undergraduate education was at Trinity
College, Dublin in Ireland where I received a
geography degree from the faculty of natural sciences. While
there in the late 1970s I was once chair of the Dublin University
Geographical Society, did research on traffic planning issues
in my native city of Cork, and was also involved in the
successful campaign against plans to build a nuclear power
reactor on Carnsore Point in the South East of Ireland.
Master's degree came from the
University of Victoria in British Columbia where
I went to study the planning processes that lead to
such odd policy decisions as recommendations to build
nuclear power plants in places like Ireland! My lengthy
MA thesis was an historical and sociological analysis
of the protest movement against nuclear power using
the Irish case as an example of green politics. (Researchers
please note, my complete archive of materials from
this episode in Irish environmental and political
history was donated to the University
of Limerick Library in Ireland).
went on to do my Ph.D. at Simon
Fraser University in 1983 when the second cold war
looked especially dangerous. It was in the days Ronald
Reagan made speeches about the evil empire and launched
his Star Wars "strategic defence initiative," and when
the Soviet airforce shot down flight KAL007 in suspicious
circumstances over Sakhalin Island. Leaving aside my interests
in green politics once again my academic research was
directed to grappling with an important contemporary issue.
I wrote a dissertation on the reconstruction of the Soviet
threat by intellectuals in Washington in the late 1970s.
The dissertation worked out an approach to geopolitical
discourse which has subsequently shaped many of my writings
on "critical geopolitics." It was revised and published
by Pinter in London and Guilford in New York in 1990 as
Creating the Second Cold War.
I moved to Carleton in 1993, I taught at both Vancouver
Community College and Douglas College in New Westminster
and spent two more years at Simon Fraser University on
Barton research fellowships from the (now, alas, defunct)
Canadian Institute for International Peace and Security.
These fellowships allowed me to extend my critical geopolitics
research by looking at the identity politics in the ANZUS
alliance, and to develop my thinking on the concept of
security, and specifically the emergent discourse of environmental
security, in the early 1990s.
coming to Carleton I have taught political geography courses
in the geography department and I have extended my research
on both critical geopolitics and environmental security
to consider, among other things, the contemporary debates
about globalization. I have worked on a project
to examine the politics of community in facing environmental
threats of various kinds. Field work data from Cape Breton
was analysed in conjunction with my colleague Fiona Mackenzie's
research on the Island of Harris in Scotland.
recently my concerns with geopolitics and environment
have converged in considerations of globalization and
the current debate about American foreign policy and the
theme of empire. Over the next few years I plan to work
on the current Bush Administration's military policies
and the "imperial" themes in the debates about the
war on terror, national missile defense and the invasion
of Iraq, as well as the global patterns of consumption
which relate to what these military strategies supposedly