2010 Archived News


Josh Morgan - Elected as Chair of the London Public Library

On December 16, Josh Morgan, the Recruitment and Development Officer for the Local Government Program, was elected Chair of the London Public Library Board for 2011. Josh was first appointed to the board in 2006 and was recently re-appointed by London City Council to a 4 year term. Aside from his involvement with the Library, Josh also serves as the Vice-President of the Western Fair Directors, where he chairs the Budget Committee for the annual fall fair.
Relevant Links:

Overview Presented at the University of Heidelberg

Professor Don Abelson presented an overview of think tanks and US foreign policy at the University of Heidelberg on December 3. His prepared remarks were made at a conference entitled, "Think Tanks and Foundations in the Transatlantic World: Past, Present and Future." The conference was organized by the Heidelberg Center for American Studies. A volume based on the proceedings will be co-edited by Professor Abelson and Professor Martin Thunert of the University of Heidelberg.

Milestones of our Graduates - Presenting at the TJ Centre

Stéphanie Vieille, Doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Science, presented "What of tikanga Maori: looking at justice through a relational lens" on Thursday, November 18 at 2:30 p.m. in SSC 4255. This was the second of six invited speakers hosted by the Centre for Transitional Justice and Post-Conflict Reconstruction. See the TJ Centre for more information.

Milestones of our Graduates - Completion of Program Requirements

The Department of Political Science is pleased to announce the following students have successfully completed their graduate program requirements and will graduate October 2010. Well done to all our grads!

MA Thesis

  • Sarah-Patricia Nimigan, "The Gender of Transitional Justice: Pathways to Justice for Victims of Gendered Violence", supervisor: Joanna Quinn
  • Janet Phillips, "Germs, Fear, and Biopolitics: The University's Response to the H1N1 Pandemic", supervisor: Nandita Biswas Mellamphy
  • Christopher Popovich, "Science Advice in Environmental Policymaking: An Examination of Institutional Barriers in the Canadian Federal Government", supervisors: Adam Harmes and Gordon McBean

Master’s Research Papers

  • David Beitelman, "The Red, White and Blue: Exploring the Convergence of Factionalism and Government Outsourcing in American Foreign," supervisor: Donald Abelson
  • Brock Brewer, "Exporting Multiculturalism: Minority Rights in Eastern and Central Europe", supervisor: Bruce Morrison
  • David Dunnet, "China, Friend or Foe?", supervisor: Andrés Pérez
  • Sean Finnigan, "Voter Turnout, Electoral Reform and the Democratic Deficit in Canada", Supervisor: Cameron Anderson
  • Benjamin Haist, "The Decision to Intervene", supervisor: Richard Vernon
  • Christopher Harris, "The Environment and Political Theory: Bridging the Gap Between Modern Environmental Predicaments and Political Theory", supervisor: Charles Jones
  • Artiom Komarov, "How Do We Conceptualize Power?", supervisor; Laura Stephenson
  • Bela Kosoian, "NATO'S Operation Allied Force", supervisor: Joanna Quinn
  • Michael Lapointe, "Varieties of Capitalism and the German Case: A Study in Institutional Change", supervisor: Bruce Morrison
  • Aaron Mcguire, "From Violence to Voting: Understanding the Democratic Experiment", supervisor: Bruce Morrison
  • Chad Pilkington, "Party Solidarity in Canada: An Examination of the Debates Surrounding Political Party Unity in Canada", supervisor: Martin Westmacott
  • Raeika Ravani, "Exiled by the Regime", supervisor: Andrés Peréz
  • Daniel Roest, "Equal, Elected, and Effective: An Examination of the Triple-E Senate", supervisor: Martin Westmacott
  • Nicole Rumble, "Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission", supervisor: Joanna Quinn
  • Daniel Shiff, "The Role of Interest Groups in American Foreign Policy-Making: The Case of the Israel Lobby", supervisor: Donald Abelson
  • Elizabeth Sibell-Field, "An Unnatural Disaster: The Implications of Race, Poverty, and Government Incompetence on Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief Efforts", supervisor: Donald Abelson
  • Harisha Sivalinkam, "Multiculturalism and Feminism: The Limits of Accommodation", supervisor: Richard Vernon
  • Matthew Soteroff, "The Effects of Incumbency and Gerrymandering on Democracy in American Congressional Elections", supervisor: Laura Stephenson
  • Matthew Summer, "Evolutionary Terrorism", supervisor: Erika Simpson
  • Shawn Uppal, "The Kashmir Dispute: India, Pakistan, and the Kashmiri Population", supervisor: Joanna Quinn

