Chris Alcantara

Associate Professor

Chris Alcantara

PhD, University of Toronto; MA, University of Calgary; BA, McMaster University 
Telephone: 519.661.2111 ext. 85171
E-mail: calcanta@uwo.ca
Office: Social Science Centre 4144


Research Interests

Much of Dr. Alcantara’s research examines the roots of collective action and intergovernmental cooperation in Canada, especially between Indigenous communities and the other three levels government (e.g. federal, provincial/territorial and municipal).  He also writes about the importance of institutional design and the dynamics of institutional change using a variety of theoretical (e.g. rational choice, historical institutionalism, and political economy), conceptual (e.g. multilevel governance), and methodological approaches (e.g. archival research, elite interviews, experiments, and statistical analysis, the latter of which he relies heavily on his generous and talented co-authors!).  He has also come to appreciate and to emphasize in his research the important role of agency in a variety of Canadian political arenas.  


Current Research Projects

1. The Political Evolution of the Nunatsiavut Government

This five-year project, which is co-directed with Dr. Graham White and is supported by $120,000 from a SSHRC Partnership Grant (PI Tom Gordon), examines the implementation of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement in Labrador, Canada. 

2. Indigenous-Municipal Intergovernmental Relations

This project, which is co-directed with Dr. Jen Nelles and is supported by an Ontario Early Researcher Award ($150,000), examines the evolving relationship between Indigenous and local governments in settler societies. 

3. Water Servicing Agreements between First Nations and Municipalities in Ontario

Working with Dr. Brady Deaton (PI, Guelph) and Dr. Sheri Longboat (co-applicant) and using funds from a 2018-2022 $371,300 SSHRC Insight Grant, we examine the potential for water sharing agreements and other related governance mechanisms to address First Nations water insecurity.

**Graduate Student Research Assistantship Position Available**

Seeking an incoming (Fall 2019) or current doctoral student interested in contributing to this research project. In collaboration with Drs. Longboat and Alcantara, the student will establish relationships with participating Indigenous communities and municipal governments, conduct literature reviews, collect and analyze data, deliver public presentations and co-author publications.  The successful candidate must be enrolled or receive acceptance of enrollment in a PhD program either at the University of Guelph (Rural Studies) or at the University of Western Ontario (Political Science).


Selected Publications

Scholarly Books (Authored & Co-Authored)

  • 2016: Christopher Alcantara and Jen Nelles. A Quiet Evolution: The Emergence of Indigenous-Local Intergovernmental Partnerships in Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. 
  • 2013: Christopher Alcantara. Negotiating the Deal: Comprehensive Land Claims Agreements in Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
  • 2010: Tom Flanagan, Christopher Alcantara, and Andre Le Dressay. Beyond the Indian Act: Restoring Aboriginal Property Rights. Montreal-Kingston: McGill-Queens University Press.  

