Centre for International and Defence Policy

Centre for International and Defence Policy
Centre for International and Defence Policy

About the Centre for International and Defence Policy

The Centre for International and Defence Policy was established in 1975 as the Queen's Centre for International Relations under the directorship of Nils Ørvik.  Its mandate, then as now, was to conduct research in matters of national and international security and other aspects of international relations. It supports teaching in the field of security and defence and, through its publications and activities of its members, contributes to public debate on Canadian foreign and defence policy, and on issues of international peace and security. In 2011, the Centre's name was changed to reflect more clearly the range of its interests as a research unit in the School of Policy Studies at Queen's University.

Who We Are

The Centre's significant strengths in research come from the rich diversity of the Fellows attached to the Centre.  Most are drawn from units of Kingston's two universities: Policy Studies, Political Studies, and History at Queen's, and War Studies, History, and Politics and Economics at the Royal Military College of Canada.  The Centre has a number of External Fellows, and regularly hosts a number of post-doctoral fellows.  Among our Fellows are retired ambassadors, former senior government officials, and retired senior officers in the Canadian Armed Forces.

The Centre also hosts Visiting Defence Fellows from the Canadian Armed Forces, the U.S. Army, and the Bundeswehr,the German defence force.  These officers bring a fresh, practical and international perspective to the work of the Centre. 

What We Do

Kingston Conference on International Security

The Centre partners with the Land Force Doctrine and Training System of the Canadian Forces, and the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College to hold the annual Kingston Conference on International Security.  Recent topics include:

  • 2012: International Security in an Age of Austerity
  • 2011: The Changing Arctic: Sovereignty, Security
  • 2010: Security and Governance: Foundations for International Stability
  • 2009: Canada, the United States and Hemispheric Security
  • 2008: Wars without Borders
  • 2007: Stability Campaigns: Do We Learn?

International and Defence Policy Seminar Series

The Centre's lunchtime International and Defence Policy Seminars provide an opportunity to exchange ideas with visiting speakers.  Visitors have included government officials, visiting scholars, and Centre Fellows.

Workshops, Public Forums

Other events sponsored or co-sponsored by the Centre include:

  • the annual Sheila Skelton Menzies Lecture, co-sponsored with the Department of Political Studies
  • the Kingston International Lecture series, co-sponsored with the Royal Military College of Canada
  • intensive one-day seminars of specialists on international security issues to bring policy-makers and scholars together to discuss recent research on critical areas of international conflict
  • expert panels of Centre Fellows, who debate current international issues in forums attended by Queen's and RMC students and members of the Kingston community.


    Publications are the most important and enduring way that the Centre contributes to public understanding of Canada's foreign and defence policies, and on issues of international peace and security.

    Over the years, the Centre has supported the publication of books on a range of issues in national security and international relations.  Among our titles:

    • Stéphane Roussel, The North American Democratic Peace: Absence of War and Security Institution-Building in Canada-US Relations, 1867-1958 (2004)
    • John Blaxland, Strategic Cousins: Australian and Canadian Expeditionary Forces and the British and American Empires(2006)
    • Joseph J. Jockel, Canada in NORAD, 1957-2007: A History (2007)
    • Hans-Georg Ehrhart and Charles Pentland, eds., The Afghanistan Challenge: Hard Realities and Strategic Choices (2009)
    • Christian Leuprecht, Jodok Troy and David Last, eds., Mission Critical: Smaller Democracies' Role in Global Stability Operations (2010)
    • Michael Rostek and Peter Gizewski, eds., Security Operations in the 21st Century: Canadian Perspectives on the Comprehensive Approach (2011)
    • Hars-Georg Ehrhart, Sven Bernhard Gareis, and Charles Pentland, eds., Afghanistan in the Balance: Counterinsurgency, Comprehensive Approach, and Political Order (2012)

      In addition, the Centre publishes two monograph series. Martello Papers focus on security studies, and cover a wide range of contemporary international issues. Claxton Papers focus on defence policy and defence management.

      The Centre's Occasional Papers are article-length works directed at the policy community and the broader public.

      For a complete list of the Centre's publications, click here.