Honorary Appointment for Doug Long

We are pleased to announce that Professor Doug Long has been awarded the title of 'Honorary Senior Research Associate' at the Bentham Project, University College London, UK. The Bentham Project is the world centre for Bentham Studies and the centre of production for the new edition of Jeremy Bentham's Collected Works. Professor Long's honorary appointment continues through 2015. Congratulations, Doug, on receiving this well-deserved recognition.

Critical Politics Group Seminar Series 2010-11

The Critical Politics Group was established at The University of Western Ontario (Political Science) in 2009 by a group of undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty members interested in exploring the history of critical epistemologies – both western and non-western -- in the 20th and 21st centuries. The mandate of the group includes exploring critical concepts that shed light on the processes through which knowledge is created, deployed and produced in the Social Sciences, and the University more broadly.

The proposed theme for 2010-2011 is "Biopolitics and Empire." The general objective of the second year of the Critical Politics Group is to put Michel Foucault's account of ‘biopolitics’ into dialogue with a theorization of imperialism and empire in the 21st century.

For those interested in participating in this year’s series of seminars, we will hold a meeting on October 22nd from 1:30pm to 2:30pm in the Dean’s boardroom (9th floor of Social Science Building).

This brief meeting will allow us to have an idea of what kind of commitments participants are able to make in terms of presentations and organization of a graduate conference around May 2011.

All interested undergraduates, graduate students and faculty members in the Social Sciences are invited to participate. We will be posting the list of topics and suggested bibliography on our web page soon.

For more information please visit us at the Critical Politics Group, or contact Professor Nandita Biswas-Mellamphy.

Professor Nominated for Prestigious Prize

We are delighted to announce that Professor Martin Horak has been nominated for the prestigious SSHRC Aurora Prize for 2010. This $25,000 prize recognizes an outstanding new researcher who is building a reputation for exciting and original research in the social sciences or humanities. The winner will be announced later this year. Congratulations for your nomination, Martin.

Featured Article – Embassy- Canada’s Foreign Policy Newsweekly

Professor Erika Simpson was part of a team whose article was featured as a top story in the Embassy - Canada's Foreign Policy Newsweekly. The featured article “A nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Arctic,” by Adele Buckley, Roméo Dallaire, Erika Simpson, Mike Wallace, can be found at the Embassy website.

Milestones of our Graduates - David Beitelman Winner of the Best Graduate Paper

David Beitelman has been selected as the winner of the 2010 Canadian Association for Security and Intelligence Studies (CASIS) Geoff Weller Memorial Prize for best graduate paper on a subject dealing with intelligence, security, or law enforcement. He has been invited to Ottawa to present his paper at the CASIS 25th Annual Conference October 14-15th. David successfully completed his Master’s graduate program requirements and will graduate in October 2010. Dr. Donald Abelson was his supervisor. Well done David on these exceptional accomplishments!

Donald Abelson’s Recent Scholarly Activities

The Second Edition of Professor Donald Abelson’s book, Do Think Tanks Matter? Assessing the Impact of Public Policy Institutes (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2009) has been translated into Simplified Chinese by the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences (SASS). The SASS is the largest and most prestigious think tank in China. Professor Abelson also recently made two presentations in China. See below:

  • “Measuring the Influence of Think Tanks.” Presentation made at a workshop entitled, "Think Tanks Impact and Its Measurement", sponsored by the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences (SASS) Think Tanks Research Center, Shanghai, China, August 27, 2010.
  • “Do Think Tanks Matter?” Presentation made at an International Workshop entitled, "Think Tanks in Global Comparison- Modes of Operation", sponsored by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung and Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China, August 25, 2010.

