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Canada and the World, Ep. 10: Goodbye left-right, hello identity politics

A new podcast series from
and the Balsillie School of International Affairs.

By: /
12 October, 2018

This week, host Bessma Momani speaks to several guests about identity politics: what it means, how it has changed political debates in North America and Europe, and whether there are possible resolutions in sight. First, guest Juliette Kayyem explains the wave of identity politics in the United States and how it is shaping the country’s security considerations, democratic institutions and international perceptions. Next, Frédéric Merand and Leah Sarson discuss the various meanings and implications of ‘nativism’: will it become the primary political conflict in every European country or will it remain but one of many concerns? How does gender factor into the fight to dismantle power structures? And, how do these issues blur the lines of the more traditional left-right divide? 

Our host

Bessma Momani is professor at the Balsillie School of International Affairs and University of Waterloo and a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation. She’s also a non-resident senior fellow at the Stimson Center in Washington, D.C. and a Fulbright Scholar. She has been non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. and a 2015 Fellow at the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation. She’s a frequent analyst and expert on international affairs in Canadian and global media. 

This week’s guests

Juliette Kayyem is a national security, intelligence and terrorism analyst for CNN and was formerly President Obama’s Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs at the Department of Homeland Security. She has spent over 15 years managing complex policy initiatives and organizing government responses to major crises in both state and federal government. She is the founder of Kayyem Solutions, LLC, providing strategic advice to a range of companies in technology, risk management, mega-event planning, venture capital and more. Kayyem teaches new leaders in emergency management and homeland security as a faculty member at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. She serves as an on-air security analyst for CNN and is featured in a weekly radio program on Boston’s NPR station WGBH, for which she also hosts a regular podcast entitled “Security Mom.” In 2013, she was named the Pulitzer Prize finalist for editorial columns in the Boston Globe focused on ending the Pentagon’s combat exclusion rule against women, a policy that was changed that year.

Frédéric Merand is the Director of CÉRIUM, The Montréal Centre for International Studies, at Université de Montreal, an expert in European politics, international organizations, and foreign and defence policy. He is a former visiting professor at the Munk School of Global Affairs and former visiting professor at the LUISS University Guido Carlo, as well as a former policy advisor to Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade’s European Union Division.

Leah Sarson is an assistant professor at Dalhousie University, where her work explores Indigenous global politics in the extractive resource sector. Her broader research interests focus on Canadian foreign policy, international relations, gender, and the Arctic. Prior to joining Dalhousie, she was a Fulbright researcher and SSHRC post-doctoral fellow at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, where she remains a fellow at the Dickey Center for International Understanding and a visiting Arctic fellow at the Institute of Arctic Studies. 

Canada and The World is produced and edited by Matthew Markudis. Each episode can be found on iTunes and other podcast applications. 

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Journalism in Canada has suffered a devastating decline over the last two decades. Dozens of newspapers and outlets have shuttered. Remaining newsrooms are smaller. Nowhere is this erosion more acute than in the coverage of foreign policy and international news. It’s expensive, and Canadians, oceans away from most international upheavals, pay the outside world comparatively little attention.

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