Stephen Gill honoured by Royal Society of Canada



York Professor Stephen Gill (below, right), a leading international authority on political economy and international studies, has been elected to the Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences of the Royal Society of Canada. He will be inducted to the RSC on November 24 in Ottawa, in conjunction with the society’s annual meeting.

Each year, distinguished scholars and researchers are chosen by their peers and elected to the society on the basis of their exceptional contributions to scholarship. “Your election represents a substantial and meaningful recognition of the fine scholarly work you have done,” said RSC President Howard Alper in a letter to Gill.

Gill, who teaches in York’s Department of Political Science in the Faculty of Arts, has been recognized in other spheres, too. He has been invited to be the opening keynote speaker at a special seminar on “Constitutionalism and Globalization” at the University of Glasgow in Scotland on June 6.

The seminar is organized in conjunction with one of Europe’s leading scholarly law journals, The Modern Law Review. Gill’s lecture/paper will be “Constitutionalism in the age of global capitalism: the challenge of neo-liberal political economy,” to be followed by commentary from two other prestigious speakers.

The seminar is intended to result in a special edition of The Modern Law Review, which has, for more than 50 years, provided a unique forum for the critical examination of contemporary legal issues from perspectives within the social sciences.

Gill has also recently returned from participating in a major interdisciplinary conference at the University of California, Santa Barbara, called “Critical Perspectives on Globalization.” He took part in two panel discussions and was a plenary speaker at a public session. Gill says the plenary sessions are to be broadcast to public television audiences of over 28 million people in the near future.

In March, Gill gave the Annual Public Lecture in Social Change and Development at the University of Wisconsin. The lecture, “Power & Resistance in the New World Order” was based on his new book of the same title (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003) and on his SSHRC-funded research on “US Grand Strategy and Globalization”.

Gill argued that the projected and long-planned war in Iraq was part of a wider project to promote neo-liberal globalization.

“In this regard, US strategy has involved restructuring of global economic governance and strengthening of US military primacy, for example through the Pentagon’s policy of ‘full spectrum dominance’ – superiority in all facets of warfare and surveillance,” said Gill.

Gill noted that these policies, in light of the war on terrorism and other security measures, are ultimately designed to underpin the “social reproduction of affluence,” that is the prosperity and security of a privileged minority of the world’s population, “even if this is secured at the expense of constitutional rights and freedoms, and in ways that tend to intensify the human insecurity of a majority of the world’s population.”