Steve Saideman / @smsaideman

Paterson Chair in International Affairs at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs

Stephen Saideman holds the Paterson Chair in International Affairs at Carleton University’s Norman Paterson School of International Affairs. He has written four books: The Ties That Divide: Ethnic Politics, Foreign Policy and International Conflict; For Kin or Country: Xenophobia, Nationalism and War (with R. William Ayres); NATO in Afghanistan: Fighting Together, Fighting Alone (with David Auerswald); and Adapting in the Dust: Lessons Learned from Canada’s War in Afghanistan, as well as articles and chapters on nationalism, ethnic conflict, civil war, alliance dynamics, and civil-military relations. Prof. Saideman has received fellowships from the Council on Foreign Relations and the Social Sciences Research Council. The former placed on the Bosnia desk of the Strategic Planning and Policy Directorate of US Joint Staff for a year, and the latter facilitated research in Japan. He taught previously at the University of Vermont, Texas Tech University, and at McGill University. He writes online at, Political Violence at a Glance, Duck of Minerva and his own site ( He has won two awards for teaching, one for mentoring other faculty, one for public engagement, and two for his blogging on international studies. He is currently working on the role of legislatures in civil-military relations as well as seeking funding to build the Canadian Defence and Security Network. He tweets at @smsaideman.

Most Recent Posts


Message Mismanagement

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October 17, 2014
The Harper government has made message management a key priority. So why are they so bad at it, wonders Steve Saideman.

Pondering NATO’s Future

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June 19, 2014
To enlarge or not to enlarge? What to do about Russia and Putin? Should NATO look beyond Europe? Steve Saideman on some of big questions facing the alliance.

A Principled Approach to Russia

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April 25, 2014
After the Second World War, the West and the Soviet Union agreed to not use force to change boundaries. Could that agreement be resurrected to dissuade Russia of further encroachment in Ukraine?

Always Open for Business

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April 3, 2014
The standoff between Ukraine and Russia isn't giving NATO a new sense of purpose, says Steve Saideman. The alliance has been busy since the Cold War.

NATO Unimpressive?

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March 27, 2014
Despite recent cuts, NATO is still a formidable military force, especially when compared to Russia, says Steve Saideman.

The Nationalist Games

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February 11, 2014
The Olympics are supposed to be about overcoming differences among countries. They're really about building nationalism.

A Serious Question

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January 17, 2014
Was the Afghanistan mission worth it? It's a complex question, but one that needs to be asked, argues Steve Saideman.

History Repeating?

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January 3, 2014
2014 marks 100 years since WWI, which means many people will be applying lessons from 1914 to today. Don't listen to them says Steve Saideman.

Trick or Treat?

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October 29, 2013
Which Halloween costume best reflects Canada's year? Steve Saideman considers the possibilities.

The DND's Strategic Uncertainty

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October 15, 2013
There's one big problem with the Department of National Defence's effort to articulate strategic clarity argues Steve Saideman – the Harper government.

Home Field Advantage at the UN

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September 25, 2013
Steve Saideman on why it's true the UN is only as good as its members, but that doesn't mean its structure doesn't shape how those members interact.

Confused About Syria?

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September 5, 2013
You're not alone. Steve Saideman on some of the more baffling elements of the debate over intervention in Syria.

Shuffle Up and Deal

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July 9, 2013
Steve Saideman on why Peter MacKay should be shuffled out of the cabinet and into the office of NATO Secretary General.

Hyperbole Overload

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June 25, 2013
Steve Saideman worries that with the proliferation of media sources comes more distracting noise and fewer real insights.

Adding Up Kandahar

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June 19, 2013
Ask not 'Why Kandahar', ask 'Why we thought the soldiers we sent were enough to do the job' says Steve Saideman.

How To React To Terror

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April 23, 2013
Steve Saideman considers how one should feel after the events of this last week. Fearful of terrorism? Thankful to the authorities? Ambivalent?

Proxy Proxies

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April 10, 2013
Steve Saideman argues that focusing only on national armies in conflict-ridden states promotes bias against foreign troop training.

Diplomatic Drought

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April 1, 2013
Steve Saideman on what possible reason the Harper government could have for pulling out of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification.

Keystone Uber Alles?

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February 27, 2013
Steve Saideman on why neither Canadian domestic policy nor Canadian-U.S. relations begin and end with the Keystone pipeline.

Promises Made

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February 13, 2013
Steve Saideman on the foreign policy promises and exaggerations Obama made last night in the State of the Union Address.

Oversight Overboard

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February 6, 2013
Steve Saideman on the dysfunction of both the Canadian Parliament and the U.S. Congress when it comes to proper accountability.

Are We Going to War in Mali?

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January 15, 2013
Steve Saideman asks, if Canada sends just one non-combat plane to provide logistical support outside of the fighting areas in Mali, is it at war?