Mar
6
3:00 pm15:00

Graham Centre Graduate Student Forum — "The Jekyll and Hyde Nature of Détente": Arms Control and the Atlantic Alliance, 1972-1984

This paper explores détente in the realm of defence and security, what Soviet officials often referred to as "military détente." It explores how the Western allies treated détente as one subset of the Alliance's functions, focusing in particular on the need to balance the pursuit of détente with NATO's continued ability to defend the West. In doing so, I trace allied reliance on two-pronged decisions which paired defence and détente, most notably NATO's 1979 decision to modernize its theatre nuclear force capabilities: the Dual-Track Decision. This paper demonstrates the centrality of arms control and European security to NATO's approaches to and thinking about détente. Ultimately, these areas dovetailed most with the geographic scope and original purpose of the Alliance, thereby making them the heart of allied consensus regarding détente.

Speaker: Susan Colbourn, Ph.D. Candidate in History, University of Toronto

Time: Monday, March 6, 3-5 pm.

Location: Trinity College Boardroom

Mar
5
7:00 pm19:00

Birth of a Notion: The Vimy Idea, 1917-2017

  • George Ignatieff Theatre, Trinity College

Vimy is more than a battle from the First World War. It is common to hear that Vimy marks the “birth of a nation,” a claim repeated in school textbooks, by politicians, and in the news. Yet what is meant by this phrase? Do Canadians actually believe that Canada was born at Vimy, 50 years after Confederation? How did the four-day battle of Vimy in April 1917 transform into an origin story? This was no militarist plot. While not all Canadians believed in Vimy’s importance, enough did, and the idea of Vimy was invigorated with the building of Walter Allward’s monument on the ridge. The monument’s unveiling in 1936 by King Edward VIII was attended by more than 6,000 Canadian veterans who crossed the Atlantic. Since then Vimy has been incorporated into Canadian history, although its meaning has changed with each generation. In this year, the 100th anniversary of the battle, Dr. Tim Cook will explore the emergence of the Vimy idea, its changing meaning, and its endurance as a symbol of Canadian service and sacrifice. 

Dr. Tim CookC.M.

Dr. Tim Cook is a historian at the Canadian War Museum. He was the curator for the museum’s First World War permanent gallery, and he has curated numerous temporary, travelling and digital exhibitions. He has also authored ten books, most of which have been longlisted, shortlisted or awarded prizes, including the C.P. Stacey Prize for Military History (twice), the Ottawa Book Award (twice), the RBC Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction, the BC National Book Award, the J.W. Dafoe Book Prize, the Canadian Authors Association Literary Award and the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing. His newest book is Vimy: Battle and Legend (2017).  

In 2012, Dr. Cook was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to Canadian history and in 2013 he received the Governor General’s History Award for Popular Media: The Pierre Berton Award. Dr. Cook is a Member of the Order of Canada.

Jan
18
4:00 pm16:00

Book Launch: The Harper Era in Canadian Foreign Policy

  • The Vivian and David Campbell Conference Facility, Munk School of Global Affairs

To both critics and defenders, Canadian foreign policy under Stephen Harper was seen as representing a sharp break with what had gone before. Was this true, and why or why not? The Harper Era in Canadian Foreign Policy, edited by Adam Chapnick and Christopher J. Kukucha, brings together an outstanding roster of analysts to assess the conduct of Canadian foreign policy under Stephen Harper in a variety of its aspects. The Graham Centre is pleased to sponsor a launch of this provocative volume, at which coeditor Adam Chapnick and contributors John English, Kim Richard Nossal, and Hugh Segal will speak.

Books will be available for purchase.

Registration and more information here

Nov
21
3:00 pm15:00

The War Scare That Wasn’t: Able Archer and the Myths of the Second Cold War

Speaker: Simon Miles
Location: Larkin 200

Most accounts of the Cold War focus on the autumn of 1983 as one of its most dangerous periods. Beginning with the Soviet downing of KAL 007 and the US invasion of Grenada, this narrative climaxes with NATO’s Able Archer exercise, which the Kremlin allegedly perceived as cover for a surprise attack. This paper pushes back on this characterization, going beyond the rhetoric of the 1980s to better illustrate the history of the late Cold War.

Using newly declassified archival sources from across the globe, this paper examines the Able Archer exercise and US-Soviet relations during the so-called “Second Cold War.” It makes extensive use of Czechoslovak, East German, and Ukrainian intelligence archives, as well as British, Soviet, and US documents, to tell an international story about crisis and stability in the late Cold War.

