Western University Political ScienceFaculty of Social Science

Peter Ferguson

Assistant Professor


Co-Director, Leadership and Democracy Lab
Ph.D., University of British Columbia
Telephone: 519.661.2111 ext. 82236
E-mail: p.ferguson@uwo.ca
Office: Social Sciences Centre 4138

Research Interests

Professor Ferguson specializes in comparative politics, international relations and public policy.  His main research emphasis is on democratic transitions and democratic stability in the developing world.  He also conducts work on political leadership, public opinion polling during elections, image building and tourism policy, and political risk assessment.  Professor Ferguson also conducts pedagogical research on Information Literacy Instruction.

Current Research Projects

1. The Failure of Democratic Regimes

Professor Ferguson’s book, Undertow in the Third Wave: Examining Democratic Reversal, 1972-2014, has been accepted for publication at the University of British Columbia Press and is forthcoming 2017.  The book examines the stability of democratic regimes and asks the question of why such regimes sometimes fail.  A mixed-methods approach is employed to support the conclusion that structural stimuli are not sufficient to explain democratic reversion and only become relevant in an actor model that allows for the evaluation of the costs and benefits of democratic uncertainty.  This work establishes an important theoretical bridge between the literature’s major division and the empirical findings directly challenge the dominant paradigm in the research on democratization.

2. Information Literacy Instruction

Professor Ferguson is engaged in a research project with Bruce Fyfe (DB Weldon Library) exploring and testing innovative approaches to the delivery of Information Literacy Instruction (ILI).  ILI addresses the research process writ large, everything students do from the time they receive a research assignment until they hand in their paper.  The project was initially funded through their 2010 Fellowship in Teaching Innovation award and resulted in a number of conference papers currently under revision for publication.  Professor Ferguson recently (2014) received one of the first three Teaching Fellowship Program awards, the richest awards ever granted at Western for research on teaching.  This award will be used (with Bruce Fyfe) to design a series of online instructional modules that are scalable and adaptable across disciplines, and offer a plug and play solution for instruction and testing of information literacy skills.  The technical implementation will be provided through a partnership with the Instructional Technology Resource Centre at Western.

Selected Publications


Refereed Journal Articles and Book Chapters

Recent Conference Presentations

Awards and Distinctions