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CIC Saskatoon: Real and Imagined Security Threats in an Uncertain World

February 8, 2018 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm CST


We are inundated by images of global threats in the mass media, whether it is terrorism, transnational organized crime, mass migration, pandemic disease, cyberwar or climate change. In spite of this “culture of fear” that seems to dominate the Western media and political landscape most evidence shows that we live in the safest period in human history. From 1945 to 2014, the death rate from conflict declined from 22 per 100,000 to 1.4, and the incidence of extreme poverty — often a driver of conflict — has declined by almost 75 percent since 1990. These statistics raise significant questions about how we assess international threats and tailor responses to them. For instance, there is a tendency to prioritize and inflate direct or proximate threats, specifically those perceived to be particularly “spectacular” in character, such as terrorism or the impacts of different forms of transnational organized crime. By contrast, more distant and creeping threats, such as climate change and pandemic disease, tend to receive less attention.

In his lecture CIC President Mark Sedra will explore the politics of fear and the actors that drive it. His lecture and the CIC research project upon which it is based are intended to inform a broader discussion on how Canada should better assess and communicate threats to the public and tailor effective responses to them.

Speaker’s Biography

Over the past decade prior to becoming CIC national president and research director in March 2016, Dr. Mark Sedra has focused on peace building and state building processes in fragile and conflict-affected states. He has conducted research on several countries and regions, including Afghanistan, Northern Ireland, the Middle East and the Balkans. Mark has been a consultant to governments, intergovernmental organizations, and NGOs, including the United Nations, Global Affairs Canada and the UK Department for International Development. In 2012, Mark founded the Security Governance Group, a private research consulting firm, and the Centre for Security Governance, a non-profit think tank, both of which specialize in international peace and security issues. He is also currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Waterloo and Balsillie School of International Affairs.

Mark has held a variety of positions in the international affairs field both in Canada and globally, including: Senior Researcher and Program Leader at the Centre for International Governance Innovation; Cadieux-Léger Fellow at Global Affairs Canada; Visiting Research Fellow at the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom; and Researcher and Project Manager at the Bonn International Centre for Conversion. He has published widely and is a regular commentator on security issues in the Canadian and international press. His most recent book, Security Sector Reform in Conflict-Affected Countries: The Evolution of a Model, was published by Routledge in the fall of 2016.

6:00 pm Doors open
6:30 pm Dinner with the speaker (RSVP)
7:40 pm Doors open to the public
8:00 pm Public presentation begins


Two ways to register by Eventbrite:

[1] Presentation only – 8 pm – free
[2] Dinner with the speaker at 6 pm, followed by presentation.
Students – $20 per plate
All other CIC members – $25 per plate
Nonmembers – $30 per plate

If joining for dinner, payment by credit card (deadline: February 6, 4:00 p.m.). Dinner registrants will be expected to pay even if they cannot or do not attend. Persons with dinner reservations who cannot attend are encouraged to find someone else to take their place.

Contact Person: Dan Sutherland – saskatoon@thecic.org


February 8, 2018
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm CST
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Saskatoon Club
417 21st Street East
Saskatoon, SK S7K 0C5 Canada
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