War and peace at the dawn of the new millennium
McGill experts at the forefront of peace research discuss the prospects for a peaceful future.
At the end of this turbulent century, nations and states still struggle with issues of war, peace, and unresolved conflicts. What are the prospects for a peaceful future? Here are some McGill experts in the forefront of peace research who can comment on the world today and in the next millenium.
Responsiveness in international peacebuilding assistance: A comparative examination
The international community has become increasingly involved in multilateral efforts to support transitions from war to peace. In southern and central Africa, the Middle East, Bosnia, Haiti, Cambodia, and elsewhere, these efforts typically have involved not only the traditional tools of diplomacy and peacekeeping, but also a variety of other social and economic initiatives backed by substantial financial support. Professor Rex Brynens research project examines the factors that shape the effectiveness of international "peacebuilding," and suggests how such efforts might be improved in the future.
Contact: cyr6 [at] musica [dot] mcgill [dot] ca (Rex Brynen,) Department of Political Science
McGill: A centre for peace
McGill serves as the Canadian centre for the Peace Implementation Network (PIN), an initiative of the Norwegian social science research institute FAFO. PIN brings together policy-makers and academics to identify how peace processes might best be nurtured. The Network is headed by Norwegian scholar and diplomat Terje Rod Larsen, best known for his role in fostering the 1993 "Oslo Agreement" between Israel and the Palestinians. The project is coordinated from offices at McGill by visiting research fellow Mark Taylor.
Contact: cyr6 [at] musica [dot] mcgill [dot] ca (Rex Brynen) or
mark [dot] taylor [at] fafo [dot] no (Mark Taylor,) McGills Interuniversity Consortium for Arab Studies (ICAS) and the Centre for Developing Areas Studies (CDAS)
Cyberdiplomacy at McGill
The Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator (UNSCO) oversees all UN activities in the Palestinian territories. Although UNSCOs offices are in Gaza, its web site operates from McGill University. This is just one of a series of internet projects on the Middle East peace process undertaken at McGill by the Interuniversity Consortium for Arab Studies. Hundreds of Palestinian, Israeli, Arab, and international scholars, diplomats and non-governmental organizations are currently networked through McGills experiment in "cyberdiplomacy," and more than 15,000 others have used the online resources available at the following web site.
Contact: cyr6 [at] musica [dot] mcgill [dot] ca (Rex Brynen)
Economic warfare, embargo busting, and enterprise crime
Professor Naylor looks at black markets, smuggling, capital flight, money laundering, tax evasion, black market operations of guerrilla groups, and the international arms black market. Recently, he brought these themes together in Patriots and Profiteers: On Economic Warfare, Embargo Busting and State Sponsored Crime. This book, to be published in the spring of 1999 by McClelland & Stewart, will examine cases where states and state agencies themselves become criminal organizations. The book takes a look at the history of economic warfare, sanctions, embargoes and asset freezes, using both historical cases and more recent examples such as the United Nations embargoes against Serbia and Iraq. In all cases, the lesson is the same: sanctions work only when targeting weak and geographically isolated areas. They impose most of the pain on a subject population that usually has no political influence, while simultaneously creating enormous profit opportunities for smugglers and money launderers. Often, they create a gangster-capitalist class in the target country with a vested interest in perpetuating the very policies that led to the sanctions.
Contact: naylor [at] leacock [dot] lan [dot] mcgill [dot] ca (R.T. Naylor,) Department of Economics
Transitions without war: Strategies for peaceful change in the international system
As the world enters the 21st century, policy makers inside the worlds major powers have not yet come up with strategies for long-term change without war. Many international relations theorists working within various ideological frameworks such as realism, structural realism, and Marxism assume that war is a necessary condition for major international change. Professor T.V. Paul argues that change is possible without war. His research contends that a prudent mixture of integration and deterrence strategies by the major states could help avert large-scale wars. His critical case study examines the United States and other western powers strategy for dealing with the former U.S.S.R. In this, Paul finds implications for foreign policy, International Relations theory, and power relations in the coming millennium.
Contact: tpaul [at] leacock [dot] lan [dot] mcgill [dot] ca (T.V. Paul,) Department of Political Science
Peace through education
What values do we learn through the standard school curriculum? Professor David C. Smith has probed into disciplines such as science, mathematics, and arts, to get to the values that are being taught and to discover the contribution that they can make to understanding not only our own, but other cultures. He looks at the opportunities for building skills in peaceful conflict resolution, and the potential for obtaining multiple perspectives on the world. Recently, Professor Smith published a book entitled Educating for a Peaceful Future, in which he traces the growth of peace education over the past century, and explores the alternative concepts of peace education.
Contact: smith [at] education [dot] mcgill [dot] ca (David C. Smith,) Faculty of Education
Gender, identity, and the search for peace
Professor Narendra Subramanians research focuses on ethnic conflicts in many parts of the world, but especially in developing societies such as India and Sri Lanka. Professor Subramanian is an assistant professor of political science at McGill, specializing in ethnicity, nationalism, and caste violence in South Asia. He studies the "intersections of gender and community identity in contentious situations" to see what kind of impact they have on peaceful solutions to conflicts. His most recent book, entitled Ethnicity and Populist Mobilization: Political Parties, Citizens and Democracy in South India, examines how the interactions of parties and society continually reshape ethnic identities and redirect ethnic politics.
Contact: naren [at] leacock [dot] lan [dot] mcgill [dot] ca (Narendra Subramanian,) Department of Political Science