(Arranged by event type)
Please join the Bill Graham Centre as it hosts the book launch for The New Arab Wars: Uprisings and Anarchy in the Middle East by Marc Lynch. Attendees will have an opportunity to purchase a copy and have their copy signed by the author.
Please join the Bill Graham Centre as it hosts the launch of The Call of the World: A Political Memoir with a conversation between Bill Graham and Mayo Moran. Attendees will have an opportunity to purchase copies of the book and have them signed. Reception to follow.
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.
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.
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.
George Soros is a legendary currency speculator and philanthropist, who has spent billions to promote democracy and human rights around the world. Anna Porter, author of The Ghosts of Europe and Kasztner’s Train, has interviewed Soros, his principal associates, politicians, journalists and others for this searching examination of the man one analyst has called “the only private citizen with his own foreign policy.”
n Tell It to the World, Eliott Behar, a former war crimes prosecutor for the former Yugoslavia, examines the causes and consequences of mass violence, identifying a powerful and disturbing connection between the justice we seek and the injustices we commit.
The Arctic is undergoing dramatic political, social, economic, and physical changes. The changes present both challenges and opportunities for US and Canadian Arctic relations. In a partnership event between the Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary International History and the Woodrow Wilson Centre, leaders across the North American Arctic were brought together to discuss building a future of cooperation in the Arctic region.
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?
The inaugural Polanyi Conference presents an exceptional opportunity to hear Dr. John C. Polanyi speak and to engage in a meaningful and informed discussion about nuclear weapons as they relate to Canadian society. The Nobel Laureate in Chemistry and tireless public intellectual will be joined by experts from diverse backgrounds to discuss the role of nuclear weapons in the 21st century. Professor Polanyi’s efforts to inform and influence the Canadian public on key social issues in the sciences have largely inspired this conference, which will be an annual event reflecting on a wide range of topics in the intersection of science and society.
We are pleased to invite you to attend an exceptional occasion in Toronto on October 14, one that will celebrate the life and legacy of a man who faced evil with courage and who carried out true acts of heroism.
How did nuclear weapons affect the course of the Cold War and what is their impact on world politics today? Is their abolition feasible or desirable? And what are the pros and cons of a nuclear free zone in the Arctic?
The Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary International History, in partnership with Project Ploughshares, presents a full-day conference to explore the effect of nuclear weapons on Canada and the world, yesterday and today. Historians, political scientists, and activists will explore this topic, which will conclude with a roundtable discussion with former Canadian foreign ministers.
This conference was hosted by the Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary International History (previously the Centre for Contemporary International History) in 2013.
Graduate History Forum
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.
Join us for this event with Matthieu Vallieres, PhD candidate, Department of History, University of Toronto, sponsored by the Graham Center’s Graduate Research Forum.
The First World War is commonly regarded as an event that affirmed Canadian nationalism and independence from the British empire. But did Canadian intellectuals truly believe that participation in the European war meant the end of their British connection? Drawing on the published works and private papers of three leading political journalists – John Willison of the Toronto News and the London Times, John Dafoe of the Manitoba Free Press, and Henri Bourassa of Le Devoir – this paper explores the impact of imperialism, ideology, and identity on their respective views of the Great War. While they disagreed about the future of the British empire, none believed that the war demanded a choice between Canadian nationalism and the political networks and values that constituted the ‘British world.’ This paper examines their arguments and debates to demonstrate how Canada’s Great War was defined, not only in the mud of Flanders, but by conflict at home over the ideas of nationalism, Britishness, and empire.
After considerable turbulence, the Cold War reached a period of relative stability in the early 1960s. The ouster of Nikita Khrushchev in October 1964 could have imperiled this inchoate accord between the United States and Soviet Union, but instead represented an acknowledgment in both Washington and Moscow of the importance of maintaining stability and consistency in superpower relations. Making extensive use of US and Soviet primary materials (especially from the Johnson Library), this paper outlines the successes and failures of American analysis during and after the leadership transition. The Johnson administration quickly came to understand that the Kremlin shared its goal of stability, and identified several important themes presaging a period of détente. This paper offers insight into policy making and preferences in the Johnson White House, the evolution of perceptions of the Soviet Union in the West, and the roots of détente.