Refereed Journal Articles

  • Forthcoming. Christopher Alcantara and Ian Kalman. “Diversifying Methodologies: A Haudenosaunee/Settler Approach for Measuring Indigenous-Local Intergovernmental Success.” Canadian Journal of Political Science. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0008423918000409 
  • Forthcoming.  Steve White and Christopher Alcantara. “Do Constraints Limit Opportunism? Incumbent Electoral Performance Before and After (Partially) Fixed-Term Laws” Political Behavior. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11109-018-9467-3. Available online.
  • Forthcoming: Christopher Alcantara and Michael Morden. “Indigenous Multilevel Governance and Power Relations: Lessons from Impact and Benefit Agreements in Canada.” Territory, Politics, Governance.  DOI:10.1080/21622671.2017.1360197.
  • 2017: Christopher Alcantara. “Implementing Comprehensive Land Claims Agreements in Canada: Towards An Analytical Framework.” Canadian Public Administration. 60 (3): 327-348.
  • 2017: Zac Spicer, Michael McGregor, and Christopher Alcantara. “Political Opportunity Structures and the Representation of Women and Visible Minorities in Municipal Elections.” Electoral Studies. (48): 10-18.
  • 2017: Christopher Alcantara and Caroline Dick.  Decolonization in a Digital Age: Cryptocurrencies and Indigenous Self-Determination in Canada.” Canadian Journal of Law and Society. 32 (1): 19-35.
  • 2017: Christopher Alcantara, Dianne Lalonde, and Gary Wilson. “Indigenous Research and Academic Freedom: A View from Political Scientists.” International Indigenous Policy Journal. (8) 2: 1-19.
  • 2016: Jason Roy and Christopher Alcantara. “Fighting Fire with Fire: The Implications of (Not) Going Negative in a Multiparty Election Campaign.” Canadian Journal of Political Science. 49 (3): 473-497.
  • 2016: Christopher Alcantara and Zac Spicer. “A New Model for Making Aboriginal Policy? Evaluating the Kelowna Accord and the Promise of Multilevel Governance in Canada.” Canadian Public Administration. 59 (2): 183-203.
  • 2016: Christopher Alcantara, Jörg Broschek, and Jen Nelles. “Rethinking Multilevel Governance as an Instance of Multilevel Politics: A Conceptual Strategy.” Territory, Politics, Governance. 4 (1): 33-51.
  • 2016: Christopher Alcantara and Adrienne Davidson. “Negotiating Aboriginal Self-Government Agreements in Canada: An Analysis of the Inuvialuit Experience.” Canadian Journal of Political Science. 48 (3): 553-575.
  • 2015: Jason Roy and Christopher Alcantara. “The Candidate Effect: Does the Local Candidate Matter?” Journal of Elections, Public Opinion & Parties. 25 (2): 195-214.
  • 2014: Jim Walz, Christopher Alcantara, and Renan Levine. “Canadian First Ministers’ Conferences and Heresthetic Strategies: Explaining Alberta’s Position on Multiculturalism at the 1971 Victoria Conference.” Journal of Canadian Studies. 48 (2): 99-121.
  • 2014: Christopher Alcantara and Jason Roy. “Reforming Election Dates in Canada: Towards an Explanatory Framework.” Canadian Public Administration. 57 (2): 256-274.
  • 2014: Jen Nelles and Christopher Alcantara. “Explaining the Emergence of Indigenous-Local Intergovernmental Relations in Settler Societies: A Theoretical Framework.” Urban Affairs Review. 50 (5): 599-622. 
  • 2014: Christopher Alcantara and Gary N. Wilson. “The Dynamics of Intra-Jurisdictional Relations in the Inuit Regions of the Canadian Arctic: An Institutionalist Perspective.” Regional and Federal Studies. (24) 1: 43-61.
  • 2014: Christopher Alcantara and Jen Nelles. “Indigenous Peoples and the State in Settler Societies: Towards a More Robust Definition of Multilevel Governance.” Publius: Journal of Federalism. 44 (1): 183-204.
  • 2013: Christopher Alcantara. “Ideas, Executive Federalism and Institutional Change: Explaining Territorial Inclusion in Canadian First Ministers’ Conferences.” Canadian Journal of Political Science. Vol. 46 No. 1 March, pp. 27-48.
  • 2013: Christopher Alcantara. “Preferences, Perceptions, and Veto Players: Explaining Devolution Negotiation Outcomes in the Canadian Territorial North.” Polar Record.  Vol. 49 No. 2, pp. 167-179.
  • 2012: Gary N. Wilson and Christopher Alcantara. “Mixing Politics and Business in the Canadian Arctic: Inuit Corporate Governance in Nunavik and the Inuvialuit Settlement Region.” Canadian Journal of Political Science Vol. 45 No. 4 December pp. 781-804.
  • Finalist for the 2013 McMenemy Prize for the best paper published in English or French in volume 45 of the Canadian Journal of Political Science.
