Areas of Research

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.

Elections and Representation

A number of our faculty members have research specializations relating to this field, having conducted projects on political marketing, government communications, the role of the media, the political careers of politicians, and voters' evaluations of party leaders. Members of our Department are known internationally for their expertise in political parties, political institutions and political behaviour. This includes:

International Relations and European 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, including Europe, South Asia and Latin America. This includes:

  • Luke Ashworth (history of international thought, international relations theory)
  • Karlo Basta (Nationalism and ethnopolitics; west European politics, central and east European politics, post-Yogoslav politics)
  • Amanda Bittner (European parties and elections)
  • Stephen Bornstein (Western European politics)
  • Isabelle Côté (ethnic conflict, civil wars, migration)
  • Osvaldo Croci (Canadian and Italian foreign/defence policies, European Union, sport and politics)
  • Sarah J. Martin (global food and environmental politics)
  • Russell Williams (globalization, climate change, trade and finance)

Public Policy and Governance

We have garnered substantial strength over the years in the areas of 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:

Student Research Supervision

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. Kelly Blidook: Political and legislative behaviour; Political institutions; Political representation; Public opinion
  • Dr. Alex Marland: Canadian political leadership and parties; Election campaigning in Canada; Political marketing, media and communications
  • Dr. Scott Matthews: Elections, public opinion and voting behaviour; Political psychology; Political parties; Parties and elections in the U.S. and Canada

Comparative Politics

  • Dr. Karlo Basta: Identity politics (nationalism, ethnopolitics); Institutional design and change; Federalism and multi-level governance; West and East European politics; Canadian politics; Democratization
  • Dr. Amanda Bittner: Parties and elections; Political psychology; Public opinion and voting; Women and politics
  • 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

International Politics

  • Dr. Luke Ashworth: International relations theory; history of international thought; theories of war and peace
  • Dr. Osvaldo Croci: European Union; Foreign and defence policies of Western states, including Canada; Sport and politics; Transatlantic relations
  • Dr. Sarah J Martin: Food and agricultural politics and policy (local and global); environmental politics; global governance; global political economy
  • 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

  1. Dr. Christina Doonan:  Human Rights, Philosophy of Law and caring labour
  2. Dr. Dimitrios Panagos: Aboriginal politics; Contemporary political theory; Feminism; Identity politics; Resource management and governance

Public Policy and Administration

  • Dr. Stephen Bornstein: Canadian and comparative health policy and health politics
  • Dr. Stephen Tomblin: Canadian and provincial politics; Comparative public policy and public administration; Health policy; Regionalism and economic development


Department of Political Science

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000