Global Brief settles in with saviour Glendon

Global Brief, Canada’s first international affairs magazine, has now settled into its new institutional home in the Glendon School of Public & International Affairs (GSPIA) on York’s Glendon campus. To mark the arrival of the publication, a launch ceremony was held Nov. 3 at the Glendon campus.

The magazine’s editor-in-chief and publisher is Irvin Studin (BBA Spec. Hons. ’99), a PhD candidate in constitutional law at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School and a former Rhodes Scholar. Studin and his associate editor – Sam Sasan Shoamanesh (BA Spec. Hons. ’04), a legal adviser with the International Criminal Court – are now hard at work on the next issue of the magazine.

Global Brief ‘s first issue was published earlier this year to universal praise. When the financial support for it was withdrawn, Glendon’s recently opened Graduate School of Public and International Affairs stepped into the breach as its new host and, in fact, its second issue – distributed at the heavily attended Glendon launch – was already featured as a Glendon publication.

Left: Former Canadian ambassador to Afghanistan Chris Alexander (left), Global Brief editor-in-chief Irvin Studin, associate editor Sam Shoamanesh and Glendon Principal Kenneth McRoberts

Global Brief, sporting the subtitle “World Affairs in the 21st Century", is a glossy publication featuring some of the world’s top thinkers. Published in English and French, the October issue features work by a cast of Canadian icons, including journalist and  pundit Gwynne Dyer; Louise Arbour, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, a former justice of the Supreme Court of Canada and a former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda; author Leonid Kosals; Schulich School of Business Professor Moshe Milevsky; and Canadian poet and playwright George Elliott Clarke. 

Another contributor was Christopher Alexander, former Canadian ambassador in Kabul and former UN deputy special representative for Afghanistan, who spoke at the launch event. Alexander said that Studin encouraged him to go beyond the usual issues, to explore what paths may be available for helping Afghanistan, and whether there is a chance for that country to become governable. “I appreciate having the opportunity to explore several scenarios in the company of outstanding writers,” Alexander said.

Right: Glendon Principal Kenneth McRoberts (left); Alan Middleton, director of executive programs at the Schulich Executive Education Centre; and Alexander Himelfarb, director of the GSPIA

Studin and Shoamanesh see their publication as a unique, 21st-century platform for high-end debates on international politics, geopolitics, business, culture, religion, critical world trends and events. “While Britain has The Economist, France has Le Monde diplomatique and the US has Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy, this country has a gap in this area that we hope to fill,” said Studin.

“Our ambition is to become this country’s leading forum for discussion about world affairs,” said Shoamanesh. “The calibre of the contributors ensures the quality of the product. The list of future contributors is projected to include former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan; former president of the International Criminal Court Philippe Kirsch; Canadian and Oxford historian Margaret MacMillan; and journalist and filmmaker Alexandre Trudeau, among others.”

Glendon Principal Kenneth McRoberts said Global Brief is a perfect fit with the vision of Glendon’s founding principal Escott Reid. The publication fits with Reid’s concept of Glendon as a bilingual liberal arts college preparing the future leaders of this country. “The scope of the education provided on this campus is greatly enhanced by the new School of Public & International Affairs, the soon to be launched Centre for Global Challenges and the arrival of Global Brief,” said McRoberts.

Right: The four junior editors of Global Brief are master’s students Michelle Collins (left), Mary Elizabeth Simovic, Marie-Anitha Jaotody and Alice Gheorghiu

Several members of the Glendon community are participating in the ongoing production of the magazine. Among these are Professor Michael Barutciski and  Professor Marie Lavoie – members of the GSPIA faculty –working as assistant editors. Four graduate students in the Master’s Program in Public & International Affairs – Michelle Collins, Alice Gheorghiu, Marie-Anitha Jaotody and Mary Elizabeth Simovic – are also working as junior editors on the magazine.

“Having Global Brief as part of the Glendon School of Public & International Affairs is a natural,” said Alexander Himelfarb, director of the school, “because, consistent with the goals of the school, it joins research and scholarship with practice and public policy. And, of increasing importance to public policy, Global Brief helps to draw the link between international and domestic issues."

In addition to its quarterly paper editions, Global Brief also exists as a constantly updated electronic magazine with new submissions in English and French published on an ongoing basis, as well as daily blogs in seven languages – increasing to 10 by the next issue.

Submitted by Glendon communications officer Marika Kemeny