  • 2012: Jason Roy and Christopher Alcantara. “The Election Timing Advantage: Empirical Fact or Fiction?” Electoral Studies Vol. 31 No. 4 December, pp. 774-781.
  • 2012: Christopher Alcantara, Kirk Cameron, and Steven Kennedy. “Assessing Devolution in the Canadian North: A Case Study of the Yukon Territory.” Arctic. Vol. 65 No. 3 September, pp. 328-338.
  • 2012: Christopher Alcantara, Rob Leone and Zac Spicer. “Responding to Policy Change from Above: Municipal Accountability and Transparency Regimes in Ontario.” Journal of Canadian Studies Winter. Vol. 46 No. 1, pp. 112-137.
  • 2012: Christopher Alcantara, Zac Spicer, and Rob Leone. “Institutional Design and the Accountability Paradox: A Case Study of Aboriginal Accountability Regimes in Canada.” Canadian Public Administration Vol. 55 No. 1, pp. 69-90.
  • 2011: Jen Nelles and Christopher Alcantara. “Strengthening the Ties that Bind? An Analysis of Aboriginal-Municipal Intergovernmental Agreements in Canada.” Canadian Public Administration Vol. 54 No. 3, pp. 315-334.
  • Winner of the J.E. Hodgetts Award for the finest article in English appearing in the 2011 issues of the Canadian Public Administration journal.
  • 2010: Christopher Alcantara and Greg Whitfield. “Aboriginal Self-Government Through Constitutional Design: A Survey of Fourteen Aboriginal Constitutions in Canada” Journal of Canadian Studies Vol. 44 No. 2, pp. 122-145.
  • 2010: Christopher Alcantara. “Indigenous Contentious Collective Action in Canada: The Labrador Innu and their Occupation of the Goose Bay Military Air Base.” Canadian Journal of Native Studies Vol. 30 No. 1, pp. 21-43.
  • 2009: Christopher Alcantara.  “Old Wine in New Bottles?: Instrumental Policy Learning and the Evolution of the Certainty Provision in Comprehensive Land Claims Agreements.” Canadian Public Policy Vol. 35 No. 3 September, pp. 325-341.
  • 2009: Christopher Alcantara and Jen Nelles. “Claiming the City: Cooperation and Making the Deal in Urban Comprehensive Land Claims Negotiations in Canada.” Canadian Journal of Political Science Vol. 42 No. 3 September, pp. 705-727.
  • 2008: Christopher Alcantara. "Privatize Reserve Lands? No. Improve Economic Development Conditions on Canadian Indian Reserves? Yes." Canadian Journal of Native Studies Vol. 28 No. 2, pp. 421-427.
  • 2008: Christopher Alcantara. “Aboriginal Policy Reform and the Subsidiarity Principle: A Case Study of the Division of Matrimonial Real Property on Canadian Indian Reserves." Canadian Public Administration Vol. 51, No. 2, Summer, pp. 317-333.
  • 2008: Christopher Alcantara. “To Treaty or Not To Treaty? Aboriginal Peoples and Comprehensive Land Claims Negotiations in Canada.” Publius: The Journal of Federalism Vol. 28, No. 2, pp. 343-369.
  • 2007: Christopher Alcantara. “Reduce Transaction Costs? Yes. Strengthen Property Rights? Maybe: The First Nations Land Management Act and Economic Development on Canadian Indian Reserves.” Public Choice. Vol. 132, No. 3-4, September, pp. 421-432.
  • 2007: Christopher Alcantara. “Explaining Aboriginal Treaty Negotiation Outcomes in Canada: The Cases of the Inuit and the Innu in Labrador.” Canadian Journal of Political Science Vol. 40, No. 1, March, pp. 185-207.
  • 2006: Christopher Alcantara. “Indian Women and the Division of Matrimonial Real Property on Canadian Indian Reserves.” Canadian Journal of Women and the Law. Vol. 18, No. 2, pp. 513-533.
  • 2005: Christopher Alcantara.  “Certificates of Possession and First Nations Housing: A Case Study of the Six Nations Housing Program.” Canadian Journal of Law and Society Vol. 20 No. 2, pp. 183-205.
  • 2005: Christopher Alcantara. “The Harmonization Accord: Stakeholder Influence on the Canada-Wide Standard for Dioxins and Furans.” Journal of Canadian Studies Vol. 29 No. 2 Spring, pp. 156-178.
  • 2005: Tom Flanagan and Christopher Alcantara. “Individual Property Rights on Canadian Indian Reserves: A Review of the Jurisprudence.” Alberta Law Review Vol. 42 No. 4 April, pp. 1019-1046.
  • 2004: Tom Flanagan and Christopher Alcantara. “Individual Property Rights on Canadian Indian Reserves.” Queens Law Journal Vol. 29 No. 2 Spring, pp. 489-532.
  • Winner of the David Watson Memorial Trust and Award, which is awarded annually for “the paper published in the Queen’s Law Journal judged to make the most significant contribution to legal scholarship.”  
  • 2003: Christopher Alcantara. “Individual Property Rights on Canadian Indian Reserves: The Historical Emergence and Jurisprudence of Certificates of Possession” Canadian Journal of Native Studies Vol. 23, No. 2, pp. 391-424.

