Current News

Professor Christopher Alcantara - New Publication

Professor Alcantara has published a new paper entitled "Diversifying Methodologies: A Haudenosaunee/Settler Approach for Measuring Indigenous-Local Intergovernmental Success" in the Canadian Journal of Political Science Vol. 52 Issue 1, (2019) pages 21-38. The paper, published with former postdoctoral fellow Ian Kalman (Fulbright University Vietnam), proposes a unique approach to studying Indigenous - settler political relationships. It suggests that students and scholars should consider applying Indigenous and non-Indigenous frameworks concurrently (e.g. in parallel) when analyzing the dynamics and outcomes of Indigenous-settler partnerships. The result is a richer and more accurate assessment that should be more useful to academics and policymakers alike.


Marta Dyczok Munk School Pres 2019Professor Marta Dyczok - Presentations

Professor Dyczok was invited to appear before the Canadian Senate Committee on Global Affairs and International Trade on May 9 to speak about the recent Presidential Elections in Ukraine.  Professor Dyczok spoke at Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto on May 7, on the panel, "What Does the Election of Volodymyr Zelensky Mean For Ukraine,” an event co-organized by The Petro Jacyk Program for the Study of Ukraine and the Center for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies.  Other panelists included Professor Oleksandr Fisun (Karazin Kharkiv National University), Professor Anna Shternshis (University of Toronto), and Professor Lucan Way (University of Toronto).  Photo by Larysa Iarovenko (CERES Administrator).


Professor Christopher Alcantara - New Publication

Professor Alcantara has published a new paper entitled "Indigenous Multilevel Governance and Power Relations" in the journal, Territory, Politics, Governance Vol. 7 Issue 2, (2019) pages 250-264 (2017 journal impact factor 2.023). The paper, published with former SSHRC postdoctoral fellow Michael Morden (now Research Director at Samara), examines the concept of multilevel governance as it relates to Indigenous politics in settler countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States. Using impact and benefit agreements in Canada as a case study, it explores the importance of power relations in shaping the kinds of multilevel governance processes that have emerged in these countries. Download a free copy here (first 50 downloads are free).


Matt Lebo Head Shot

Political Science Welcomes New Chair Matthew Lebo

This coming August, we will welcome Matthew Lebo as a professor and as the new Department chair.

Lebo is currently chair of the Department of Political Science and Director of the Center for Behavioral Political Economy at Stony Brook University in New York.

Lebo researches politics and political parties in the United States and the United Kingdom. Much of his research has focused on how politicians and political parties structure and coordinate choices to win legislative battles and win elections, making trade-offs between electoral and legislative decisions. He is also interested in elections and election cycles. 

His book on the state of party politics in the United States, Strategic Party Government: Why Winning Trumps Ideology, written with Greg Koger, was published in 2017. 

He also has interests in political methodology, researching the tools used to study political data over time, and developing new tools for time-series analysis.

“This is a great opportunity for the department,” said Bob Andersen, Dean of the Faculty of Social Science. “Matt is an exceptional scholar and a proven administrator.”

Lebo has published many articles in the top political science journals, including in the American Journal of Political Science, the British Journal of Political Science, and The Journal of Politics.

Lebo sees the chair position as “a great opportunity to advance the Department of Political Science at Western, work with new colleagues and develop new programs.” 

Lebo foresees that meeting the needs of students will be among the most important undertakings of the department in the near future.

“Political Science is a hot topic with growing interest from undergrads and graduate students who are want to learn skills that make for valuable degrees,” said Lebo. “So meeting the demands of students is a challenge and finding the right tools to send people out in the world with a degree in political science is a something you always have to adapt to.” 

In coming to Western, Lebo returns to his roots, as he originally started his undergraduate studies at Western, and then completed his BA and MA at the University of Toronto. He completed his PhD at the University of North Texas.

“Western is an incredible university and where I got my start in Political Science,” said Lebo. “The social sciences are strong and getting stronger. It’s an exciting time to be joining the faculty in a leadership role.”


Shaping the Metropolis Taylor Book Cover

Professor Zack Taylor – New Book

Professor Taylor is pleased to announce the publication of his new book, Shaping the Metropolis: Institutions and Urbanization in the United States and Canada (McGill-Queen’s University Press). In the book, he compares the historical development of American and Canadian urban governance, both at the national level and through specific metropolitan case studies. Examining Minneapolis-St Paul and Portland, Oregon, in the United States, and Toronto and Vancouver in Canada, Taylor shows how differences in the structure of governing institutions in American states and Canadian provinces cumulatively produced different forms of urban governance. Arguing that since the nineteenth century American state governments have responded less effectively to rapid urban growth than Canadian provinces, he shows that the concentration of authority in Canadian provincial governments enabled the rapid adoption of coherent urban policies after the Second World War, while dispersed authority in American state governments fostered indecision and catered to parochial interests. 

