James Horncastle

Assistant Professor, Humanities
Edward and Emily McWhinney Professor in International Relations


 AQ 6207


Research interests

  • Refugee and Migration Studies
  • Modern History of Greece
  • International Relations
  • Yugoslav Studies
  • Identity Formation
  • Conflict Studies


  • PhD, History, Simon Fraser University
  • MA, History, University of New Bruswick
  • BA, History, St. Thomas University


I was born and raised in New Brunswick, Canada. After attending St. Thomas University, I was inspired by its emphasis on liberal arts education, which I applied to my Masters studies at the University of New Brunswick, where I examined the social, political and military dimensions of Yugoslavia’s collapse in the 1990s. Upon completion of my Masters at the University of New Brunswick, I set out for PhD studies at Simon Fraser University, where I examined the Macedonian Question in the Greek Civil War. After serving as a limited-term appointment at Simon Fraser University for three years, I joined the Hellenic Studies Program as the inaugural holder of the Edward and Emily McWhinney Professorship in International Relations.

Journal articles and book chapters

  • “An Ongoing Paradox: The EU’s Response to the Migration Crises, Rising Nationalism, and its Treatment of Greece” Nationalism, World System, and Migration. (2023 Forthcoming)
  • “The Unsettled Foundation: Self-Management and its Implications for Yugoslavia’s policy of Total National Defence” Defense & Security Analysis 38 (2022) 106-21.
  •  w/ Jack MacLennan. “Where eagles err: Contemporary geopolitics and the future of Western special operations” Special Operations Journal 7 (2021) 43-54.
  • '“Clandestine “Comrades”: The Comintern, Tito and the Underground Communist Party of Yugoslavia, 1939-1941” in Between Two Fires: Neutral Countries as Clandestine Battlefields during the Second World War and the Cold War, 1939-1962. Ed. Andre Gerolymatos, Denis Smyth, and w/ James Horncastle (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2020) 155-72.
  • Turning off the Tap: The 1999 Bombing Campaign of Kosovo and the Securitization of Water" in Ethical Water Stewardship. Ed. Ingrid Stefanovic and Zadar Adeel (London: Springer, 2020) 179-94.
  • “The Death of a City: The Yugoslav Peoples Army Siege of Vukovar, 1991, Refugee Crisis, and its Aftermath” in War and the City (Leiden: Brill, 2019) 85-104.


  • “A Measure of Success? Soviet and American Military Advising in Yugoslavia, 1945-1957” Air Force Advising and Assistance: Developing Airpower in Client States(Solihull, UK: Helion, 2018) 73-88.
  • “Majority Rule, Minority Issues: The Macedonian Question in the Dekemvriana,” Defense & Security Analysis 33 (2017): 1-12.
  • “Mapping a term: Geography and its role in the success and failures of the Yugoslav and Greek Resistance movements, 1940-1945” in War and Geography: The Spatiality of Mass Violence (Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh, 2017) 77-97.
  • “Tous Azimuts: Yugoslavia’s Defence Policy during the Cold War” The Means to Kill Essays on the Interdependence of War and Technology from Ancient Rome to the Age of Drones. Edited by Gerrit Dworok and Frank Jacob (Jefferson, NC: McFarland Press, 2015) 182-196.
  • “Unfamiliar Connections: Special Forces and Paramilitaries in the Former Yugoslavia” Special Operations Journal 2 (2016) 12-21.
  • “Croatia’s Bitter Harvest – Total National Defence’s role in the Croatian War of Independence” Small Wars & Insurgencies 26 (2015) 742-761.
  • “Reaping the Whirlwind: Total National Defense’s Role in Slovenia’s Bid for Secession,” Journal of Slavic Military Studies 26 (2013) 528-550.
  • “A House of Cards: The Yugoslav Concept of Total National Defence and its Critical Weakness” Macedonian Historical Review 2 (2011) 285-302.

Book Reviews

  • KITROMELIDES, P. AND S. MATTHAEOU (EDS). Greek-Serbian Relations in the Age of Nation-Building, Journal of Modern Greek Studies 1 (2020): 249-51.
  • WOLF-DIETER MÜLLER. The Unknown Eastern Front: The Wehrmacht and Hitler’s Foreign Soldiers, Global Humanities 2 (2015) 149-150.

