“The Future of Canadian Defence and Security: New Challenges, New Perspectives”


The Centre for the Study of Security and Development at Dalhousie (CSSD) is pleased to partner with the Balsille School of International Affairs (BSIA) in building a new network of defence and security scholars, funded by the Department of National Defence’s Defence Engagement Program (DEP). Other participating organizations include the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), the Conference of Defence Associations Institute (CDA institute),, Women in International Security Canada (WIIS-Canada), the Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies (LCMSDS), and the University of Waterloo Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute.

The network, proposed by Prof. Bessma Momani of the University of Waterloo and Prof. Brian Bow of Dalhousie University, was chosen as the prototype for a new program of academic networks on defence and security issues, to be funded by the DEP, as part of the federal government’s commitment to increase engagement, announced in the 2017 defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged.” Our hope is that this one-year trial network initiative will be followed up with the creation of several, multi-year networks.

“New Challenges, New Perspectives” brings together a diverse community of defence and security experts, both established academics and junior scholars. The network’s collective expertise covers a wide variety of defence and security issues, but our focus is on five of the DEP’s priority themes for 2018-19:

  • Canada-US Defence Relations;
  •  Middle East and North Africa;
  • Emerging Technologies;
  • Diversity and Well-Being (in the CAF); and
  • Peace Operations and the United Nations.

Among the core projects and events for the network are:

  • a major network meeting in Waterloo, in late September 2018;
  • a smaller network event in Halifax in connection with the Halifax International Security Forum, in mid-November 2018;
  • virtual networking events in January and February 2019;
  • creation of an online crowdsourcing platform, to facilitate real-time collaboration between network participants and policy-makers;
  • briefings for DND officials;
  • a series of podcasts on contemporary defence and security challenges; and
  • an opportunity for network participants to take a GBA+ training course.

One of the most important features of the “New Challenges, New Perspectives” agenda is an effort to recruit and engage with junior scholars. Current and recently-graduated students of Canadian graduate programs are invited to submit short essays on contemporary defence and security challenges. Selected junior scholars will have their essays published in OpenCanada, and will be invited to participate in the networking event at the end of September, and the CDA Institute grad student symposium immediately afterward.

Questions about the network initiative? Email Brian Bow at