He will discuss the book at two upcoming events: On May 23, he will give a public lecture entitled “Who Runs Toronto? Provincial Control or More Autonomy for Toronto?” at the Toronto Public Library (6:30pm, Runnymede branch). On June 5, 2019, he will talk about the book at a lunchtime roundtable at the annual meeting of the Canadian Political Science Association in Vancouver.


Professor Zack Taylor – Mexico City Metropolitan Governance Workshop

On April 24, Professor Taylor is participating in a multinational workshop on the construction of metropolitan governance institutions. Funded by the United Kingdom Global Challenges Research Fund, the workshop is organized by the University of Manchester with participation from scholars and practitioners from the UK, Mexico, Brazil. Professor Taylor will present on the complexity of designing and modelling the function of metropolitan institutions.


Professor Marta Dyczok - Presentation

Marta Presentation

Professor Dyczok presented a paper on Ukraine’s Media After the Euromaidan at the International Symposium, “Assessing the Euromaidan of 2014 Five Years Later,” Penn State University, April 11. 

  


Zack Taylor PresentationProfessor Zack Taylor – Presentations on Municipal Governance Reform in Ontario

It’s a busy time on the municipal beat in Ontario! On April 9, Professor Taylor will present on “How We Got Here: Local Government Reform in Ontario Since 1945” at the University of Toronto’s Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance. He will discuss how and why the provincial government undertook prior rounds of municipal restructuring in the context of the Ford government’s announcement that it is reviewing governance and responsibilities of Ontario’s eight regional municipalities (Durham, Halton, Muskoka District, Niagara, Oxford County, Peel, Waterloo, York), Simcoe County, and their lower-tier municipalities. Relatedly, Professor Taylor and the University of Toronto Urban Policy Lab’s Gabriel Eidelman will also discuss the provincial-municipal relationship in a session at the 2019 Municipal Leaders Forum of the Association of Municipal Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario on March 29, 2019. Earlier this year, Professor Taylor also spoke on a panel at Ryerson University on “Rethinking City Governance: How Much Control Should the Province Have Over Our Cities?” with former Ontario cabinet minister Sean Conway, former federal cabinet minister Peter van Loan, Toronto city councillor Kristyn Wong Tam, and Toronto Star columnist Royson James.


Professor Rado Dimitrov - Wins 2019 Western Green Award

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Rado Dimitrov is a recipient of the 2019 Western Green Award, presented by Western's Office of Sustainability. Dr. Dimitrov is being recognized for his contributions to raising campus awareness of climate change and sharing his first-hand accounts of UN Climate conferences. Congratulations, Rado!


Marta Dyczok and Speakers

Professor Marta Dyczok - Presentation

Friday, March 8, Professor Dyczok spoke at a Panel, “Voice of War,” at the Tarragon Theatre in Toronto, ahead of the performance of a play about Ukraine and war. The other speakers were Professor Frank Sysyn and Dmytro Lavrenchuk. The play was written and performed by Lianna Makuch.  Read the Toronto Star review here


Nig Headshot Award AnnouncementNigmendra Narain - Awarded USC Teaching Award

Congratulations to Nigmendra Narain for being one of only four winners -- university-wide-- of the 2018-19 University Students' Council and Western Alumni Association Award of Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. This is not Nig's first award for teaching excellence: he is a past winner of the University's Angela Armitt Award. Nig's teaching covers a wide range of fields, including international relations, but he is widely known for his many years of co-teaching and co-ordinating Politics 1020E, our introductory course in political science. Well done and well deserved, Nig!


Professor Laura Stephenson - 2019 Faculty Scholars Award

Dr. Stephenson has been awarded a prestigious 2019 Faculty Scholars Award by the University of Western Ontario.  Dr. Stephenson, a leading scholar of voting behaviour and electoral systems, recently received a SSHRC grant to head up a team of top scholars to oversee the Canadian Election Study.  This award recognizes her impressive scholarly and teaching achievements thus far and will help her continue her groundbreaking work on electoral systems, partisanship, and strategic voting.  Congratulations!

According to Western's Office of the President, "Established in 2005, the Faculty Scholars Award recognizes significant recent scholarly achievements in teaching or research. Nominated by faculty deans and selected by the Faculty Selection committee chaired by the Provost, the recipients have an international presence in their discipline and are considered all-round scholars. Winners hold the title “Faculty Scholar” for two years and receive $7,000 each year for scholarly activities, as well as receiving a citation." 


PhD Candidate Nicole McMahon - New Publication

PhD Candidate Nicole McMahon has published a new paper entitled "Running for elected office: Indigenous candidates, ambition and self-government" in the journal, Politics, Groups, and Identities. Co-authored with Dr. Christopher Alcantara, the paper explores the motivations behind Indigenous candidates running for office in Nunatsiavut, Labrador, a self-governing region. Their findings explore the extent to which existing theories of political ambition, built mainly to explain non-Indigenous candidates, apply to Indigenous ones. Congratulations Nicole!