I challenge the orthodoxy that Able Archer was a war scare, examining the ongoing Soviet-led intelligence operation underway during the 1980s to predict a Western surprise attack, Operation RYaN, which was in fact a research and development initiative to use computers in intelligence analysis. I show that, through back channel discussions, US and Soviet policy-makers managed the risks of nuclear conflict.

Bio: Simon Miles is a Ph.D. candidate in History at the University of Texas at Austin and a Fellow at the William P. Clements Jr. Center for National Security. He is currently a Visiting Fellow at the University of Toronto’s Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary International History.

This event is part of the Bill Graham Centre's Graduate Student Forum.

 The Ottawa Process Twenty Years Later: The Landmine Treaty, Human Security, and Canada in the Twenty-First Century
Oct
27
Oct 28

The Ottawa Process Twenty Years Later: The Landmine Treaty, Human Security, and Canada in the Twenty-First Century

  • The Gardiner Museum

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the beginning of the Ottawa Process that culminated in the international treaty to ban anti-personnel landmines. The Graham Centre and its partners come together to mark this anniversary with participants in the Ottawa Process and the broader Human Security agenda, scholars of the Ottawa Process, current NGO activists, and students. 

Foreign Policy and the US Presidential Election
Oct
12
7:00 pm19:00

Foreign Policy and the US Presidential Election

  • George Ignatieff Theatre

The current presidential election has profound implications for America’s foreign policy and relations with the rest of the world, including Canada. Explore them with former US Ambassador to Finland Derek Shearer.

Britain After Brexit
Sep
27
7:00 pm19:00

Britain After Brexit

  • Campbell Conference Facility

The British electorate’s vote to leave the European Union came as one of the most shocking recent developments in international affairs. What does it mean for Britain? For Europe? For the rest of us? A leading historian of modern Britain explores the implications of Brexit and places it in historical context.

James Cronin is a Professor of History at Boston College. His books include Global Rules: America and Britain in a Disordered World and New Labour’s Pasts: The Labour Party and its Discontents.

Book Launch: Alexandre Trudeau's "Barbarian Lost - Travels in the New China"
Sep
19
4:30 pm16:30

Book Launch: Alexandre Trudeau's "Barbarian Lost - Travels in the New China"

  • George Ignatieff Theatre

What are the realities of today’s China, and what do they mean for us? Journalist and filmmaker Alexandre Trudeau explores these questions in his first book, Barbarian Lost (HarperCollins). Following his lifelong fascination with China, Trudeau travels throughout the country and meets a variety of Chinese men and women, exploring the human dimension of this country whose economic and geopolitical rise is so consequential for Canada and the world. 

The Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary International History, in partnership with the Canadian International Council, the Trudeau Centre for Peace, Conflict and Justice, and HarperCollins is pleased to launch this important book. 

Join us Monday, September 19th, in the George Ignatieff Theatre, Trinity College, University of Toronto, 15 Devonshire Place, to hear Alexandre Trudeau share his perceptions of contemporary China. 

Doors open at 4:30pm
Presentation begins at 5:00pm
Reception and book signing to follow

The UK Referendum on whether to leave or to remain in the EU
May
3
7:00 pm19:00

The UK Referendum on whether to leave or to remain in the EU

  • George Ignatieff Theatre

The Canadian International Council (Toronto Branch), in cooperation with the Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary International History, is pleased to announce the following event:

Presentation by Rt. Hon. Lord David Owen, former U.K. Foreign Secretary and former leader of U.K. Social Democratic Party, on Whether the U.K. Should Leave or Remain in the EU.

Mar
31
1:00 pm13:00

Marcel Cadieux, Pierre Trudeau, and the Department of External Affairs, 1968-1970

  • Larkin Building, Trinity College

The Graham Centre Graduate Student Forum presents:

"Marcel Cadieux, Pierre Trudeau, and the Department of External Affairs, 1968-1970"

Speaker: Brendan Kelly, PhD candidate, Department of History, University of Toronto

Between Marcel Cadieux and Pierre Trudeau there was a history. In 1949, fresh from backpacking around the world and sporting a raffish beard, the future prime minister came to Ottawa hoping for a job. When he expressed an interest in the Department of External Affairs (DEA) however, its personnel officer (Cadieux) vowed to bar his way. Yet almost two decades later, when Trudeau succeeded Lester Pearson as prime minister of Canada, Cadieux, who was now under-secretary of state for external affairs, was thrilled. The challenge from nationalist Quebec and Gaullist France was serious and demanded a commensurate response, one that Trudeau was determined to provide. Unfortunately, Cadieux and Trudeau agreed on little else. This paper explores the DEA's difficult adaptation to the new Trudeau government through the eyes of Cadieux and argues that the essential difference between him and the prime minister was between the consummately professional civil servant who believed in tradition and the brilliant politician who sought to redefine the government in new and startling ways.

