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Mutimer: Short Bio and
Professor of Political Science at
Present projects include:
Disarmament for the Twenty-First Century: Conceptual
Development for a
New Era (with Neil Cooper)
the Darkness: The ongoing crisis of Canadian
The Canadian military underwent a crisis in the 1990s, now called the decade of darkness. There were three spurs to this crisis: the Somalia crisis in 1993; the disbandment of the Canadian Airborne Regiment in 1995, and; the election in 1993 of a new government faced with a massive budget deficit and no great commitment to military spending. By the end of the 1990s, the military was being forced by financial exigencies to restructure significantly; it had suffered the ignominy of the disbandment in disgrace of its elite commando force, and; it was restructuring its education and leadership systems in the face of extraordinary failure. To respond to this situation, it was necessary for the Canadian Forces (CF) to answer the question: who are we? This core question of identity was posed in several ways: what roles and missions are we to be restructured to perform? Closely related: given these roles and missions what sorts of educational system is necessary to produce the soldiers to fill those roles? Finally, what sort of leadership structure, and what kind of leaders, do we need to carry this force forward? For various reasons tied to Canadian history and identity, as well of the specifics of the Somalia and Airborne affairs, the question was often posed in terms of whether the CF should be a peacekeeping or warfighting force? This project will examine the response of the CF, and the Canadian Government more broadly, to the challenges posed by the 'decade of darkness' along three separate, but closely related tracks: The first is an examination of the 'transformation' of the CF, both the operational restructuring of the CF (particularly through the deployment to a combat mission in Afghanistan); and the restructuring of the Professional Military Education (PME) of the CF (specifically through the creation of the Canadian Defence Academy in 2002).Drawing Conclusions: Editorial Cartoons and the Response to 9/11
The events of 9/11 challenged almost everyone’s received frameworks for understanding. Whether it was the person on the street of New York who could not conceive of a commercial airliner flying into a building and so ‘saw’ a small aircraft or the US President sitting as caught in the headlights before declaring a ‘war’ on a tactic, 9/11 challenged in fundamental ways the means in which we understood the world. This paper explores one site in which the popular imaginary sought to be reconstituted in the wake of that day: the editorial cartoon. Reading the cartoons from major US, Canadian and British newspapers for the month after 9/11, the paper seeks to understand the way in which these texts helped to reconstitute a popular imaginary, and thus make possible the foreign policy violence which followed.
Post-Conflict? Reflecting on Post-s in a Conflict-prone world
The idea and condition of ‘post-conflict’ has become central to scholarship and to the practice of international intervention in the past decade. Our intuitive understanding of ‘post-conflict’ is that it is the period after conflict has ended, and yet post-conflict spaces remain tremendously conflict-prone. This article asks, given that violent condition, what we mean when we say post-conflict. To answer that question, the article examines the meaning of ‘post-‘ in several contexts. It argues that the heuristic of the post-World War II period is misleading, and that reading post-conflict through the ‘post-‘ of postmodern and postcolonial provides important insights for both research and practice in post-conflict spaces.
3 July 2008