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The Department of Political Science is strongly committed to the core values expressed in Western's Strategic Plan; particularly Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Decolonization. As part of this campus-wide initiative, Western has introduced the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion to help generate a campus community that supports and implements the four broad EDI commitments outlined in Towards Western at 150.

Resources Available at Western

Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that Western University is located on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabek (Ah-nish-in-a-bek), Haudenosaunee (Ho-den-no-show-nee), Lūnaapéewak (Len-ahpay- wuk) and Chonnonton (Chun-ongk-ton) Nations, on lands connected with the London Township and Sombra Treaties of 1796 and the Dish with One Spoon Covenant Wampum. With this, we respect the longstanding relationships that Indigenous Nations have to this land, as they are the original caretakers. We acknowledge historical and ongoing injustices that Indigenous Peoples (First Nations, Métis and Inuit) endure in Canada, and we accept responsibility as a public institution to contribute toward revealing and correcting miseducation, as well as renewing respectful relationships with Indigenous communities through our teaching, research, and community service.

Gender and Politics

Explore our department's unique course offerings and the research conducted by our award-winning faculty.


Women, Sex and Politics (3207F/G)

This course explores the politics of gender, race, class, and sexuality in global contexts by introducing students to the political history of women's movements, feminist political debates, political theories of gender inequality, and critical analyses of gender representations in political and social media.

Social Diversity, Gender and the Law (4203F/G)

This course assesses the Canadian legal system's potential to address inequalities based on group differences such as race, ethnicity, religion, Aboriginality, socioeconomic class and sexual identity. Particular attention is paid to the internal tensions that often arise where women's equality rights and the rights claims of minority social groups conflict. 

Women and Political Leadership (4216F/G)

This course presents a deep treatment of the subject of women’s political leadership. The main case under study is Canada. However, reference to women’s leadership in other states helps frame the Canadian experience. A variety of methodological approaches will be engaged, including institutional, behavioural and comparative analysis.


Balzer, Amanda (Friesen), and Carly M. Jacobs. 2011. “Gender and Physiological Effects in Connecting Disgust to Political Preferences.” Social Science Quarterly 92: 5. 1297-1313.

Bird, Karen, Samantha D. Jackson, R. Michael McGregor, Aaron A. Moore, and Laura B. Stephenson. "Sex (and ethnicity) in the city: affinity voting in the 2014 Toronto mayoral election." Canadian Journal of Political Science/Revue canadienne de science politique 49, no. 2 (2016): 359-383.

Dhima, Kostanca, Sona N. Golder, Laura B. Stephenson, and Karine Van der Straeten. "Permissive electoral systems and descriptive representation." Electoral Studies 73 (2021): 102381.

Friesen, Amanda, Aleksander Ksiazkiewicz, and Claire Gothreau. 2021. “Political Taste: Exploring How Perception of Bitter Substances May Reveal Risk Tolerance and Political Preferences.” Politics and the Life Sciences. 40 (2): 152-171. Registered Report.

Friesen, Amanda, and Mirya R. Holman. "Racial Limitations on the Gender, Risk, Religion, and Politics Model." Politics and Religion (2021): 1-21.

Friesen, Amanda, and Paul A. Djupe. "Conscientious women: The dispositional conditions of institutional treatment on civic involvement." Politics & Gender 13, no. 1 (2017): 57-80.

Friesen, Amanda, Ryan Burge, and Kylee Britzman. "Digital Segregation: Gender, Occupation, and Access to Politics." Social Science Computer Review 39, no. 1 (2021): 38-55.

Friesen, Amanda. 2013. “Religion, Politics and the Social Capital of Children.” Journal of Women, Politics & Policy 34 (3): 197-218.

Golder, Sona N., Laura B. Stephenson, Karine Van der Straeten, André Blais, Damien Bol, Philipp Harfst, and Jean-François Laslier. "Votes for women: electoral systems and support for female candidates." Politics & Gender 13, no. 1 (2017): 107-131.

Hunt, Kate, and Amanda Friesen. 2021.“‘You Can’t Repeal Regret’: Targeting Men forMobilization in Ireland’s Abortion Debate.” European Journal of Politics & GenderOnline First.

Ksiazkiewicz, Aleksander, and Amanda Friesen. "Slimy worms or sticky kids: How caregiving tasks and gender identity attenuate disgust response." Politics and the Life Sciences 39, no. 2 (2020): 167-186.

McMahon, Nicole and Christopher Alcantara. 2021.  “Running for Elected Office: Indigenous Candidates, Ambition and Self-Government.” Politics, Groups, and Identities. 9 (2): 280-299. https://doi.org/10.1080/21565503.2019.1584750.

McMahon, Nicole, Anthony Sayers, and Christopher Alcantara. 2021.  “Political Donations and the Gender Gap during COVID-19.” Party Politics DOI: 10.1177/13540688211047768.

Mehravar, Jesse, Christopher Alcantara, and Jason Roy. (2023). Does Simulating Financial Equality Reduce the Political Donations Gender Gap? Political Studies Review. https://doi.org/10.1177/14789299231188336.

Quinn, Joanna R. 2010. “Gender and Customary Mechanisms in Uganda,” in Confronting Gender Justice: Women's Lives, Human Rights, eds. Debra Bergoffen, Connie McNeely, Paula Ruth Gilbert, Tamara Harvey (New York: Routledge), 482-519.

Spicer, Zac, Michael McGregor, and Christopher Alcantara. 2017. “Political Opportunity Structures and the Representation of Women and Visible Minorities in Municipal Elections.” Electoral Studies. 48: 10-18. 

Please note that the names listed above in bold are Western Political Science faculty members.

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