With the G20 Summit about to overtake Toronto, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect for the announcement of a new research centre at the University of Toronto devoted to studying the world of international political, economic and social anxiety.
The Canada Centre for Global Security Studies was created with a $25-million dollar grant from the federal government, and a statement from Prime Minister Steven Harper that “This new centre will help us develop deeper expertise in addressing global security concerns.”
The centre is the latest appendage to the ever-expanding Munk School of Global Affairs, the international studies facility that became the home to the Trudeau Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies a year ago. Janice Gross Stein, the director of the school, says that while there are programs devoted to national security and military affairs across the country, U of T can now claim a unique position to train the professionals who’ll be needed to work across borders, after doing degree work that’ll take them out into the world.
While the Munk School is “a mixture of undergraduate and graduate studies” according to Stein, the new two-year masters program is centred around a summer that sends students abroad to postings in Asia, Mexico and Turkey to gain work experience at NGOs, foundations and international institutions — a facet of their studies that Stein calls “a critically important part of the program.”
Munk School patrons Peter and Melanie Munk endowed the school with a $35-million gift earlier this month, part of which will help establish the Canada Centre for Global Security Studies, in addition to the hiring of new faculty and the construction of new facilities at the school’s home at U of T’s downtown campus.
Echoing the Munk School’s partnerships with university’s law school and the Rotman School of Management, the centre is meant to be interdisciplinary, with what’s described as a focus on “the intersection between global security and cyber espionage, global health and region-specific concerns, such as the Arctic, post-Soviet Europe, the new Asian powers and the changing face of the Americas.”