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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Arts
October 20, 2017
Canadian Excellence
Professor Simon Dalby

Dr. Simon Dalby

CIGI Chair in the Political Economy of Climate Change, Balsillie School of International Affairs

Contact Information
Email: |

Office Location: BSIA 310
Office Hours: By Appointment
Languages Spoken


Academic Background

Simon Fraser University, Ph.D. 1988 (Geography)

University of Victoria, M.A. 1982 (Geography)

University of Dublin, Trinity College, B.A. Mod. 1979 (Geography)


Simon Dalby is CIGI Chair in the Political Economy of Climate Change and Professor in the Balsillie School of International Affairs and in Geography and Environmental Studies. Before moving to Wilfrid Laurier Simon Dalby was Professor of Geography, Environmental Studies and Political Economy at Carleton University in Ottawa.

Currently Simon Dalby is working on a variety of projects under the loose rubric of “Anthropocene Geopolitics”. The Anthropocene is the unofficial designation for the new geological epoch we are living in, one where human activities are now significantly changing how the planetary biosphere operates. Most of Professor Dalby’s work is on how contemporary security and geopolitical discourses of climate change deal with these new circumstances in the “age of humanity”. This work draws on both his earlier research work themes on critical geopolitics and on environmental security and connects them together.

Critical geopolitics emerged in the 1980s as political geographers sought new critical intellectual ways to engage with the fraught matters of violence, war and geopolitics. Simon Dalby’s Ph.D. dissertation, and subsequent book (Creating the Second Cold War published by Pinter and Guilford in 1990) on the American Committee on the Present Danger, was one of the first studies in what has subsequently become known as critical geopolitics. Subsequently he co-edited special issues of Society and Space, and Political Geography, a book (Rethinking Geopolitics published by Routledge in 1998) and two editions of The Geopolitics Reader with Gearoid O’Tuathail (Professor at Virginia Tech.) extending the scope of critical geopolitics. Subsequently these intellectual concerns have become a substantial field of research (See Klaus Dodds, Merje Kuus and Joanne Sharp eds, The Ashgate Research Companion to Critical Geopolitics Aldershot: Ashgate, 2013.).

In the 1990s Simon Dalby also began contributing to the emerging discussion on the relationships between environmental change, conflict and security. He published two early articles on these themes in 1992 in Alternatives and in Progress in Human Geography. Subsequently he has written a series of book chapters and journal articles as well as two books on this debate (Environmental Security published by University of Minnesota Press in 2002, and Security and Environmental Change published by Polity in 2009). The 2009 volume, three chapters co-authored with Ursula Oswald Spring and Hans Guenter Brauch, and current book chapters and journal articles have connected geopolitics to security arguing that the new circumstances of the Anthropocene require us to rethink both quite drastically. Hence the label “Anthropocene Geopolitics” for his current research.

In the News

“400ppm: Anthropocene Geopolitics” Society and Space Open Forum, July 2013. (

“Obama, unlike Harper, heeds climate message” Toronto Star 26 June 2013.

ACUNS “Current Issues Podcast No 31: Climate Change After Doha” February 2013.

“Climate Geopolitics” CIGI “Inside the Issues” podcast 16 January 2013.

“The Doha Climate Talks” Council on Foreign Relations/CIGI online 28 November 2012.

Additional Information

A complete list of Simon Dalby's scholarly publications is included in the "Documents" section of this webpage. Click on "Documents" to the left here and follow the link.

Some of my recent conference papers are posted on my "Academia" page at