Martin Horak

Associate Professor
Associate Director, Centre for Urban Policy and Local Governance

Horak_M

Ph.D., University of Toronto
Telephone: 519.661.2111 ext. 85002
E-mail: mhorak@uwo.ca
Office: Social Sciences Centre 4223


Research Interests

Professor Horak specializes in Canadian and comparative urban politics, with an emphasis on the dynamics of urban policy-making, multilevel governance, and the governance problems of large cities.

Current Research Projects

1. State Rescaling in Practice:  Understanding the Shifting Landscape of Urban Governance in Contemporary Toronto

This article draws together insights from several years of work on various aspects of Toronto politics and governance.  He notes that in recent years, attempts to spatially shift (or “rescale”) urban governing institutions in Toronto have moved away from the long-standing focus on comprehensive local boundary reform, and towards task-specific reform of governance in individual policy areas.  He argues that this shift comes in response to the continued growth and expansion of the Toronto region, which makes boundary-related reforms less and less feasible and stable over time.

2. The Multilevel Politics of Urban Rail Infrastructure

Professor Horak is conducting comparative research on the politics of building new urban rail lines in Canadian and American cities.  His interest is in understanding how the complex multilevel governance of big infrastructure projects leads to changes in the shape and cost of urban rail infrastructure as construction projects move from concept to reality.  This project is supported by a three-year research grant from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada.


Selected Publications

Books

  • 2012: Edited with Robert Young.  Sites of Governance: Multilevel Governance and Policy Making in Canada’s Big Cities, McGill-Queens University Press.
  • 2007: Governing the Post-Communist City:  Institutions and Democratic Development in Prague. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Refereed Journal Articles

  • 2013: "State Rescaling in Practice: Urban Governance Reform in Toronto".  Urban Research & Practice 6:3, 311-328.
  • 2001: “Environmental Policy Reform in the Post-communist Czech Republic: the Case of Air Pollution”.  Europe-Asia Studies 53:2 (March), 313-327.

Book Chapters/ Refereed Papers

  • 2012: With Talja Blokland. “Neighborhoods and Civic Practice". In Susan Clarke, Peter John and Karen Mossberger, eds., Oxford Handbook of Urban Politics, Oxford University Press.
  • 2012: “Multilevel Governance in Toronto:  Overcoming Coordination Challenges in the ‘Megacity’”.  In Robert Young and Martin Horak, eds., Sites of Governance: Multilevel Governance and Policy Making in Canada’s Big Cities, McGill-Queens University Press.
  • 2012: “Conclusion”.  In Robert Young and Martin Horak, eds., Sites of Governance: Multilevel Governance and Policy Making in Canada’s Big Cities, McGill-Queens University Press.
  • 2008: Governance Reform From Below: Multilevel Politics and Toronto’s ‘New Deal’ Campaign.  Global Dialogue Series, No. 4. Nairobi: UN-Habitat.
  • 1998: “The Power of Local Identity: C4LD and the anti-amalgamation mobilization in Toronto.” Research Paper 195. Toronto: Centre for Urban and Community Studies.

Recent Conference Presentations

  • 2012: “The Limits of Local Social Policy: Neighborhood Regeneration Programs in Phoenix and Toronto”. Canadian Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Edmonton, June.
  • 2011.  “Policy Shift, Institutional Stasis: The Precarious Place of Neighborhood Revitalization in Toronto”. Urban Affairs Association Annual Meeting, New Orleans, March.
  • 2010.  “Urban Megaprojects in Comparative Perspective: Mapping the Research Terrain”.  American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Washington, DC., September.
  • 2010.  “Understanding Neighbourhood Revitalization in Toronto”. Canadian Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Montreal, June.
  • 2010.  With Hal Wolman. “Regenerating Urban Neighbourhoods: Placing Neighbourhoods in their Comparative Contextual Setting”.  Midwest Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, April.

Awards and Distinctions

  • 2013: University Student Council Teaching Honour Roll, The University of Western Ontario.
  • 2011-12: Visiting Scholar, Center for Urban and Regional Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.   
  • 2009, 2010, 2011: University Students’ Council Teaching Honour Roll, University of Western Ontario.
  • 2010: Nominated for SSHRC Aurora Prize, an interdisciplinary Canada-wide prize ($25,000 award) for an outstanding new researcher in the social sciences or humanities.  Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.   
  • 2008: American Political Science Association Prize for Best Urban Politics Book published in 2007.  Awarded for Governing the Post-Communist City: Institutions and Democratic Development in Prague.