Kingston Conference on International Security


International Security in the Circumpolar North

28-30 October 2020
Holiday Inn Kingston Waterfront

The broader transformations underway in global politics in the early 2020s are mirrored and concentrated in the Arctic. For Canada, the international security implications of the changes we are seeing in the circumpolar north are profound. What foreign and defence policy implications flow from the increased geopolitical/geostrategic instability in the Arctic? What are the implications of the increased interest in the Arctic of the People’s Republic of China? What impact does the continued deterioration of relations between the NATO alliance and the Russian Federation have on security in the circumpolar region? How is climate change, with its profound impact on the Arctic environment, affecting northern politics and economics? 

KCIS 2020 seeks to explore the challenges posed by changes at the global level for the Arctic, and how Canada and the Canadian Armed Forces can and should respond. We begin with an exploration of how emerging great-power competition between the United States and its NATO allies, the People’s Republic of China, and the Russian Federation is affecting circumpolar politics, and the impacts that great-power competition more broadly plays out in the circumpolar region. The conference will also examine the impact of climate change on politics and security in the north, particularly the impacts on indigenous communities across the circumpolar north in Alaska, northern Canada, the Russian Federation, and northern Europe). Finally, we will examine how changes in Arctic will affect the future operations of the Canadian Army, the Royal Canadian Air Force, and the Royal Canadian Navy. The conference will not only examine the transformation and modernization of NORAD, particularly the development of initiatives to meet the challenges of defence in the 2020s, such as the expansion of maritime security and the updating of air and aerospace defence systems, but also an examination of the emerging role of armies in the North, focusing in particular on the Canadian, American, and Nordic armies.

More details to come soon 

Co-hosted by the Centre for International and Defence Policy (CIDP) at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, the Canadian Army Doctrine and Training Centre (CADTC), the US Army War College (USAWC), the NATO Defense College in Rome, KCIS is widely acknowledged as Canada’s premier security strategy conference. The KCIS enjoys a proud tradition of bringing together academics and practitioners from around the world to explore salient security themes. Insights gained from conference dialogue inform the understanding and decision making of both policymakers and military practitioners.