Western University Political ScienceFaculty of Social Science

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 Sciences 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. Inuit Self-Government and Public Policy Making in Canada.

This project, which is co-directed with Dr. Gary Wilson and Dr. Thierry Rodon and is supported by a $198,000 SSHRC Insight Grant, compares the structures, processes, and outcomes of public policy-making in the Inuit regions of Nunavik, Nunatsiavut, and the Inuvialuit Settlement Region. 

3. 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. 

4. Canadian Political Myths in Canada

This project, which is co-directed with Dr. Jason Roy, uses a variety of online and survey experiments to assess a number of untested yet common assumptions about the nature of Canadian politics.  Some of the myths that we examined so far include: does the election timing power give First Ministers an electoral advantage? Do star candidates matter? Do negative campaign tones work?


Selected Publications

Scholarly Books (Authored & Co-Authored)

Refereed Journal Articles

Book Chapters

Edited Collections

Other Publications


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


Post-Doctoral Fellow Supervisions