Watson, Scott

Associate Professor and Graduate Advisor


Phone number: (250) 472-4715
Email: sdwatson@uvic.ca
Department: Political Science

Research description:

-International Security
-Securitisation Theory

Expertise Profile
When boatloads of Tamil refugees arrived in Victoria's harbour in 2010, it elicited some angry responses. People feared--despite the lack of evidence--that the asylum-seekers were part of an illegal Tamil organization that used violent techniques to fight for an independent state.

A general fear is that people entering the country without documentation will participate in crimes such as human trafficking, says political scientist Scott Watson, who adds that these concerns can undermine the aspirations of people genuinely seeking safety: "Even though it's important to prevent crimes like human trafficking, we also need to be aware of how our efforts can undermine humanitarian protection for people in real need of assistance."

Dr. Watson is an expert in international security and the international response to humanitarian crises. He studies how countries such as Canada, the US and Australia respond to the arrival of asylum-seekers during forced migration crises.

Dr. Watson brings awareness of human refugee migration issues to UVic by having students complete projects on refugee movements and by participating in the World University Services of Canada's (WUSC) campus refugee services. Through WUSC, UVic students sponsor three to four refugees every year to study at UVic. Once they arrive, Dr. Watson and participating students help them find housing and a social network so they can adjust to life in Canada.

Related links

Scott Watson's Faces of UVic Research video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhiX-8ZRMNE

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