Dr Grant Dawson
Assistant Professor in Social Science and International Politics, School of International Studies
Room 423, Trent Building
The University of Nottingham Ningbo China
199 Taikang East Road
+86 (0)574 8818 0559
+86 (0)574 8818 0125
PhD (Carleton University)
MA (with Distinction) (University of Manitoba)
Double Honours BA (with First Class Honours) (University of Manitoba)
Grant joined the School of International Studies as assistant professor in August 2014. Previously, he was deputy director of the David Davies Memorial Institute of International Studies in the Department of International Politics at Aberystwyth University (2009-2014). He has taught in the Department of Political Science at Carleton University (2006-2009); the Department of International Relations, Xiamen University (2012 Visiting Scholar); and the Department of International Politics, Aberystwyth University (2011-2012).
UN peacekeeping, UN peacemaking, civil wars (especially in Namibia, Somalia, and Libya), international intervention, Africa’s international politics in relation to China and Canada
Teaching and learning
- INTS1001 “Introduction to International Relations”
- INTS20222 “Global Shift: Power, Order, Change”
- INTS2035 "Risk Analysis: Political and Business Risk"
- INTS4102 “Humanitarian Intervention and Civil Wars”
I am happy to supervise PhD theses on areas of international intervention; peacekeeping, civil war; peace processes; Chinese foreign policy and global order; and Canadian foreign policy"
Principle research interests
My research interests are international intervention, peacekeeping, peacemaking, and civil/ethnic conflict. My theoretical interests that intersect with these areas include normative theory, just war theory, and cosmopolitanism. I have two primary research projects that will occupy my energies in the upcoming years. These are a book-length cosmopolitan history of the Namibia peace process (1977-90), and peer-reviewed journal articles (possibly forming the basis of another book) on the intervention in Libya’s civil war in 2011. I also have major research and teaching interests in China and the United Nations, and in Africa’s international politics (especially in connection with Chinese and/or Canadian foreign policy).
I am at the project-definition stage of my book-length project on Namibia’s peace process. My argument is that the peace process was driven not by states but by transnational activities that reveal history to be a social process. My first article on the intervention in Libya will question whether the intervention can be morally and ethically defended as a just humanitarian action. I argue that PM David Cameron exaggerated the humanitarian crisis to justify action that protected his political interests and the international standing of the United Kingdom. The second is on Canada’s role. This article will argue that PM Stephen Harper used participation for an on-going effort to refashion Canada’s identity, for Canadians and the wider world, in line with national and international circumstances.
- Here is Hell: Canada’s Engagement in Somalia . Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press (2007).
Refereed articles and chapters
- "Player, partner and friend: Canada's Africa policy since 1945," International Politics , 50.3 (May 2013): 412–434
- "Who Wants a Mission? Canadian Forces’ Resistance to a Role in the UN Transition Assistance Group for Namibia, 1978," International Peacekeeping , 19.1 (February 2012): 114–127.
- "Contact Africa: Canadian foreign policy, the contact group, and southern Africa," International Journal 64.2 (Spring 2009): 521-536.
- "‘A Special Case?’ Canada, Operation Apollo and Multilateralism," Canada Among Nations 2003: Coping with the American Colossus , eds. David Carment, Norman Hillmer and Fen Osler Hampson, (Toronto: Oxford UP, 2003) 180-99.
- "Preventing ‘a great moral evil’: Jean de Bloch’s The Future of War as Anti-Revolutionary Pacifism," [Lead article] Journal of Contemporary History 37.1 (January 2002): 5-19.
- "In Support of Peace: Canada, the Brahimi Report and Human Security," Canada Among Nations 2001: The Axworthy Legacy , eds. Maureen Molot, Fen Osler Hampson and Norman Hillmer, (Toronto: Oxford UP, 2001) 294-317.
- Wth Cyrus Janssen, “Global shift – the US, China, and the Hong Kong Protests,” Duck of Minerva world politics blog, 7 February 2015
- "Canada's new foreign policy is a response to a changing world," Ottawa Citizen , Wednesday 26 March 2014: A11.
