Canadian Security Intelligence Service

Intelligence in a shifting world

Like every other aspect of modern life, the only real constant in the world of security and intelligence is change.

Since the fall of communism, the global security environment has undergone a dramatic shift. In addition to traditional state-to-state conflicts, there now exists a wide array of security challenges that cross national boundaries and involve groups operating independent of national governments. In this environment, security threats range from terrorism, illicit networks and global diseases to energy security, international competition for resources, and the security consequences emerging from the effects of global warming. Several other factors such as globalization, the development of technology and information technology are also driving this change and making national and global security more complex and interdependent.

What we do

In September 2008, CSIS launched its Academic Outreach Program to better understand these current and emerging issues. By drawing regularly on knowledge from experts and taking a multidisciplinary, collaborative approach, the Service wants to play an active role in fostering a clearer understanding of security issues. This process will benefit both the Service’s experts as well as the researchers and specialists who collaborate with us. The Program’s activities aim to develop a long-term view of various trends and problems, to challenge our own assumptions and cultural bias, as well as to sharpen our research and analytical capacities.

Our goals are to:

  • tap into networks of experts from various disciplines and sectors, including government, think-tanks, research institutes, universities, private business and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Canada and abroad. Where those networks do not exist, we may create them in partnership with various organizations;
  • stimulate the study of issues related to Canada’s security and intelligence apparatus, while contributing to an informed public discussion about the history, function and future of intelligence in this country.

Through its Academic Outreach Program, the Service intends to support, design, plan and/or host several activities, including conferences, seminars, papers, presentations and round-table discussions. For example, the Service has been actively contributing to development of the Global Futures Forum, a multinational security and intelligence community.

While the Service does not take formal positions on issues, the results of some of our outreach activities are released on our publications page, mostly as part of the World Watch: Expert Notes series. By publicizing the ideas emerging from our projects, the Service seeks to stimulate debate and encourage the exchange of views and perspectives with other organizations and individual thinkers.