Conference presentations

  • "Refugees and Migration in the Age of the Nation-State," Langara College, in Vancouver, BC, 5 October 2022.
  • "Present Problem, Future Conflict? The Republika Srpska and Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine,” at Irish Association for Russian, Central and East European Studies 2022 Conference, in Maynooth, IR, 17 September 2022.
  • "Russia-Ukraine War: An old-new legacy of nationalism and state-building?" Douglas College, in New Westminster, BC, 12 July 2022.
  • "In the Shadow of Asia Minor: The Greek Population in Ukraine, Its History, and Future after the Russo-Ukrainian War,” The Angelo K. Tsakopoulos Hellenic Studies Center, in Sacramento, CA, 12 May 2022.
  • "Understanding the War in Ukraine: A Panel with SFU Experts," SFU Public Square, in Burnaby, BC, 13 April 2022.
  • “Using the Lion to Catch an Eagle: Greece’s use of the Macedonian Question in Greek-American Relations, 1947-1949,” Cold War (A)Symmetries: Conflict, Cooperation, and Trade, in Târgovite, RO, 28 October 2021.
  • “Grabbing the Lion by the Tail: The Macedonians in the Greek Civil War, 1946-49,” Association for the Study of Nationalities, in New York, NY, 8 May 2021.
  • “Destroying a movement, building a nation: The events of 1924 and the founding of IMRO (United),” ‘Lords of the border marches’: Paramilitary mobilization, ethnic violence and nation-building in Anatolia and the Balkans during the European Civil War (1905-1949), in Bucharest, RO, 4 December 2020.
  • “Greece, Nationalism, and Migration: An Ongoing Paradox,” World Systems Workshop, in Bodø, NO, 12 November 2020.
  • “Recreating the Past: Historiography in the People’s Republic of Macedonia, 1945-1991,” Memory and Trauma Through History and Culture: Migrations, in Burnaby, BC, 9-10 October 2020.
  • “Comrade or Foe? Yugoslavia’s Involvement in the Greek Civil War, 1946-1949,” Modern Greek Studies Symposium, in Sacramento, CA, 9 November 2019.




  • “Terrorism and Refugees,” International Security Preparedness Professional Development Conference, in Victoria, BC, 19 June 2018.
  • “The Death of a City: The Yugoslav Peoples Army Siege of Vukovar, 1991, Refugee Crisis, and its Aftermath,” War and the Urban Context, in New York, 19 May 2017.
  • “Unfamiliar Connections: Special Forces and Paramilitaries in the Former Yugoslavia,” SORA, in Fort Walton Beach, FL, 11 December 2015.
  • “Once again Comrades: Greek and Yugoslav Communist Party Relations, 1945-1946”, ASEEES, in Philadelphia, PA, 19 November 2015.
  • “Mapping a term: Geography and its role in the success and failures of the Yugoslav and Greek Resistance,” War and Geography, in New York, NY, 1 May 2015.
  • “Poisoning the Well: The Macedonian Question in the Dekemvriana (1944),” Western Consortium Graduate History Conference, in San Diego, CA, 25 April 2015.
  • “The Dekemvriana and the Slavo-Macedonian Question,” December to Varkiza: Memory, Political Discourse, and the Greek Civil War, in Burnaby, BC, 20 February 2015.
  • “Different Visions, Same Problem: Yugoslavia and the Macedonian Question, 1945-1949,” ASEEES, in San Antonio, Texas, 20 November 2014.
  • “A Tout Azimuths: Yugoslavia’s Defence Policy during the Cold War,” International Conference “War and Technology“, in Würzberg, Germany, April 1, 2014.
  • “Fraternal Discord: Yugoslavia’s Failed Intervention in the Greek Civil War, 1946 -1949”, Northern Great Plains History Conference, in Hudson, WI, September 26, 2013.
  • “Keeping the Genie in the Bottle: The Greek Navy in the First Balkan War,” Greece and the Balkan Wars, in St. Louis, MO, October 27, 2012.
  • “The Mixed Harvest: The Role of Total Natural Defence in Croatia’s Secession from Yugoslavia,” McGill-Queen’s University Graduate Conference in History 2012 “Shaping Space(s), Telling Time(s) /// Explorer l’espace, déchiffrer le temps”, March 2-4, 2012.
  • “Sowing the Seeds of Chaos: Yugoslavia’s Defence Policy in the Cold War,” the Great Northern Plains History Conference, October 13-16, 2010.
  • “Balkan Paper Tiger: Yugoslavia’s Military Strength” at the UNB-University of Maine Annual History Conference, September 25-27, 2009.
  • “Contested History: The Historical Development of Dubrovnik” at St. Thomas Research and Ideas Fair, March 21, 2009.
  • “Strategic Perspective, Tactical Problems: Valentino’s Strategic Perspective on Genocide” at St. Thomas Research and Ideas Fair, March 15, 2008

Community and professional outreach