CIGI Junior Fellows Policy Brief Series

About the series

The CIGI Junior Fellows program at the Balsillie School of International Affairs provides masters level students with mentorship opportunities from senior scholars and policy makers. The program consists of research assistantships, policy brief writing workshops, interactive learning sessions with senior experts from CIGI and publication opportunities. Working under the direction of a project leader, each junior fellow conducts research in one of CIGI’s program areas. This series presents those policy briefs that met CIGI’s publications standards.

In the Series

Sub-Saharan African smallholder farmers face numerous agricultural obstacles — such as climate change and the environment, corporate commodification of food and unpredictable political environments — and farmers are finding it difficult to sustain agricultural livelihoods and output. The international community currently approaches these obstacles through biotechnology, a temporary solution that contributes to the overarching issues of food security.
Launched in 2009, the Northern Pass Transmission Project is meant to carry electricity from Quebec to the New England grid by way of New Hampshire. The project is in a political deadlock, however, because alternative methods have not been investigated and New Hampshire bears major economic, social and ecological costs while receiving few benefits from the proposed transmission line.
Canada’s continued economic prosperity relies on the successful diversification of its markets, which requires a comprehensive strategy to improve trade ties with the Asia-Pacific, given the Canadian government’s argument that strong economic growth has made that region a key priority. The authors of this Jr. Fellows policy brief conclude that Canada can strengthen its relationship with the Asia-Pacific through its humanitarian assistance and disaster response.
The lines between civilian and military are increasingly blurred, creating ambiguity under international law when private contractors engage in offensive cyber-security operations on behalf of states. These private security companies (PSCs) are being contracted for cyber security to engage in offensive cyber operations, but states should not contract PSCs for offensive cyber operations.
China’s growing economic standing suggests a power shift for the twenty-first-century global economy, as exemplified through the internationalization of China’s currency, the renminbi (RMB). RMB internationalization can fill China’s financial integration gap by promoting faster internal financial reforms, stronger interconnectivity between trade and finance, and greater economic responsibility.