The Association of Political Science Students (APSS) held the annual Keith Davey Forum on Public Affairs on Wednesday, October 2, with this year’s panel focused on drone warfare. The event was held in conjunction with U of T’s Department of Political Science and Victoria College, and took place at the Isabel Bader Theatre. Janice Stein, professor of Conflict Management in the Department of Political Science at U of T, moderated an open discussion on the topic of ethical warfare.
The two key speakers, Neta C. Crawford and Avery Plaw, are political science professors at Boston University and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, respectively. Both have published books on international relations, focusing on terrorism and moral responsibility within warfare. The event featured a semi-structured debate in which Crawford and Plaw were asked for their opinions and expertise surrounding the United States’ employment of drones, which are unmanned aerial vehicles used to target potential terrorist threats in foreign countries.
After two hours of discussion, followed by a question and answer session, students had the opportunity to further engage with each other and the speakers during a reception in the lobby of the theatre. “Even though I’m not a political science student, I still have a deep interest in politics,” said Nicole D’Alessandro, a life sciences student. “As much as students think they watch the news or are informed, it’s important to get the opinions of professionals in the field.”
Many students who attended the forum were not enrolled as political science students. “As much as we don’t like to relate ourselves to the United States, whatever happens there affects [Canada]. Canadians feel the repercussions of their actions in some way or another. It’s not just the economy — it’s also our national security. That’s why having these discussions is important,” said Malik Chabou, a fourth-year economics student. The event was free and open to all U of T students.