I completed my PhD in War Studies at RMC under the supervision of Drs Jane Boulden (RMC) and Grant Amyot (Queen’s University). Prior to my PhD studies, I served in a variety of command and staff positions within the Canadian Armed Forces as an Infantry Officer in the Royal Canadian Regiment deploying to both Haiti (2004) and Afghanistan (2008-9). My research interests include state capability as it relates to international security and the various ways in which soldiers and their society connect impacts upon the cohesion of the state. Straddling the academic and military professions has been a unique challenge and has afforded me added perspective to both worlds, perspective which continues to shape my research and teaching.
My dissertation, currently under revisions as a book entitled The Idea of Failed States (under revisions with Palgrave-Macmillan) examines the nature of clusivity as it relates to the relative strength or weakness of a state. The book finds that states that adopt inclusive attitudes (measured through relative levels of bridging social capital) are more resilient to external and internal shocks than states with exclusive attitudes (as measured through relative levels of bonding social capital and nationalism). Concurrent with this research has been an examination of the stresses and strain that impact upon the connection between a soldier and their society which has led to a co-edited volume with Stéfanie von Hlatky entitled Going to War? (forthcoming 2016 from McGill-Queen’s University Press) as well as an article entitled “Defining Success: Canada in Afghanistan 2006-2011” (American Review of Canadian Studies, 4, no. 4) This research program has led to an exploration of the impact of human performance enhancement and the rapidly evolving science and technology of enhancement upon the connection between the soldier and their society. Most recently, I was awarded a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Connection Grant (valued at $24 000) to further explore this topic.
I teach courses in comparative politics with a focus on state and regime stability, along with the public policy implications of social capital at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. I also teach courses in international relations, with a focus on Canadian foreign policy and war at the undergraduate level.
Peer Reviewed Journals
- (forthcoming) with David Last and Ali Dizboni. “Teaching International Relations at the Royal Military College of Canada” Infinity Journal
- 2015. “Security and Energy Capture: The Military Perspective” International Journal 70(3) pp. 463-470
- 2014. “Defining Success: Canada in Afghanistan 2006-2011” American Review of Canadian Studies, 44(4) pp. 483-501
- 2009. “The Challenge of Nation Building: Insights from Aristotle” The Journal of Conflict Studies, 29 pp. 143-162
- 2012. “Mental Health and Small Unit Leadership” Stephanie Belanger and Alice B. Aitken, eds. A New Coalition for a Challenging Battlefield. Kingston: CDA Press, p. 35-48
- 2012. “Clausewitz and Limited Nuclear Options” The Canadian Military Journal, 12(2) pp. 37-43
- 2008. “A Socio-Economic Profile of Afghanistan” The Canadian Army Journal, 11(3), pp. 54-75
- 2006. “Intelligence Lessons and the Emerging Canadian Counterinsurgency Doctrine” in The Canadian Army Journal, 9(3), pp. 24-40
- with David L. Hill, 2006. “The LAV III in Urban Operations” The Canadian Army Journal, 9(1), pp. 114-133.
- 2006. Review of Ludwig Adamec’s Historical Dictionary of Afghan Wars, Revolutions and Insurgencies in The Journal of Conflict Studies, 26(2), pp. 166-167
- 2001. Review of Anthony Lloyd’s My War Gone By I Miss it So. The Canadian Military Journal, 2(2), pp. 72