Panel 1 (September 25): Capacity Building at Day Zero
• Théodore McLauchlin, University of Montreal
• Renanah Miles Joyce, MIT
• Linnéa Gelot, Folke Bernadotte Academy
Series of Virtual Workshops
In the past decade, in a world with many different security challenges, the disastrous failures of direct interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and straitened budgets after the financial crisis of 2008, capacity-building became an increasingly important tool in international security. As states, international organizations and NGOs sought to bolster their partners’ abilities to deal with security problems in many different domains, including defence, counterinsurgency/counter-terrorism, and peace-building, capacity building was not only regarded as more sustainable over the long term than international intervention, it was also deemed useful to achieve better burden sharing.
The COVID-19 pandemic puts the requirements for and the uses of capacity-building in question. Moving personnel around and working side-by-side with partners now poses new health risks; the economic calamity which has ensued from the pandemic raises searching questions over how states and organizations will change their policy tools. Have states reconsidered their engagement in what were often treated as low-priority missions? Will they, instead, turn all the more to capacity-building so that others can take on security burdens? How have capacity-building needs and mission operations changed with the new emphasis on health security? Are these reversible or likely permanent changes? Will the difficulties of international cooperation be felt in this domain? This series of virtual workshops will address these and related questions. We will explore the state of capacity-building before the pandemic; assess its impacts on capacity-building operations in defence, COIN/CT, and peacekeeping operations; and analyze the challenges posed for the Canadian Armed Forces. The panels will bring together academic experts and policy-making practitioners to learn from each other.
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