- "Fewer Lectures on China, Please," Toronto Star , Monday 27 August 2012: A11.
- "Libya intervention has left us with blood on our hands," Western Mail (Cardiff), Tuesday 15 May 2012: 19.
- "‘Terror group’ Somalia’s only hope for peace and stability," Western Mail , Tuesday 13 December 2011: 19.
- "Why it is a lot easier to start a revolution than to finish one," Western Mail , Tuesday 8 February 2011: 18.
- "What went right in Somalia," Ottawa Citizen , Monday 12 April 2010: A11.
- (with Dr Stephanie Carvin, Royal Holloway, University of London), "A different kind of Inquiry: Somalia vs. Afghanistan," Ottawa Citizen , Monday 25 January 2010: A11.
- "Talk can lead to action on climate change challenge" Western Mail , Friday 6 November 2009: 27.
- "How Lord Davies believed he could end all War," Western Mail , Tuesday 1 September 2009: 19.
Recent presentations at conferences, workshops and seminars
- “The Namibia Peace Process of 1977-90 in Transnational and Global Perspective,” at BISA 2015 London, 2015
- "Status, Fear, and Human Rights: the Western Great Powers and Intervention in Libya,” at ISA New Orleans, 2015
- "Roundtable on Non-traditional security in Northeast and Southeast Asia, and paper "The UK, the just war tradition, and the Libya intervention of 2011: a flawed outcome for a failed policy,” at ISA Global South Caucus, Singapore, 2015
- "Syria: Behind the Headlines," roundtable discussion, Department of International Politics, Aberystwyth University, September 2013
- "Britain's Role in the International Interventions in Libya in 2011: a Failed Outcome for a Flawed Policy," International Politics Research Seminar, to Department of International Politics, Aberystwyth University, March 2013
- Panellist at 5 th Davies Forum on ‘R2P and national self-interest in Western interventions in Saharan Africa and the Mediterranean region,' hosted by the David Davies Memorial Institute, Department of International Politics, Aberystwyth University, February 2013
- Panellist at 'Question Time: The "R2P" and the Arab Spring' event, organised by Cardiff University and Welsh Centre of International Affairs, Cardiff, February 2013
- "Britain's Role in the International Interventions in Libya in 2011: a Failed Outcome for a Flawed Policy," to the British International History Group conference, Leicester, and Civil War and State-building Challenge conference, University of Birmingham, September 2012
- "‘Who wants a mission?’ Canadian Forces resistance to peacekeeping in Namibia in 1978," to British International History Group conference, Glasgow, September 2011
- "Partner, Player, and Friend: Canadian foreign policy towards Africa" and "Ought or Not: The R2P in Slow Retreat," to ISA annual conference in Montreal, March 2011
- "Calming or Controlling? The Western Contact Group and the Struggle to Liberate Namibia," to the CISS / ISA 10th Annual Millennium Conference, Venice, July 2010
Other selected presentations
- Conferences at University of St. Andrews, Scotland (2010), Wilfred Laurier University, Kitchener, Ontario (2008) and University of New Brunswick, Fredericton (2008 and 2007)
- Talks at Cairo University and Sciences-Po, Paris (2006 and 2007)
- International Studies Association 45th and 48th Annual Meetings, Montreal (2004) and Chicago (2007)
- Canadian Historical Association 81st meeting, Toronto (2002); Society for Military History Annual Conference, Calgary (2001); and American Historical Association 114th meeting, Chicago (2000)
- The Namibia Peace Process of 1977-90 in Transnational and Global Perspective,” at BISA 2015 London, 2015
- Status, Fear, and Human Rights: the Western Great Powers and Intervention in Libya,” at ISA New Orleans, 2015
- Roundtable on Non-traditional security in Northeast and Southeast Asia, and paper “The UK, the just war tradition, and the Libya intervention of 2011: a flawed outcome for a failed policy,” at ISA Global South Caucus, Singapore, 2015