Dr. Denis Stairs

Denis Stairs was born in Halifax in 1939, and obtained a B.A. in History from Dalhousie University in 1961, and another from Oxford, in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, in 1964. His Ph.D. in Political Science is from the University of Toronto, where he specialized in International Politics and Foreign Policy.

Dr. Stairs returned to Dalhousie to join the Department of Political Science in 1966, and was the founding Director of its Centre for Foreign Policy Studies from 1970 to 1975. He served as Chair of his Department from 1980 to 1985, and as Dalhousie’s Vice-President (Academic and Research) from 1988 to 1993. In 1995 he became McCulloch Professor. He was appointed Professor Emeritus in 2005.

A former President of the Canadian Political Science Association and a member for six years of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Dr. Stairs was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1979. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Social Sciences Federation of Canada and the Research Council of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Institute for Research on Public Policy, the Board of Visitors of the Canadian Forces College in Toronto, and the Advisory Council of the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute in Calgary. Dr. Stairs specializes in Canadian foreign and defence policy, Canada-U.S. relations, and similar subjects.

In addition to numerous published lectures and articles, he is the author of The Diplomacy of Constraint: Canada, the Korean War, and the United States. Dr. Stairs is a two-time recipient of the Marcel Cadieux Distinguished Writing Award. In 2004 he received a Distinguished Scholar Award from the International Studies Association. Although he sees himself as primarily an educator, Dr. Stairs has occasionally offered advice in response to requests from royal commissions, parliamentary committees, and departments of government – the Department of National Defence and Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (along with its various antecedents) notably among them. So far as he can determine, none of this activity has had any practical effect.