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Jihadist Violence and Security Markets: A Celebration of Award-Winning Research

Jihadist Violence and Security Markets: A Celebration of Award-Winning Research
315 Bloor Street, 1st floor boardroom
Time: Oct 11th, 4:00 pm End: Oct 11th, 6:00 pm
Interest Categories: Political Science, Islamic Studies, History (FAS), Historical Studies (UTM), Historical and Cultural Studies (UTSC), 2000-
Panel Discussion

The Munk School of Global Affairs presents

Jihadist Violence and Security Markets: A Celebration of Award-Winning Research

Registration Full 


The Munk School of Global Affairs and the Department of Political Science are delighted to announce an event to celebrate the International Studies Association’s Best Security Article Award to Professor Aisha Ahmad for her International Security article, “The Security Bazaar: Business Interests and Islamist Power in Civil War Somalia.”

Professor Ahmad’s article investigates the reasons why radical Islamist groups sometimes gain political power in civil war contexts. Ahmad arrives at the counterintuitive conclusion that Islamist rule is sometimes preferred by the business community because Islamists are able to provide security for business activities at a lower cost than local warlords’ protection rackets or fragile public governments. Based on extensive field work and a mix of qualitative and quantitative analysis, Ahmad tests her theory in civil war Somalia. She finds that economic interests better explain support for Islamist security networks than either clan or Islamic identity. Her work carries important implications for international policy aimed at stabilizing public government in areas prone to Islamist radicalism.

After a presentation of the award by Professor Robert Keohane on behalf of the International Studies Association, this event will celebrate Professor Ahmad’s ideas through a lively panel discussion among leading scholars of international relations.

About the Speakers

Aisha Ahmad is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and Co-Director of the Islam and Global Affairs Initiative at the Munk School of Global Affairs. Her work explores the political economy of Islamist power in weak and failed states. She has conducted field research in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and Kenya. In 2012, she was a fellow at the Belfer Center on Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School. She is currently working on a book on the relationship between clandestine business and Islamist movements in civil wars across the Muslim world.

David B. Dewitt is a University Professor in the Department of Political Science at York University. His principal focus is on international relations, notably covering the Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Canadian foreign, security and defence policies, and international and regional security and conflict management. Active in t2 and t1.5 diplomacy, along with consulting with government departments and international institutions. Visiting scholar at the Canadian Forces College, Tel-Aviv University, and the Korean Institute for Defence Analysis (KIDA). Member of the International Studies Association (ISA), the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) and the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP). Chair, Partnership for International Strategies in Asia (PISA – Washington, DC). Publications covering Canadian foreign, security and defence, Asia Pacific security, Middle East security, arms control and proliferation, human security, international relations theory. Teaching at undergraduate and graduate levels in these areas; also the PhD core course in international relations. At York, Associate VP Research, Director, York Centre for International & Security Studies (YCISS); also on leave as VP Research & Programs, Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI).

Antoinette Handley is the Chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto where she teaches comparative, developing country politics, including African politics and government, African political economy, and the politics of epidemics. Prior to her appointment at the University of Toronto, Handley served as the director of studies at the South African Institute of International Affairs in Johannesburg, South Africa, where she led the institute’s research and publications division. Handley’s research focuses on the nature of the private sector, specifically, business as a political actor and the role of these actors in the political economy of development more broadly. More recently, her work has focused on how African economic elites respond to moments of national social or political crisis.

Randall Hansen is Interim Director of the Munk School of Global Affairs and Full Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto. He works on Immigration and Citizenship, Demography and Population Policy and the Effects of War on Civilians. His published works include Disobeying Hitler: German Resistance after Operation Valkyrie (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014), Sterilized by the State: Eugenics, Race and the Population Scare in 20th Century North America (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014), Fire and Fury: the Allied Bombing of Germany (Penguin, 2009), and Citizenship and Immigration in Post-War Britain (Oxford University Press, 2000). He has also co-edited Immigration and Public Opinion in Liberal Democracies (with David Leal and Gary P. Freeman) (New York: Routledge, 2012), Migration States and International Cooperation (with Jeannette Money and Jobst Koehler, Routledge, 2011), Towards a European Nationality (w. P. Weil, Palgrave, 2001), Dual Nationality, Social Rights, and Federal Citizenship in the U.S. and Europe (w. P. Weil, Berghahn, 2002), and Immigration and asylum from 1900 to the present.

Robert O. Keohane is Professor of International Affairs, Princeton University. He is the author of After Hegemony: Cooperation and Discord in the World Political Economy (1984) and Power and Governance in a Partially Globalized World (2002). He is co-author (with Joseph S. Nye, Jr.) of Power and Interdependence (third edition 2001), and (with Gary King and Sidney Verba) of Designing Social Inquiry (1994). He has served as the editor of the journal International Organization and as president of the International Studies Association and the American Political Science Association. He won the Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order, 1989, and the Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science, 2005. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the National Academy of Sciences. He has received honorary degrees from the University of Aarhus, Denmark, and Science Po in Paris, and is the Harold Lasswell Fellow (2007-08) of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.

Barnett Rubin is a Senior Fellow and Associate Director of CIC, where he directs the Afghanistan Pakistan Regional Program. He has worked at CIC since July 2000. During 1994-2000 he was Director of the Center for Preventive Action, and Director, Peace and Conflict Studies, at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. Rubin was Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for the Study of Central Asia at Columbia University from 1990 to 1996. Previously, he was a Jennings Randolph Peace Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace and Assistant Professor of Political Science at Yale University. From April 2009 until October 2013, Dr. Rubin was the Senior Adviser to the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan in the U.S. Department of State. In November-December 2001 Rubin served as special advisor to the UN Special Representative of the Secretary General for Afghanistan, during the negotiations that produced the Bonn Agreement. He subsequently advised the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan on the drafting of the constitution of Afghanistan, the Afghanistan Compact, and the Afghanistan National Development Strategy.

Stephen M. Saideman is the Paterson Chair in International Affairs at Carleton University. His research interests focus on the causes and consequences of intervention into intra-state conflicts. His latest book, Adapting in the Dust: Learning Lessons from Canada’s War in Afghanistan, comes out in early 2016. His current research focus is on the role of legislatures in democratic civil-military relations. He teaches courses on Contemporary International Security, Civil-Military Relations and US Foreign and Defence Policy.


Samantha Smith


Randall Hansen
Interim Director, Munk School of Global Affairs

Aisha Ahmad
Co-Director, Islam and Global Affairs Initiative, Munk School of Global Affairs

Barnett Rubin
Associate Director, Senior Fellow, Center on International Cooperation, New York University

Robert Keohane
Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs, Princeton University

David Dewitt
University Professor, Department of Political Science, York University

Stephen Saideman
Paterson Chair in International Affairs, Norman Paterson School of International Relations, Carleton University

Antoinette Handley
Chair, Department of Political Science, University of Toronto


Munk School of Global Affairs

Department of Political Science

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