Dr. Scott Watson

Dr. Scott Watson
Associate Professor and Chair
Political Science
Office: DTB A339

PhD (2006) (UBC)

Area of expertise

International relations theory, securitization, migration

Spring term 2023 office hours by appointment

Chair Office: DTB A316b
Phone: 250-853-3528
E-mail: chairpol@uvic.ca


Scott Watson received his BA (History) and MA (Political Science) from the University of Waterloo, and his PhD from the University of British Columbia (2006). He joined the University of Victoria as in 2006. He is an Associate Professor.

His research interests have centered on the construction of security threats and conditions of ‘national’ insecurity, particularly in the realm of migration; as well as the role various actors play in these processes.

He recently published his first monograph, The Securitisation of Humanitarian Migration (Routledge, 2009)

His current research interests include re-conceptualizing human security as a process of securitisation; mapping the relationship of the mass media to the construction of insecurity; and exploring how private insecurity corporations support and subvert statist discourses of danger in the realm of migration and contagious disease. He is also faculty advisor for the WUSC UVic local committee.

Scott Watson teaches courses on international relations, security studies, nationalism and ethnic conflict and ethics in world politics.

  • Securitisation and the social construction of security/insecurity
  • International relations theory
  • International security
  • Migration and refugee policy

Dr. Watson teaches courses on International Relations.

Teaching 2022-23

Fall 2022

Spring 2023: Not teaching

Courses taught:
  • POLI 240: International Relations
  • POLI 341: The United Nations and Global Issues
  • POLI 345: Ethics in International Relations
  • POLI 348: International Security
  • POLI 433/533: Issues in Politics "Nationalism and Violent Conflict" (Seminar)
  • POLI 433/533: Issues in Politics: "The Politics of Disaster"
  • POLI 540/640: International Relations Graduate Seminar

Single Authored Books:

2009 The Securitization of Humanitarian Migration: Digging Moats and Sinking Boats (Routledge UK, London, 2009)

Articles Published in Refereed Journals:

2015 "The Ambiguity of Human and Humanitarian Smuggling" Migration, Mobility & Displacement, Vol.1(1) pp. 39-54.

2015 "Impugning the Humanitarian Defence" International Migration, Vol 53(2) pp.353-373.

2013 "Macrosecuritization and the Securitization Dilemma in the Canadian Arctic" Critical Studies of Security, Vol. 1(3) pp. 265-279.

2012 "Framing the Copenhagen School: Integrating the Threat Construction Literature", Millennium – Journal of International Studies, 40(2) pp. 279-301 January.

2011 "The ‘Human’ as the Referent Object of Security: A re-conceptualization of humanitarianism and human security" Security Dialogue, Vol. 42(1) pp. 3-20 February.

2011 "Back Home Safe and Sound: The Public and Private Production of Insecurity" International Political Sociology, Vol. 5(2) pp. 160-177 June.

2007 "Manufacturing Threats: Asylum Seekers as Threats or Refugees?" Journal of International Law and International Relations, Vol. 3:1 pp. 95-116.

Book Chapters

Watson, Scott. 2014. "Institutionalizing and Implementing the Disaster Relief Norm: the League of Red Cross Societies and the International Relief Union" in Orchard, Phil and Betts, Alexander, eds. Implementation and World Politics: How International Norms Change Practice (Oxford, Oxford University Press) pp 391-422