Mark Sedra Speaks to CIC Edmonton on the Politics of Fear – and the Threats that Matter

Feb 12, 2018 | Event Summary

Edmontonians braved the cold to hear CIC National President Mark Sedra speak on Real and Imagined Security Threats in an Uncertain World. In his presentation on the Canadian International Council’s new research stream, Sedra interrogated the politics of fear present in today’s world, where we are inundated by images of global threats in the mass media, despite the fact that, statistically speaking, we are living in one of the safest periods in human history.

Sedra argued that although the world has a multiplicity of threats, the most pressing ones are not in fact those that are emphasized by leaders. For example, while many in Canada would identify issues such as terrorism as key threats to security worldwide, in practice very few Canadians are killed by domestic terrorism – death by lightning strike is more likely! On the flipside, more diffuse, longer-term issues such as cybercrime, pandemic disease, and climate change pose greater risks, and the politics of fear reduce our ability to develop sustainable solutions to the key issues that matter.

Sedra’s talk provided CIC Edmonton with a convincing overview of these issues and the need for additional focus on these topics. Before proceeding to a lively Q&A session, Sedra closed by arguing that we need to change our perceptions of threats, and increase the dedication of efforts and funds to these issues. We need to further the discussion of Canada’s role in this regard, and ensure that the global leadership is in place to bring about a global response as required. CIC Edmonton was pleased to have the opportunity to begin this discussion in our community.