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.
"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?
Canada’s new Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs speaks on the challenges confronting her in her portfolio.
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.
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.
Dawn Berry, Cornell University, joins us as part of the Graham Centre’s Arctic Speakers Series, under the auspices of the Munk-Gordon Arctic Security Program.
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.
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.
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.
Please join the Bill Graham Centre as it hosts the first event in this year’s Arctic Speaker Series, in partnership with the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation. We are pleased to welcome David P. Stone, former Chair of the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme and author of “The Changing Arctic Environment: The Arctic Messenger.” This lecture by Mr. Stone will look at how national and international scientific monitoring programmes have contributed to our present understanding of Arctic environmental change, and how this research has been successfully used to achieve international legal actions to lessen some of the activities and emissions behind climate change.
The application of Forensic Sciences to the investigation of cases of political/ethnic/religious violence involving the disappearances and killings of persons began in Argentina in 1984, and since then the practice has spread to nearly 40 countries around the world, meeting with various degrees of success.
As a young country and despite early military action overseas, Canada came of age on the world stage through an unwavering commitment to peace in the 20th Century. A self-assured Canada entered the new Millennium with a clear understanding of the threats of terrorism and other risks menacing its security. Nevertheless, our country remains firmly resolved to protect its people while developing opportunity and prosperity through trade and business development, the top priority of our government’s policies and foreign diplomacy. To achieve these goals, Europe – starting with France – is a strategic ally Canadians can’t ignore.
Between July 1914 and November 1918, signals intelligence was born. The type and number of messages intercepted every month for purposes of communications intelligence swelled from thousands of enciphered telegrams to and from foreign offices, to millions of cables, letters and radio dispatches, from diplomats, soldiers, sailors, airmen, and civilians, mostly in plain language or commercial codes. The best known element of signals intelligence during the First World War is work against the operational traffic of armies and navies, centring on cryptanalysis and traffic analysis, but overwhelmingly its largest form, and the area where it was most frequently used, lay in blockade and economic warfare. This instance also was perhaps the case in history where communications intelligence worked most fruitfully without the aid of cryptanalysis, and where open source material was most central to analysis. It is closer to the modern practice of communications intelligence than were the actions of naval and military siginters between 1914-18. This presentation addresses how communications intelligence affected economic warfare during the First World War, and victory in that struggle.
What are Vladimir Putin’s goals in the Ukraine and elsewhere? How dangerous is the current situation? What should NATO’s stance towards Putin be? Thomas Nichols of the US Naval War College explores these timely questions.
Five years ago hopes were high that the world was at last seriously headed towards nuclear disarmament. By the end of 2012, however, as reported in the inaugural State of Play report, much of this sense of optimism had evaporated. By the end of 2014, the fading optimism had given way to pessimism. New START was signed and ratified, but the treaty left stockpiles intact and disagreements about missile defence and conventional-arms imbalances unresolved. Nuclear weapons numbers have decreased overall but increased in Asia; nuclear-weapons programs in India, Pakistan and China have accelerated; North Korea has conducted three nuclear tests and the CTBT is yet to enter into force; and fissile material production is not yet banned. A comprehensive agreement on Iran eluded negotiators by the extended deadline of 24 November 2014 and the push for talks on a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East has stalled. Cyber-threats to nuclear weapons systems have intensified, outer space remains at risk of nuclearization, and the upsurge of geopolitical tensions over the crisis in Ukraine produced flawed conclusions about the folly of giving up nuclear weapons on the one hand, and open reminders about Russia’s substantial nuclear arsenal, on the other. Against this sombre backdrop, Nuclear Weapons: The State of Play 2015 by Gareth Evans, Tanya Ogilvie-White and Ramesh Thakur, provides an authoritative advocacy tool for governments, organizations and individuals committed to achieving a safer and saner nuclear-weapon-free world in the lead-up to the Ninth NPT Review Conference in New York in April–May 2015
Jessica Shadian discusses her recent book The Politics of Arctic Sovereignty: Oil, Ice, and Inuit Governance, the first in-depth account of the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC). Beginning with European exploration of the region and concluding with recent debates over ownership of the Arctic, the book unfolds the history of a polity that has overcome colonization and attempted assimilation to emerge as a political actor which has influenced both Arctic and global governance.
