Political Studies Students’ Conference to focus on military intervention

In an effort to promote the discussion of political science on campus, the University of Manitoba Centre for Security and Defence Studies is hosting the 28th annual Political Studies Students’ Conference.

This year’s conference will focus on exploring the impact of western military intervention.

Alexander Salt, a co-organizer of the conference, explained that organizers wanted to promote a topic not discussed amongst the general public very often.

“Since the end of the Cold War, it’s been one of the defining aspects of foreign policy, specificially for NATO states which Canada is obviously a very prominent member of,” he explained.

“Given the recent situation in Libya, of which the conference is going to take a specific focus towards, we just thought it was incredibly relevant to the contemporary political world.”

Guest speakers for the conference include Douglas Bland, a political studies professor at Queens University who previous served as Lieutenant Colonel in the Canadian Forces and is an expert on defence policy and management.

The conference will also feature a number of panels on the impact of military intervention, including a panel on operational choices of military intervention, which will discuss what occurs once the decision to intervene has been made.

Events are free for all to attend and organizers encourage non-political studies students to also attend.

Salt said organizers hope the conference will spur discussion of military intervention amongst the university community outside of the political studies department.

“Military intervention is not just an academic issue in the political studies department, this is something that affects the country as a whole as a participant in these missions, and the global community,” he commented.

“Everything from the U.N. to NATO to the [European Union] to a variety of other organizations, the impact of these interventions is felt globally.”

The conference takes place from Feb. 1 – 3 in the Great Hall room in University College.