Jan. 13, 2021
UCalgary Political Science interviews our own Dr. Antonio Franceschet
Dr. Antonio Franceschet is Professor and Head of the Department of Political Science at the University of Calgary
Your work is broadly on ethics in international relations. How did you become interested in this area?
I first became interested in international ethics as an undergraduate at the University of Manitoba. Two foreign policy courses I took emphasized how different leaders and countries saw their objectives in moral terms. Those two courses differed from my other political science courses which saw politics only in terms of competition for power. At the same time, I took a course in the religion department on applied ethics; we learned about the just war tradition, and it was something I immediately saw being relevant to my political science studies. This was just before the Cold War’s ending and the area of international ethics took off afterwards in the discipline.
Tell us about the research projects you have been working on.
I’ve published on liberal and cosmopolitan theories of international organization, ethics, and law. I’ve also worked on questions of justice and international criminal courts. Right now, I’m interested in how ideas about “rights to resist” aggression and oppression are embedded in various International Relations theories, as well as the real-world impact of these ideas.
Apart from your research and teaching, you are also the Head of the Department of Political Science. For those that don’t know, what does a typical week as Head looks like?
Typically, there are very few typical weeks, especially during the pandemic. I work with our team of program directors, our administrative team, and the Faculty of Arts to solve any problems and, more proactively, developing more effective ways of organizing and serving our various students and the extremely productive and dynamic scholars in our department. The job involves a lot of meetings, conversations, and planning ahead. Even during challenging times, it can be quite rewarding.
Finally, any advice for those thinking about taking on senior administrative roles in their Department?
Just like any other position, know what your purposes are; be prepared for the unexpected and to adapt; and be aware of the importance of collegiality to academic departments, which work best when people are dedicated to a culture of respect and of excellence in all areas, teaching, research, service, and engaging with the wider community.
Thanks to Dr. Antonio Franceschet for sharing with us.