Chancellor Bill Graham begins the 2015 edition of Conversations with an evening with Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations. Elected in Winnipeg in December 2014, he has need of all the skills and expertise he gained at local, provincial and national levels in Saskatchewan to manage the many critical issues facing the AFN which are so important to Canadian society. And yet, he remains hopeful of the opportunity for meaningful consultation with the federal government..
On February 3, Canadian World War II veterans were given the singular honour of being awarded the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal. They fought in the First Special Service Force, a joint U.S.-Canada unit considered to be the precursor of the special operations forces on both sides of the border. Known as the “Devil’s Brigade”, this unit trained in martial arts, parachuting, and even mountain climbing. Many of them were lumberjacks, miners and other seasoned outdoorsmen. The University of Toronto will welcome FSSF veterans accompanied by serving members of the Canadian Special Operations Regiment (this regiment is currently serving in Iraq) on March 4. Come and meet the veterans and hear their history.
With earth-shaking changes taking place all over the Middle East and the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians stalled, Israelis remain divided on how – and if – peaceful coexistence between Jews and Arabs in the region can be achieved. Michael Keren presents various attitudes and reactions in Israel towards the current threats and opportunities facing the country as reflected in public opinion polls as well as in contemporary Israeli thought and literature.
Laurie Bertram of the U of T’s History Department will discuss a selection of artifacts from Canadian-Icelandic exchanges over the past millennium. These will illuminate the distinct challenges and opportunities that northern migration histories present to the more conventional southern frameworks of contact, colonialism, and development.Laurie Bertram of the U of T’s History Department will discuss a selection of artifacts from Canadian-Icelandic exchanges over the past millennium. These will illuminate the distinct challenges and opportunities that northern migration histories present to the more conventional southern frameworks of contact, colonialism, and development.
Rami Khouri, Director of the Issam Fares Institute for Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut, speaks as part of the series “Perspectives on a Changing Middle East.”
This event is for Graduate Students and Faculty members only. Registration is required for this event.
What has been accomplished under Canada’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council, which began in 2013? What is the Council’s role in an age of intense competition for the natural resources climate change is making accessible? What are the prospects for deepening international cooperation on arctic issues? And what are the implications for the Council of the West’s strained relations with Putin’s Russia? Terry Fenge, an expert on arctic, aboriginal, and environmental issues, addresses these questions.
Did Vimy Matter? Does Vimy Matter? The Easter Monday battle of Vimy Ridge won by the Canadian Corps holds a special place in the Canadian memory of the Great War. Why? What is it about Vimy that makes it memorable? Should it be? Did it matter militarily? Politically? In terms of troop morale? Or were there other contributions by the Canadian Corps that deserve to be recalled on Remembrance Day?
Brian Stewart takes an experienced foreign correspondent’s look back at daily media coverage of the drift into war through the summer of 1914. Using Canadian and international sources he analyses some of the lessons we can still learn from a day by day study of the dramatic diplomatic crisis as it enfolds in headlines and editorials.
Did the press of the time help provoke the war? Or is this one of the many myths still surrounding the most complex and perhaps most debated war in modern history? How much did journalists even know as war approached?
Mr. Stewart is particularly interested in what local papers reveal about attitudes in Toronto and throughout the nation as Canadians begin to realize the rumours of distant military mobilizations were fast turning into a clash of global giants without precedent in history. He will draw parallels with his own experience of the countdowns to war that he has covered and conclude with an overview of Canadian war coverage through to 1918.
The Margaret MacMillan lecture in international relations.
Nationalism, imperialism, an arms race, fears, hatreds, human folly. There are so many explanations for the war yet its outbreak remains a mystery. This lecture looks at the reasons why war came in 1914 and draws lessons for today.
This event was made possible by the generosity of Peter & Melanie Munk.