Meet the Director
Daniel Béland joined MISC as its Director in January 2019. He also holds the position of James McGill Professor in the Department of Political Science.
In early January 2019, I took the position as Director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada (MISC). The Institute was established in the mid-1990s thanks to an innovative agreement between the Bronfman family and McGill University. While the Institute itself is non-partisan, we are no stranger to debate and polemics. We hope to continue to play an important role in shaping the issues facing Canada’s future.
As the Director of MISC, the first thing I will do is make sure the organization fulfils its core mission, which has four main components.
First, MISC should support a multidisciplinary approach to the study of Canada by bringing together students, researchers, and practitioners to discuss important issues about the country’s past, present, and future. As part of the Faculty of Arts, MISC is especially interested in perspectives from the humanities and the social sciences. At the same time, MISC should also be a hub for people from across campus and beyond who are interested in the study of Canada.
Second, MISC should promote public as well as university-based education about Canada. In addition to continuing to run and improve undergraduate programs, MISC should keep reaching out to different aspects of the public, particularly non-academic audiences through conferences, public lectures, social media, and webinars.
Third, MISC should foster the development of networks in the areas of Canadian Studies. By doing this, MISC seeks to bring together students and researchers from McGill and other universities to create new networks and research projects about Canada.
Finally, MISC should enhance informed discussions of public policy. This is something MISC can do on its own, but collaboration with McGill’s Max Bell School of Public Policy and with think tanks such as the Institute for Research on Public Policy would further enrich the first three parts of the mission. The main goal here is to organize events and launch initiatives about key policy issues that are important for Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
Beyond these four core objectives, MISC is also here to help people from different provinces and regions better understand the needs and issues of those from other parts of the country. This focus on interregional and interprovincial dialogue is important now, as Canadians debate economic, fiscal, and environmental issues that exacerbate territorial conflict. A focus on the internal diversity of Canada, however, should not push MISC to neglect international and comparative perspectives on Canada that help citizens, journalists, and policymakers make sense of the global challenges and opportunities facing the country.
With these broad objectives in mind, I invite those working or studying at McGill and members of the larger community to involve yourself in the activities of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada. You can learn more by following this website, following us on Twitter or Facebook.