Book Launch: "Conflicting Visions: Canada and India in the Cold War World"
Mar
23
4:00 pm16:00

Book Launch: "Conflicting Visions: Canada and India in the Cold War World"

  • Munk School, 208N

In 1974, India shocked the world by detonating a nuclear device. In the diplomatic controversy that ensued, the Canadian government expressed outrage that India had extracted plutonium from a Canadian reactor donated only for peaceful purposes. In the aftermath, relations between the two nations cooled considerably. 

As Conflicting Visions: Canada and India in the Cold War World 1945-1976 reveals, Canada and India's relationship was turbulent long before the first bomb blast. From the time of India's independence from Britain, Ottawa sought to build bridges between India and the West through dialogue and foreign aid. New Delhi, however, had a different vision for its future, and throughout the Cold War mistrust between the two nations deepened. These conflicting visions soured the relationship between the two governments long before India's display of nuclear might. 

Please join the Bill Graham Centre, the Asian Institute, and the Centre for South Asian Studies launch this book with a panel discussion on Canada and India from Nehru to Modi. Speakers include Ramesh Thakur, and Ryan Touhey, and the panel will be chaired by Ritu Burla. There will be an opportunity to purchase the book and have it signed. Reception to follow.

Book Launch: "Australia, Canada, and Iraq"
Mar
22
4:00 pm16:00

Book Launch: "Australia, Canada, and Iraq"

  • Vivian and David Campbell Conference Facility

Please join the Bill Graham Centre as it hosts the book launch for "Australia, Canada, and Iraq: Perspectives on an Invasion," edited by Jack Cunningham and Ramesh Thakur. Chaired by John English, the panel discussion will feature the editors and Tim Sayle. There will be an opportunity to purchase the book and have them signed at this event. Reception to follow. 

Canada's Role in the Arctic: The Ongoing Debate
Feb
26
2:00 pm14:00

Canada's Role in the Arctic: The Ongoing Debate

  • Rigby Room, St. Hilda's College

"Canada's Role in the Arctic: The Ongoing Debate" is a conversation with John Hannaford, Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet (Foreign and Defence Policy) at the Privy Council Office, and Thomas S. Axworthy, Chair of Public Policy at Massey College on Canada's Arctic Policy. They will make their comments to address: What is Canada's role in the Arctic? What should Canada's role be? 

The Reactive American Presidency and its Perils
Feb
11
4:00 pm16:00

The Reactive American Presidency and its Perils

  • The Vivian and David Campbell Conference Facility

The American presidency is the most powerful political office in the world, and its power continuously grows in the public imagination. Surprisingly, most contemporary presidents have found themselves severely constrained in their ability to pursue their chosen agendas for domestic and foreign policy change. This lecture will explain why, focusing on the nature of government bureaucracy, the range of American challenges and commitments, and the development of the modern media. The constraints on the presidency have turned this powerful office into an essentially reactive institution that is more tactical than strategic, and therefore unlikely to fulfill major promises. The reactive presidency is, therefore, a disappointing presidency. The lecture will close with some reflections on how Americans can improve presidential leadership in future years. Reforms must center on the institution more than the particular occupant of the office.

Registration

http://munkschool.utoronto.ca/event/19961/ 

Speakers

Jeremi Suri
Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs, Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law, University of Texas

Main Sponsor

The Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary International History

Accepting “Untidiness”: The Reagan Administration’s Approach to the Atlantic Alliance
Jan
28
1:00 pm13:00

Accepting “Untidiness”: The Reagan Administration’s Approach to the Atlantic Alliance

  • Larkin Building, Room 200

In May of 1981, US President Ronald Reagan assured his audience at the University of Notre Dame that “the West won’t contain communism, it will transcend communism.” Reagan, like his predecessors, portrayed the Cold War as a competition between East and West, not simply the Soviet Union and the United States. This paper considers how Reagan and his administration viewed the Western nations’ role in waging the Cold War, exploring how US policy towards the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) evolved over Reagan’s two terms in office. It focuses, in particular, on US perceptions of the Cold War, the United States’ evolving view of “Western strength” over the course of the 1980s, and American frustration with the often cumbersome multilateral process of NATO decision-making. Despite the administration’s myriad frustrations with the Western allies, however, it highlights how Reagan’s rhetoric contributed to and strengthened the transatlantic partnership for the future by championing the alliance’s most valuable asset: the acceptance of disagreement as part of the democratic tradition.

