Vincent Pouliot

Current affiliation:
Associate Professor, Department of political science, McGill University

Associate Professor, Department of political science, McGill University

The exchange of ideas is the engine of social and human progress. Developing critical thinking and engaging with divergent opinions, then, are crucial duties for citizens of the 21st century. From this perspective, academia plays a fundamental role in training free thinkers and forging analytical frameworks that may affect societies in turn. When we look at the international news, we can see that many of the prisms that inform today’s politics and policies are rooted more or less directly in the academic world. Some of these ideas are dangerous, like the clash of civilizations, while others tend to be beneficial, such as the notion of human development. The responsibility that falls to university students and professors is enormous: to offer international decision-makers ways of seeing the world that are both pacifist and progressive.

For me, the Trudeau Foundation doctoral scholarship was a fantastic opportunity to promote the free exchange of ideas and, better yet, to fully immerse myself in it. Through activities, conferences, workshops or simply conversations with my peers, I greatly benefited from the Foundation’s engaged and engaging community. The interdisciplinary dialogue and especially the chance to break through the barriers that so often separate the university world from the world of practice provided me with stimulating opportunities to go deeper in my reflections and align them with the dynamics of current social and political change. In my future research and teachings, I will do my best, in turn, to shape critical, free and committed minds.


Vincent Pouliot is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at McGill University. He obtained a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Toronto. His research deals with the practical logics of global security governance, particularly in the framework of international organizations (e.g., the reform of the UN Security Council) or the political and diplomatic processes of pacification (notably the case of the Russia-NATO relationship in the post-Cold War era). In 2009, he has received the Vincent-Lemieux Prize from the Canadian Political Association for the best thesis in political science submitted at a Canadian University in 2007 and 2008.