National Security Education in Canada - Veronica Kitchen, University of Waterloo
9 March 2023
From the perspective of counter-terrorism, police officers are substantial generators of intelligence, and, particularly in the case of the RCMP, have primary responsibility for intervention in many issue areas that are widely considered to be national security (for instance, tracking and intervening in right wing extremism). [...] Scholars in the field of critical security studies have pointed to the study of bureaucracy, and, in particular, education and training, as important to understand how threats to national security are conceptualized and addressed (Bigo 1996). [...] In another example, Monaghan and Molnar (2016), found that RCMP training documents on radicalization tended to reify and reproduce a simplistic narrative of Islamist extremism as a disproportionate threat to Canada, despite efforts in the academic community to promote a more nuanced reading of inclusivity and calls to avoid focusing on one particular terrorist threat. [...] Through the choices made in constructing the curriculum, including the readings chosen, assignments given, the topic and the order they are presented in, the examples and images used, learners are encouraged to think about the topics in particular ways. [...] However, we can still conclude that national security education and training is both formally and informally governed by the power of the RCMP as the LEO responsible for national security, despite the fact that police officers at all levels are widely considered to be on the front lines of national security.