Book Chapters

  • 2015: Gary Wilson, Christopher Alcantara, and Thierry Rodon. “Multilevel Governance in the Inuit Regions of the Territorial and Provincial North.” 2013 IIGR State of the Federation book, Aboriginal Multilevel Governance in Canada edited by Martin Papillon. Kingston: Institute of Intergovernmental Relations, pp. 43-64.
  • 2014: George Braden, Christopher Alcantara, and Michael Morden. “Something Old or Something New?: Territorial Development and Influence within the Canadian Federation.” 2011 IIGR State of the Federation book, The Changing Federal Environment: Rebalancing Roles edited by Nadia Verrelli. Kingston: Institute of Intergovernmental Relations, pp. 171-193.
  • 2009: Christopher Alcantara and Iain Kent. “Aboriginal Peoples in British Columbia: From Impoverished to Restored Societies?” In British Columbia Politics and Government. Edited by Michael Howlett, Dennis Pilon, and Tracy Summerville. Edmond Montgomery Publications, 2009, pp. 267-286.
  • 2006: Tom Flanagan and Christopher Alcantara. “Customary Land Rights on Canadian Indian Reserves.” In Self Determination: The Other Path for Native Americans. Edited By Terry Anderson, Bruce Benson and Tom Flanagan. Stanford Uni Press, pp. 134-158.

Edited Collections

  • 2016: Christopher Alcantara and Jerald Sabin. (Editors). “A Tribute to Graham White.” A collection of seven papers in honour of Dr. Graham White. Northern Public Affairs. 4 (1): 47-66.
  • 2015: Christopher Alcantara (Editor). “Celebrating Graham White.” A collection of seven short papers in honour of Dr. Graham White. Public Sector Management. 26 (1): 13-28.

Other Publications

  • 2017: Christopher Alcantara, Mitchell Berg, and Jen Nelles. “Promoting Tribal & Community Cooperation.” Public Management Magazine. October: 10-14.
  • 2016: Christopher Alcantara and Jen Nelles. “Indigenous Communities and Local Governments are Powerful Partners.” Policy Options. Montreal: Institute for Research on Public Policy. August.
  • 2016: Christopher Alcantara and Jason Roy. “First Nations’ Financial Reporting and Public Opinion in Canada.” Frontier Centre Report. Winnipeg: Frontier Centre for Public Policy.
  • 2016: Christopher Alcantara. “A Tribute to Graham White.” Northern Public Affairs 4 (1): 48-49.
  • 2015: Christopher Alcantara. Book review of “Skin for Skin: Death and Life for Inuit and Innu” Journal of American Ethnic History. 35 (1): 111-113.
  • 2015: Christopher Alcantara and Zac Spicer. “Learning from the Kelowna Accord.” Policy Options. Montreal: Institute for Research on Public Policy. July: 95-97.
  • 2015: Christopher Alcantara. “Old and New Trends in Canadian Public Administration: Celebrating the Career of Graham White.” Public Sector Management 26 (1): 13-14.
  • 2015: Christopher Alcantara and Michael Morden. “Aboriginal Title One Year After Tsilhqot’in.Policy Options.  Montreal: Institute for Research on Public Policy. May-June: 64-66. 

