First round of successful Kanishka Project research proposals

The Kanishka Project Contribution Program is a multi-year investment in terrorism-focused research funded by the Government of Canada.  Its primary focus will be on research, but it will also support other activities necessary to build knowledge and create a vibrant network of scholars that spans disciplines and universities. Through this project, the government is funding policy-relevant projects that will help to better understand terrorism in the Canadian context, how that is changing over time, and how policies and programs can best counter terrorism and violent extremism in Canada.

Funding has been awarded in this first round for the following research proposals. The second round of proposals closed on April 30, 2012, and is currently being assessed.  The closing date for the next round of funding opportunities is scheduled for October 31, 2012.

The Canadian Network for Research on Terrorism, Security and Society (TSAS)
(University of British Columbia; Dan Hiebert, Project Lead, in Partnership with Simon Fraser University and the University of Waterloo)

This proposal seeks to establish a national network of scholars that would serve as the focal point for evidence-based counter-terrorism research in Canada.  The two-year project would bring together researchers and policy analysts with shared interests in the areas of understanding the process of terrorist radicalization; assessing the security responses to it; and situating both in the broader social context with an emphasis on enhancing resilience. 

The network will commission literature reviews on key topics related to terrorism, security and society; stage state-of-the-art workshops on each of these thematic areas; develop an internship program for graduate students working in these areas; run a summer school to train graduate students and early-career policy makers; schedule a series of research presentations in Ottawa; stage a competitive call for proposals for basic research on the three key areas, judged according to quality and relevance; and create a website that will assemble resources for academic researchers and policy analysts.

Public Safety Canada will provide funding in the amount of $460,000 over two years.

Imported Conflict in Canada:  Perception and Reality
(The Mosaic Institute; John Monahan, Executive Director)

This project is a national, comprehensive research study on the prevalence, persistence, and effects of ‘imported' conflicts between and among ethno-cultural communities in Canada.  It will establish a baseline measure of the degree to which Canadians, whose origins are from countries or regions of the world with entrenched conflict, continue to experience those dynamics here in Canada. 

The project will consider both the reality and the perception of such imported conflicts in Canada, and offer recommendations for preventing or minimizing the effects of such conflicts.

The Department of Public Safety Canada will provide funding in the amount of $350,000 over two years.

Collective Efficacy and Cultural Capital:  Building and Fostering Resilience in Different Ethnic Communities
(Ryerson University and the University of Toronto; Dr Sara Thompson and Dr. Sandra Bucerius, Lead Investigators)

The proposed research aims at gaining in-depth knowledge about what helps to build and foster positive social integration (thereby steering people away from crime, violence or even terrorism) and thus, helps to create safer communities and a safer Canada; further, it will consider how the factors that help build and foster resilience might be different for different ethnic groups.

The study is the first of its kind in Canada and will contribute to knowledge about how different ethnic communities can build and foster resilience drawing on the concepts of collective efficacy and cultural capital.  The study will assist in the creation of programs and policies that promote social cohesion and positive social integration within specific ethnic communities – both of which are key aspects of community resilience.  The study is designed to improve our understanding of the ways in which collective dynamics may heighten or curtail the risk of violent extremism.

The Department of Public Safety Canada will provide funding in the amount of $145,000 over three years.

The Effects of Terrorist Group Organization on their Behaviour and Vulnerability
(Carleton University; Dr. Jeremy Littlewood, Project Lead)

In this project, funds will be dedicated to the study of the organizational structure of terrorist groups that have used, or attempted to use or acquire chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) weapons.  By building on a database constructed by one of the principal researchers, and examining the historical record using statistical techniques, the authors will develop a typology for what types of groups seek to acquire and/or use CBRN weapons.

The Department of Public Safety Canada will provide funding in the amount of $60,000 over two years to support this research.

Fourth Edition of the Summer Study Program on Terrorism
(Laval University, Dr. Aurélie Campana, Associate Professor)

Laval University has supported a summer study program focussing on terrorism studies in the past, and has worked closely with Public Safety Portfolio partners to present students with key speakers and research.  This year's focus is ‘Terrorism 2.0: Understanding the real threat and tracking the invisible'. Funds will be used this year to expand the reach of the school, and to engage a broader network of speakers and researchers.

The Department of Public Safety Canada will provide a one-time contribution of $10,000 for the fourth edition of the school, to be held this summer.

Canadian Perspectives on Security, Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism
(Association of Canadian Studies, Jack Jedwab, Project Lead)

Through this project, the Association of Canadian studies will focus on developing and taking measures of Canadians' awareness, knowledge and perspectives on issues of security, terrorism and counter-terrorism.  The authors propose to accomplish this by identifying the most appropriate questions to include in a series of national opinion surveys and focused interviews.  An initial test of question effectiveness will be followed by a detailed survey.  Development of the survey will be conducted in such a way to enable benchmarking and annual assessment of such issues as individual and group sense of security, perceptions of threat(s), trust in institutions, public knowledge/awareness about policies in the area of security and security risks, terrorism and counter-terrorism and to a lesser degree on community resilience.

The Department of Public Safety Canada will provide funding in the amount of $115,000 over two years.

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