New Books by Richard Vernon, Distinguished University Professor

This summer Professor Richard Vernon has published two books with Cambridge University Press. The first, Cosmopolitan Regard: Political Membership and Global Justice, appears in Cambridge's "Contemporary Political Theory" series of monographs. It is a critical examination of recent theories of political and of global obligations, arguing for a moderate cosmopolitanism that gives weight to the demands of local citizenship. The implications of the view for humanitarian intervention, international criminal law, and global distributive justice are discussed.

The second, Locke on Toleration, appears in "Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy", and is an edition, with a critical introduction, of John Locke's "Letter Concerning Toleration" and of the ensuing debate on religious freedom in England in the 1690s.

In January 2011 Cambridge is to publish a third book, Accountability for Collective Wrongdoing, edited by Richard Vernon and by Tracy Isaacs (Chair, Department of Women's Studies and Feminist Research), a collection of essays (to which Richard contributes one) on the theory of punishment. This will be the ninth book to have emerged from the series of international conferences organized by the (former) Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict Research Group.

Teaching in the David S.H. Chu Public Administration Program in China


Local Government Program instructors, Josh Morgan and Ursula Stelman along with their students take a break between classes at Xiamen University in China in June 2010. Instructors Ursula Stelman and Josh Morgan travelled to China to teach the final two courses for the first cohort of students in the David S.H. Chu Public Administration Program in China. Over the past two years, Local Government Program instructors have taught four courses to Chinese local government officials and students in Xiamen University’s MPA program. Stelman is a former Director of Community Services for the City of Winnipeg. Josh Morgan is the Recruitment and Development Officer for the Local Government Program at Western. All four classes were very popular with the Chinese students and discussions about a second round of classes are in progress. Teaching in China is just one component of a donor funded agreement that also includes collaborative research, faculty fellowships and international scholarships to attend Western’s MPA Program. Please see details on the Administration Program in China.

Canada Research Chair in Multilevel Governance

We are proud to report that Professor Bob Young’s Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Multilevel Governance has been renewed for another seven years. For more on Professor Young’s innovative and important research, see Canada Research Chair in Multilevel Governance and Canada Research Chairs.

Faculty Awarded Tenure

Congratulations to Martin Horak, Joanna Quinn, and Laura Stephenson. All three have been awarded tenure and, as of July 1st, have been promoted to the rank of Associate Professor. Well done, Martin, Joanna, and Laura!

Conducting Research in Fiji


A traditional bure with a thatched roof Professor Joanna Quinn is in Suva, Fiji, conducting research on the utility of customary law in conflict resolution and social transformation. Fiji provides an interesting case to compare with her usual work in Uganda. Both are former British colonies, both gained independence at roughly the same time, both experienced rocky transfers of political power, and both have toyed with transitional justice.

Professor Quinn is based a the University of the South Pacific which is located in the capital city, Suva, which is on the biggest of the 322 islands that make up that country, Viti Levu. The University of the South Pacific is jointly owned by 12 different South Pacific countries. The campus in Suva is the largest and is built on a former New Zealand Air Force base.

Milestones of our Graduates - Scholarship Winners

Congratulations to our PhD candidates who succeeded in the recent SSHRC and OGS competitions.

  • Bridget Whipple won a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship to support her research on the influence of interest groups in American politics
  • Joe Lyons won an Ontario Graduate Scholarship for his dissertation research project on the policy consequences of subnational government networks
  • Liz Sutherland also won an Ontario Graduate Scholarship to support her research on exploring global responsibility for crime against humanity.

