Denis Stairs

Address: Centre for the Study of Security and Development
Dalhousie University, 6299 South Street, PO Box 15000, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

Denis Stairs has retired but he specialized in Canadian foreign and defence policy, Canada-U.S. Relations, and similar subjects. A former President of the Canadian Political Science Association, he was the founding Director of the CFPS, and served as Chair of the Department of Political Science from 1980 to 1985, and as Dalhousie's Vice-President (Academic & Research) from 1988 to 1993. He was a member of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada from 1981 to 1987 and of the Research Council of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research from 1986 to 1997. He served on the Board of Directors of the Institute for Research on Public Policy from 1989 to 1997, and again from 1998 to 2006. Appointed to the Board of Visitors of the Canadian Forces College at its inception in 2002, he was its Chair from 2006 to 2009. In 2002 he became a member of the Advisory Council of the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute. He was appointed a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute in 2008, and has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre since 2007. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1979, and was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2006.

Select Publications:

  • "Putting Public Servants in Harm's Way: Dilemmas of the Democratic State in a Violent and Uncertain World," CDFAI Dispatch: Newsletter of the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute, Vol. IV, Issue 1 (Spring 2006), pp. 9-12. (Electronic Newsletter on line at
  • "Confusing the Innocent with Numbers and Categories: The International Policy Statement and the Concentration of Development Assistance," CDFAI Research Paper (Calgary: Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute, December 2005).
  • In The Canadian Interest: Assessing Canada's International Policy Statement (Calgary: Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute. October 2005). (Co-Editor and Contributor, with David Bercuson.)
  • In the National Interest: Canadian Foreign Policy in an Insecure World(Calgary: Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute, 2003) (45 page). (Editor and Co-Author, with David J. Bercuson, Mark Entwistle, J.L. Granatstein, Kim Richard Nossal, and Gordon S. Smith).
  • "The Canadian Forces and the Doctrine of Interoperability: The Issues," Policy Matters, Vol. 3, No. 7 (Montreal: Institute for Research on Public Policy, June 2002) (with Danford Middlemiss).
  • "The Changing Office and the Changing Environment of the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Axworthy Era," in Fen Osler Hampson, Norman Hillmer, and Maureen Appel Molot, eds., Canada Among Nations 2001: The Axworthy Legacy (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2001);
  • "Transnational Pluralism and the 'Democratization' of Canadian Foreign Policy at the Turn of the Millennium," in William Cross, ed., Political Parties, Representation, and Electoral Democracy in Canada (Don Mills: Oxford University Press, 2001); "Architects or Engineers? The Conservatives and Foreign Policy," in Nelson Michaud and Kim Richard Nossal, eds., Diplomatic Departures: The Conservative Era in Canadian Foreign Policy, 1983-93 (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2001);
  • "Foreign Policy Consultations in a Globalizing World: The Case of Canada, the WTO, and the Shenanigans in Seattle," Policy Matters, Vol. 1, No. 8 (Montreal: Institute for Research on Public Policy, December 2000);
  • "Global Governance as a Policy Tool: The Canadian Experience, "in Raimo Vayrynen, ed., Globalization and Global Governance (Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 1999);
  • "Lester B. Pearson and the Meaning of Politics," in Norman Hillmer, ed., Pearson: The Unlikely Gladiator (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1999);
  • "Canada and the Security Problem: Implications as the Millennium Turns," International Journal, Vol. LIV, No. 3 (Summer 1999);
  • "The Pursuit of Economic Architecture by Diplomatic Means: The Case of Canada in Europe," in Donald Barry and Ronald C. Keith, eds., Regionalism, Multilaterlalism and the Politics of Global Trade (Vancouver: UBC Press, 1999);