Experts: G7

Published: 17 May 2018

The 2018 G7 Summit will take place from June 8-9 in the Charlevoix, Quebec. The McGill experts who can comment on various issues related to the G7 meeting are:

Trade treaties & World Trade Organization (WTO)

Krzysztof Pelc, Department of Political Science, McGill University

His research examines the international political economy, with a focus on international rules. He also look at the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO). sHe has written analyses that were featured in the Washington Post on Trump’s trade approach and the WTO.

“Canada is what economists call a "small open economy", which means it has admittedly little economic weight to throw around in the global economy. But what we are seeing now is very much a war of ideas, and if Canada can get ambitious, enforceable legal provisions passed in treaties with a few key trade partners (Japan through TPP, and maybe China), that does actually have the power to force the US’ hand, and affect their behaviour.”

Contact: kj.pelc [at] (English & French)

G7 Summit in general, Human Rights & Venezuela

Jose Mauricio Gaona, O'Brien Fellow, McGill Centre for Human Rights (CHRLP), McGill's Faculty of Law 

He is an international legal scholar, author, and researcher specialized in the areas of international, constitutional, and human rights law with academic and professional background in the United States, Canada, France, Italy and Latin America (UCLA, McGill, Assas-Sorbonne, UNIDROIT Rome, BNF Paris, Externado Bogota). He has been invited lecturer at Yale and McGill Universities as well as invited panelist at the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford, Ottawa, and National University of Singapore.

He spoke in the media about the US travel ban, G7 Human Rights, and the rising dictatorship in Venezuela.

Contact: jm.gaona [at] (Montreal) (English, French, Spanish, or Italian)

Gender equality and Women’s empowerment

Patricia Faison Hewlin, Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University

“The priority theme of preparing girls and women for jobs of the future should center on economic empowerment through employment as well as business ownership.”

Professor Hewlin's research focuses on the role of authenticity and values among diverse organizational leaders and entrepreneurs in Canada, US and Asia. She has also extensive managerial experience as a Vice President at Citigroup, where she received numerous awards for excellence in management and community relations.

Contact: patricia.hewlin [at]

Digital inclusion

Renée Sieber, Department of Geography, McGill University

Her main research is on computers for social good and she recently gave a talk at the G7 research summit on AI and digital inclusion.

“I'm interested in digital inclusion in an era of AI. My particular focus is what do people need to learn and what infrastructure does government need to provide so people have a voice in governance. Most digital inclusion in Canada is about broadband and about remoteness (i.e., how do we deliver services to...). I look at Digital Inclusion as a means to a specific end, ever more critical as we move towards governance by AI.”

Contact: renee.sieber [at] (English only)

Protest and the G7 Meeting

Barry Eidlin, Department of Sociology, Barry Eidlin is interested in the study of class, politics, inequality, and social change. More specifically, his research explores the changing relationship between social mobilization, political processes, and ideology in advanced capitalist democracies. 

“The G7 meeting’s agenda is focused around seemingly progressive themes of equity, empowerment, and security for all. However, these inclusive themes stand in stark contrast to the reality of the meeting itself, which is essentially transforming the Charlevoix region into a militarized zone for the duration of the meeting. Not only is the meeting itself located in a remote location with few access routes, but the only concession to protesters is a designated “Free Speech Area” located nearly two kilometers from the conference venue, and separated by multiple security perimeters. Civil rights groups have questioned the degree to which this undermines individuals’ democratic rights to hold their leaders accountable. It is difficult to see how the G7 can make meaningful commitments to its progressive, inclusive agenda while the discussion excludes large swathes of the population.”

Contact: barry.eidlin [at] (English & French) [Not in Montreal]

Rohingya situation

Erik Kuhonta, Department of Political Science, Member of the Institute for the Study of International Development, McGill University

He's interested in Comparative Politics and Southeast Asian Politics, Democracy and Democratization.

Contact: erik.kuhonta [at] (English only)




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