After the nuclear deal: Iran’s failed foreign policy
Nov
25
7:00 pm19:00

After the nuclear deal: Iran’s failed foreign policy

  • George Ignatieff Theatre

The Islamic Republic of Iran faced a favorable regional environment after 2001, especially in the wake of the US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Iran attempted to exploit this window of opportunity by assertively seeking to expand its interests throughout the Middle East. It fell short, however, of fulfilling its longstanding ambition of becoming the dominant power in the Persian Gulf and a leading power in the broader Middle East. Today, Iran is not a fast-expanding regional hegemon, as one often hears, but is rather a mid-sized regional power frustrated at not reaching its ambitions.

Canada as a Voice for Peace and Development?
Nov
7
7:00 pm19:00

Canada as a Voice for Peace and Development?

  • Seeley Hall, Trinity College

A post-election conversation with the Hon. Lloyd Axworthy, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, who will reflect on Canada’s role in the world, drawing on his own experience making and articulating Canadian foreign policy, in the aftermath of the current federal election.

George W. Bush: An American Tragedy
Oct
20
4:00 pm16:00

George W. Bush: An American Tragedy

  • Upper Library, Massey College

A distinguished biographer (F.D.R.; Eisenhower) turns his eye on a subject closer to the present. Join us for Jean Smith’s reassessment of America’s forty-third President, drawn from his forthcoming biography. In partnership with the Department of Political Science, University of Toronto.

Book Launch: ‘Your Country, My Country’ and ‘O.D. Skelton’
Oct
8
4:00 pm16:00

Book Launch: ‘Your Country, My Country’ and ‘O.D. Skelton’

  • George Ignatieff Theatre

Join the Graham Centre for the launch of two major books on Canadian foreign relations and Canadian-American relations, by two of the leading scholars in the field. Robert Bothwell, who holds the Gluskin Chair in Canadian History at the University of Toronto, has produced “Your Country, My Country: A Unified History of the United States and Canada”, which sheds light on the histories of both countries and their complicated relationship. Norman Hillmer, Professor of History at Carleton University, has written “O.D. Skelton: A Portrait of Canadian Ambition”, the definitive biography of the public servant who charted Canada’s pursuit of an independent foreign policy and a destiny as a North American Nation in the early decades of the 20th Century. Both works will establish themselves as required reading for serious students of Canadian history. Kim Nossal of Queen’s University will comment.

Reagan in Retrospect
Sep
24
4:00 pm16:00

Reagan in Retrospect

  • George Ignatieff Theatre

Noted American journalist and author Rick Perlstein discusses the impact and legacy of America’s 40th President, as well as the shifting fortunes of the American Right Wing.

Power, Interdependence and Indifference in Canada-US Relations: Looking Past the Elections
Sep
21
4:00 pm16:00

Power, Interdependence and Indifference in Canada-US Relations: Looking Past the Elections

  • Combination Room, Trinity College

In his 2009 book, The Politics of Linkage, Brian Bow argued that the bases for cooperation and restraint in Canada-US relations had shifted after the 1970s, and that in future the bilateral relationship would be driven mostly by shifting transnational coalitions and inflexible domestic institutions. The Harper government’s approach to the relationship seemed to be based on a naïve aspiration to return to the early Cold War “special relationship,” and to have failed in ways that Bow’s argument would have anticipated. But the picture is a little more complicated than that, and Harper’s track record suggests some subtler lessons for Canada-US relations after the coming elections.

Regional Governments in International Affairs: Lessons from the Arctic
Sep
18
9:00 am09:00

Regional Governments in International Affairs: Lessons from the Arctic

  • Campbell Conference Facility

The Arctic is gaining the attention of national governments around the world. Indeed, countries as diverse as Switzerland, Mongolia, and Turkey have sought observer status at the Arctic Council as one expression of their Arctic interests. Much of the dialogue about circumpolar governance over the last few years has been focusing on how these non-Arctic voices will shape, change, or contribute to the Arctic agenda. Perhaps, this focus has led us to miss something – what is the role of the regional governments from within the Arctic in shaping the international Arctic agenda?