Professor Mathieu Turgeon - Understanding the Impact of Misinformation Article

Professor Turgeon's next project examines the role of misinformation and political polarization, specifically knowledge shared through social media. Turgeon is particularly interested in how behaviours changed based on increased knowledge of the law. “Turnout is generally pretty low in democracies,” said Turgeon, “and compulsory voting is the best institutional arrangement to make people vote because most people tend to comply with the law.” Lack of political knowledge will play a large part in Turgeon’s next project as well. Turgeon recently received a grant from Facebook to examine the role of misinformation and political polarization. Turgeon will focus on WhatsApp, a messaging app that is very popular in Brazil, and which was heavily used in the 2018 Brazilian presidential election to share political information. The app, which is owned by Facebook, has more than 100 million users in Brazil.


Turgeon HeadshotProfessor Mathieu Turgeon - New Professor in Political Science

We are pleased to announce the arrival of our newest faculty member, Dr. Mathieu Turgeon. Mathieu is an expert on political behaviour, political psychology, and statistical and survey methodology. A true comparativist, his work has been published in four languages – English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish – and covers Latin America, France, Brazil, the United States, and Canada. He is the recipient of numerous significant research grants on voting behaviour, political attitudes, and electoral accountability. His current research includes a project entitled "Misinformation, Self-Interest and Cognitive Style". Welcome, Mathieu!


Professor Nigmendra Narain - Judge for Western's Got Talent

Western's Got Talent will be hosting their annual talent show on January 25th at 6:30 PM in the Mustang Lounge.  This event showcases Western talent where particiapants get to decide the winner that will take home a prize of $500.  Tickets can be purchased for $10 thanks to the generous donations from Amazon and Dance Steps. All show proceeds will be donated to Doctors Without Borders.  Professor Narain has been named as one of the judges and reveals some of his hidden talents on this videoHope to see you there to support your fellow Mustangs!


Alcantara HeadshotProfessor Christopher Alcantara - Promoted to Full Professor

The Department of Political Science is very pleased to announce that our esteemed colleague, Professor Alcantara, has been promoted to the rank of Professor, effective July 1, 2019. Dr. Alcantara is a well-known expert in multilevel governance, intergovernmental cooperation, Indigenous governance, institutional design and public policy. Dr. Alcantara has a very long and impressive list of publications, including multiple books and articles in a wide variety of journals. His many publications show his remarkable dexterity as a researcher, incorporating many different research approaches and methodologies into his numerous projects. Dr. Alcantara is also a well-respected teacher and supervisor. His promotion is a testament to his research prowess and status in the discipline. Congratulations Chris!


Professor Laura Stephenson - University of Calgary Talk

Professor Stephenson will present “Rethinking Strategic Voting” in the Political Science Speakers Series at the University of Calgary on Friday, January 25. Based on a co-authored chapter in a recent book, her talk will outline a new conceptualization of strategic voting, focusing on not only individual preferences and expectations but also the various outcomes that voters may seek to influence in different institutional contexts.


Inroads Magazine Cover

Professor Zack Taylor - Article Published on Political Polarization in Ontario in Inroads Magazine

In a recent article in Inroads: The Canadian Journal of Opinion called “Ontario’s ‘Places That Don’t Matter’ Send a Message: The Fault Lines Dividing the Province are Getting Deeper”, Professor Taylor argues that the long-term changes in Ontario’s economy are driving political polarization on rural, small urban, and metropolitan lines. Geographer Andrés Rodríguez-Pose recently argued that progressive elites have erred by focusing on growing income inequality (the expanding divide between rich and poor people) while ignoring territorial inequality (the expanding divide between successful and declining places). Populists has been most successful in subnational regions that are the casualties of globalization: rural and old industrial regions that have experienced sustained job loss and decline relative to high-growth metropolises where the high-value-added service economy is concentrated. In his article, Professor Taylor makes the case that this is what has occurred in Ontario, and that a retreat from polarization is unlikely given current trends and incentives.


Sectors Halifax MapProfessor Zack Taylor - Receives Grant to Digitize Historical Census

The Faculty of Social Science has awarded a Faculty Research Development Fund grant to Professor Taylor, who will use it to digitize neighbourhood-scale data from the 1951, 1956, 1961, and 1966 Canadian Census.  Currently, no census tract-level data have been digitized prior to the 1971 Census year. Making these data available to researchers will make it possible to study in new ways the historical development of, and change in, international and domestic migration, urban settlement patterns, inter-group relations, economic change, and political representation. He will hire and train two graduate students to perform the work over the summer, after which the information will be made publicly available through the ScholarsGeoPortal.


Professor Joanna Quinn - 3 Minute Thesis Presentation

Professor Quinn represented the Faculty of Social Science at the 3 Minute Thesis 2019 Challenge Celebration Kick-Off on January 8 hosted by the Western University School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Graduate students were invited to watch Professors take on the 3MT challenge, discover a passion for creating their own 3MT, and to experience the exciting research happening across campus. 3MT is a research communication opportunity where graduate students have three minutes to present their research and its impact to an audience of non-specialists.  One slide, three minutes!

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