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I am a scholar of international security. Over the course of my career, I have focused successively on four major topics. The first of these was the global arms industry. My dissertation dealt with the impact of what was called the Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) on the North American defense sector, exploring how this change in the character of warfighting gave rise to a new mode of defense production – “military fordism.”

The second focus of my scholarly attention was the RMA itself. I spent most of this phase of my career exploring both contemporary and historical episodes of rapid transformation in what I called the “social mode of warfare” – that is, the ways in which state-society complexes organized for and prosecuted wars. During this phase, I wrote a number of government reports, book chapters and articles in journals such as European Journal of International Relations.

The third focus of my scholarship, again evolving out of the previous one, had to do with medieval warfare and, more broadly, with medieval geopolitics. During this period, I immersed myself in the military historiography of the era, and especially on the historiography of the crusades. During the decade or so that I devoted to the geopolitics of this era, I published a number of articles in peer-reviewed journals like International Studies Quarterly.  I also published two scholarly monographs – one at the beginning of my “medieval period” (Theorizing Medieval Geopolitics) and the other at the close of that period (Medieval Sovereignty) – and a novel (The Holy Lance: A Novel of the Third Crusade). While in some ways a hiatus from my overall scholarly project of trying to understand – and make understandable – contemporary geopolitics, this was a very fruitful period for me intellectually as it deepened both my sense of both the historicity of war as a macro-social phenomenon and those elements of it that seem constant and unchanging.

Finally, in recent years my focus has been on the geopolitics of the Indo-Pacific region and related topics of great power competition, US grand strategy and Chinese foreign policy. I say “in recent years,” but this has actually been a thread that I can trace back to the earliest years of my career. I have written on aspects of Chinese foreign policy on and off over the decades, have spent some time in China and have regularly taught courses on China and its (evolving) role on the world stage. While there will doubtless be a fifth phase in my career, for the foreseeable future I will be plunging ever more deeply into fascinating topic of China and its evolving role on the international stage.


Though I am best described as a scholar, I also consider myself a public intellectual. In this capacity, I have written numerous policy reports, done innumerable public presentations on international affairs, made any number of appearances in the media, supported Canadian diplomatic delegations, had a regular column on medieval geopolitics (at and more recently begun publishing commentary, analysis and opinion pieces in public-facing outlets like The Hill, The Diplomat, RealClearDefense and Strategy Bridge

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My education has both formal and informal elements. The informal element consisted of an “apprenticeship” with the Canadian Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT, now known as Global Affairs Canada). My PhD was financed by DND through their Military and Strategic Studies Program, and by DFAIT and in the early years of my career I worked with both DND and DFAIT on issues such as non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament (NACD); the Revolution in Military Affairs; the campaign to ban landmines; and issues related to Chinese and Indian strategic culture. I worked not only in Ottawa and Toronto, but also had occasion to be part of several diplomatic delegations to NACD negotiations in Geneva, Switzerland. I also participated in a number of “familiarization tours” at NATO Headquarters, NORAD Headquarters, The Pentagon and US State Department, and Canadian Peacekeeping missions in the Middle East. During these years I learned a great deal about working with government officials and others in the public policy world. My time with DFAIT culminated in my appointment in 2004 as a Senior Policy Advisor responsible for space security.

My formal education consists of successful completion of the following degree programs.


1997    PhD, York University, Canada


Major Field: International Relations


Minor Field: Political Theory


Dissertation Title: “From the ‘American System’ to ‘Military Postfordism’: A History of the US Arms Industry


Other Appointments During My Time in the Doctoral Program:


  • Assistant Director of the York Centre for International and Security Studies, 1995-97.

  • Teaching Assistant, Department of Political Science, York University, 1995-97.

  • Nonproliferation, Arms Control and Disarmament Research Fellow, Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (now Global Affairs Canada), 1995-97.

  • Member, Canadian Diplomatic Delegation to the Group of Governmental Experts to Prepare the Review Conference of the “Convention on Conventional Weapons,” Geneva, Switzerland, 1994-2000        

  • Lecturer, Canadian Armed Forces School of Aerospace Studies, Winnipeg, Canada, 1993-95.

  • Lecturer, Department of Political Studies, University of Manitoba, 1990-95.

  • DND Research Associate, Centre for Defence and Security Studies, University of Manitoba, Canada, 1990-95.

  • Director, NATO Advanced Research Workshop, “The Future of the Global Arms Industry,” September 1991-August 1992.



1988    Master of Arts, Queen’s University, Canada


Major Field: International Relations


Minor Field: Political Theory


Thesis Title: “Conflict and Competition in NATO: The Case of the Eurofighter”


Awards: G.G. Baron van der Feltz Award for Best M.A. Thesis in International Relations.



1986 Bachelor of Arts (Honours), York University, Canada


Majors: Political Science and History

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