Areas of Research

Want to know our research strengths?

Our faculty members' interests cover all major subfields of Political Science. Most students' research interests can be accommodated and supported. However, in recent years the department has developed particular strengths in the following areas; for further information see faculty members' webpages.

Democracy and Representation

A number of our faculty members have research specializations relating to this field, having conducted projects on voting behavior, electoral systems, gender and political representation, and deliberative and participatory democratic innovations. Members of our Department are known internationally for their expertise in political parties, political institutions, political behaviour, and democratic theory. This includes:

International Relations and Comparative Politics

One of the most popular fields of study for incoming graduate students is international relations. From studies of globalization and international political economy, to foreign and defence policy, to the examination of war, peace-building, and secessionist movements, students are well-placed to receive instruction and supervision from members of our Department. In addition, a number of our faculty members have expertise in the politics of different areas around the world, especially Europe, China, and South Asia. This includes:

Public Policy and Governance

We have garnered substantial strength over the years in the areas of Canadian and comparative public policy and administration. If you are interested in conducting research on specific policy areas, such as healthcare or banking, or if you are interested more in overall policy dynamics, including the impact of institutional settings on policy formation, our faculty members will be able to offer you guidance and support. This includes:


Looking for a faculty research supervisor?

Honours and Master's students seeking a research supervisor may use the following information for guidance regarding each faculty member's preferred subject area. Students should not feel constrained by these topics and should look at each faculty member's page to get a better sense of that person's area of expertise, including courses taught and recent publications. In all cases, students should feel comfortable contacting an instructor for more information or if necessary contact the Department's undergraduate advisor (for Honours inquiries) or graduate advisor (for M.A. with research paper or with thesis inquiries).

Canadian Politics

  • Dr. Amanda Bittner: Parties and elections; Political psychology; Public opinion and voting; Women and politics
  • Dr. Kelly Blidook: Political and legislative behaviour; Political institutions; Political representation; Public opinion
  • Dr. Angela Carter: Canadian environmental policy; Federal and provincial climate policy; Green energy transitions
  • Dr. Scott Matthews: Elections, public opinion and voting behaviour; Political psychology; Political parties; Parties and elections in the U.S. and Canada
  • Dr. Elizabeth Schwartz: Public policy and administration; Local government; Climate change and sustainability
  • Dr. Jennifer Selby: Religion; Multiculturalism; Secular politics in Canada and Québec

Comparative Politics

  • Dr. Amanda Bittner: Parties and elections; Political psychology; Public opinion and voting; Women and politics
  • Dr. Angela Carter: Comparative environmental policy; Energy politics and transitions; Climate crisis responses
  • Dr. Isabelle Côté: Ethnic Conflict and Civil Wars, Contentious politics, Political Demography, China and Southeast Asia, Migration
  • Dr. Scott Matthews: Elections, public opinion and voting behaviour; Political psychology; Political parties; Parties and elections in the U.S. and Canada
  • Dr. Elizabeth Schwartz: Public policy; Local government; Climate change and sustainability
  • Dr. Barry Stephenson: Festival cultures; Ritual, myth and political power

International Politics

  • Dr. Luke Ashworth: International relations theory; History of international thought; Theories of war and peace
  • Dr. Sarah J Martin: Food and agricultural politics and policy (local and global); Environmental politics; Global governance; Global political economy
  • Dr. Jennifer Selby: Religion and secularism
  • Dr. Barry Stephenson: Religion and violence; Religion in political discourse
  • Dr. Russell Williams: Canadian economic development; Canadian foreign policy and international political economy; Globalization, financial services and Canadian public policy; Trade policy and regional integration

Political Theory

  • Dr. Christina Doonan: Human Rights; Philosophy of Law and caring labour
  • Dr. Sean Gray: Democratic theory; Critical social theory; History of political thought (especially Rousseau, Kant, and J.S. Mill); Economic and social justice
  • Dr. Dimitrios Panagos: Aboriginal politics; Contemporary political theory; Feminism; Identity politics; Resource management and governance