Governing 'dual-use' research in Canada: A policy review

Bryn Williams-Jones, Catherine Olivier, Elise Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


National and international organisations have implemented governance mechanisms to address a diversity of ethical, security and policy challenges raised by advances in research and innovation. These challenges become particularly complex when research or innovations are considered 'dualuse', i.e. can lead to both beneficial and harmful uses, and in particular, civilian (peaceful) and military (hostile) applications. While many countries have mechanisms (i.e. export controls) to govern the transfer of dual-use technology (e.g. nuclear, cryptography), it is much less clear how dual-use research from across the range of academic disciplines can or should be governed. Using the Canadian research and policy context as case study, this paper will first, examine the governance mechanisms currently in place to mitigate the negative implications of dual-use research and innovation; second, compare these with other relevant international governance contexts; and finally, propose some ways forward (i.e. a risk analysis approach) for developing more robust governance mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbersct038
Pages (from-to)76-93
Number of pages18
JournalScience and Public Policy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Canada
  • Dual-use research
  • Governance
  • Policy
  • Regulations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Public Administration
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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