Recent Conference Presentations

Dr. Alcantara has been invited to give dozens of presentations to a variety of audiences, including political scientists (e.g. polis ci departments at University of Toronto; University of Guelph; University of Calgary), policymakers (CSIS; Stratejuste Speaker Series on Indigenous Issues; Couchiching Institute on Public Affairs), Indigenous communities (Nain, Labrador) and the general public (e.g. Third Age Learning Organizations; Rotary Clubs; 3rd Annual Indigenous Awareness Week at McGill University).


Awards and Distinctions

  • 2017: Winner of the 2017 Seymour Martin Lipset Best Book Award, American Political Science Association, Canadian Politics Section. The winning book: Christopher Alcantara. 2013. Negotiating the Deal: Comprehensive Land Claims Negotiations in Canada Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
  • 2016: Winner of the 2016-2017 Petro-Canada Young Innovator Award, Western University.  Award amount: $12,000.
  • 2016: Winner of the 2016 McMenemy Prize for the best paper published in English or French in volume 48 of the Canadian Journal of Political Science. The winning article: Christopher Alcantara and Adrienne Davidson. “Negotiating Aboriginal Self-Government Agreements in Canada: An Analysis of the Inuvialuit Experience.” Canadian Journal of Political Science. 48 (3): 553-575.
  • 2015: Winner of the 2014 International Council for Canadian Studies Pierre Savard Award for best book in Canadian Studies. The winning book: Christopher Alcantara. 2013. Negotiating the Deal: Comprehensive Land Claims Negotiations in Canada Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
  • 2015: Winner of the 2014 Political Research Quarterly Outstanding Reviewer Award.
  • 2015: Wilfrid Laurier University Merit Award.
  • 2014: Winner of the 2014 Canadian Studies Network-Réseau d’études canadiennes Prize for the best book in Canadian Studies.  The winning book: Christopher Alcantara. 2013. Negotiating the Deal: Comprehensive Land Claims Negotiations in Canada Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
  • 2014: Finalist for the 2014 Donald Smiley Prize for the best book published in English in the field relating to the study of government and politics in Canada.  The shortlisted book: Christopher Alcantara. 2013. Negotiating the Deal: Comprehensive Land Claims Negotiations in Canada Toronto: University of Toronto Press. 
  • 2014: Wilfrid Laurier University Merit Award.
  • 2014: Winner of an Ontario Early Researcher Award: $150,000 ($100,000 from the Ontario Government; $50,000 from WLU).
  • 2013: Finalist for the 2013 McMenemy Prize for the best paper published in English or French in volume 45 of the Canadian Journal of Political Science. The shortlisted article: Gary N. Wilson and Christopher Alcantara. 2012. “Mixing Politics and Business in the Canadian Arctic: Inuit Corporate Governance in Nunavik and the Inuvialuit Settlement Region.” Canadian Journal of Political Science Vol. 45 No. 4 December pp. 781-804.
  • 2013: Wilfrid Laurier University Merit Award.
  • 2012: Wilfrid Laurier University Merit Award.
  • 2012: Winner of the J.E. Hodgetts Award for the best article in English appearing in the 2011 issues of the Canadian Public Administration journal. The winning article: Jen Nelles and Christopher Alcantara. 2011. “Strengthening the Ties that Bind? An Analysis of Aboriginal-Municipal Intergovernmental Agreements in Canada.” Canadian Public Administration Vol. 54 No. 3, pp. 315-334.
  • 2011: Finalist for the 2010-2011 Donner Prize for the best book published on Canadian Public Policy. 
  • 2010: Wilfrid Laurier University Merit Award.
  • 2008-2009: Appointed to the Wilfrid Laurier Political Science Students Association Senate.
  • 2005: Winner of the David Watson Memorial Trust and Award, which is awarded annually for “the paper published in the Queen’s Law Journal judged to make the most significant contribution to legal scholarship.”  The winning article is: Tom Flanagan & Christopher Alcantara, “Individual Property Rights on Canadian Indian Reserves” (2004) 29:2 Queen’s LJ 489.

Post-Doctoral Fellow Supervisions