Despite the growing international recognition of a “responsibility to protect” civilians from mass atrocities within their borders, an alarming gap remains between discourse and practice in the field of civilian protection. Conventional explanations typically focus on the dilemmas and challenges involved in the provision of civilian protection, highlighting the failures, and, less often, the successes of international approaches. Less recognized are the knowledge and experiences of the survivors of armed violence, thus limiting our understanding of how, when, and why civilians survive the threats arising from their environments. To address this gap, my doctoral research will explore both international and local conceptions of civilian protection and will focus specifically on how the intersection of the two shapes protection outcomes. In offering greater insight into the motivations and ideologies that underlie external and internal approaches, this research will aim to bridge the prevailing divides in this field and expose mutually beneficial protection strategies that will inform future policy practice.
I’m proud to be a recipient of the Killam Pre-Doctoral Scholarship, and to be carrying on the commitment of Izaak Walton Killam and Dorothy J. Killam to advanced study in Canada. I’ve been inspired by their dedication to this goal, and will gratefully draw upon the support and resources provided by the Killam Trusts in advancing my understanding of humanitarian action and civilian protection at the international and community levels.
Benefits of Killam funding
Funding from the Killam Trusts has provided the support and resources needed to carry out my research and advance my immersion in the field.
Why I chose Dalhousie University
My decision to study at Dalhousie was primarily based on the university’s reputation as a strong academic institution. Despite being a smaller university, Dal is currently hosting a vast array of interesting and exciting research programs, including the Centre for Foreign Policy Studies, the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative, and the Children and Youth in Challenging Contexts Network. My work with these research institutions, all of which attempt to bridge the divides between research, policy, and practice, has inspired my own studies and has played a prominent role in my own academic and professional development.
David Morgan is also a recipient of a Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarship, a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, and an honorary recipient of the Glyn R. Berry Memorial Scholarship in International Policy Studies at Dalhousie University.