and counterterrorism​
  • Dr. Ali Dizboni:  Counterterrorism
  • Dr. Christian Leuprecht:  Terrorism
  • Dr. Robert Martyn:  Insurgency and radicalization