MA in American Studies at Western

We are pleased to announce that the Centre for American Studies has received official approval to admit students into its new MA program. Congratulations to the Centre's Director, Professor Donald Abelson, and to the ten students entering the Program in September 2010.

Visit with The Right Honourable Paul Martin

There will be a Q & A session with The Right Honourable Paul Martin, on Friday, June 18 from 3 to 4 pm. Location: Somerville House, Room 3315. Topics*: International development, aboriginal issues, time as Finance Minister, time as Prime Minister. Format: There was a 60-minute question and answer session.

Milestones of our Graduates - Recent MA Graduate Awarded a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship

Nick Srnicek, a recent graduate of Western's Political Science Program (MA 2006), has been awarded a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Fellowship (SSHRC) for his current work on the dynamic role of networks in the contemporary international system which he is completing at the London School of Economics' PhD Program in International Relations. Nick also has a forthcoming co-edited anthology coming out, entitled "The Speculative Turn: Continental Materialism and Realism" (Re.press, 2010). It features the work of philosophers Slavoj Zizek, Alain Badiou and Bruno Latour, among others.

New Chair Announced for Political Science


On June 3, 2010, Julie McMullin, Acting Dean, Faculty of Social Science announced that Professor Charles Jones will be appointed as Chair of the Department of Political Science, effective July 1, 2010, for a five year term. Professor Jones is a long standing member of the Department who has served on various committees and has held the position of Graduate Chair for the past four years.

UWO Delegation Visits Ukraine


NaUKMA Historic Library Reading Room in April. Dr. Marta Dyczok participated in a Western delegation that visited Ukraine's most innovative University to further develop institutional links with the National University of the Kyiv Mohyla Academy (NaUKMA). The group was led by Dr. Ted Hewitt (VP Research and International Relations), and included Dr. Julie McMullin (Acting Dean, Faculty of Social Science) and Dr. Tom Carmichael (Dean, Faculty of Information and Media Studies). For further information please see Western News story.

Don Abelson - Presented a Paper at the University of Warsaw

Professor Don Abelson presented a paper entitled, “Do Policy Experts Matter? Lessons from Canada and the United States,” at a conference entitled, Political Expertise in Contemporary Democracies: A Comparative Approach: Canada, Germany, Poland, at the University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland, on May 21, 2010.

Participating in European Conferences

Professor Nandita Biswas Mellamphy, who hosted the very successful 2010 Nietzsche Workshop @ Western (with 70-80 participants from Canada, the USA, Europe and India), is presently in the United Kingdom, where she is presenting a conference paper with fellow researcher Dan Mellamphy on the subject of "Hierozoontotechnics: Individuation and Techno-Religion" at Cardiff University's Centre for Cultural Studies (with plenary speakers Bernard Stiegler and David Wills both in attendance). She will then be at the first International Conference in English devoted to the work of Gilbert Simondon, held at the American University in Paris, where she will chair the first conference panel and Dan Mellamphy the second conference panel of this two-day conference.

Fellowship in Teaching Innovation Award

Posted May 10, 2010

Professor Peter Ferguson (Political Science) and Bruce Fyfe (Western Libraries) are the winners of the 2010 Fellowship in Teaching Innovation Award of $10,000 for their project entitled "Critical Success: Developing a collaborative, fully integrated information literacy infrastructure into a Political Science curriculum". The purpose of the Fellowship in Teaching Innovation is to encourage faculty members to pursue teaching innovations at The University of Western Ontario.

The 2010 Nietzsche Workshop @ Western

Professor Nandita Biswas Mellamphy will be hosting the 2010 Nietzsche Workshop @ Western in the Faculty of Social Science Dean's Boardroom (9th floor, SSC) on Thursday May 6, 2010, from 9am to 5pm. The theme of this year's International Workshop is "Re-Thinking War in the 21st Century" and its keynote speakers are Professor Julian Reid of King's College UK (London, England) and Professor Manabrata Guha of the National Institute of Advanced Studies (Bangalore, India). Professor Reid will be presenting a paper entitled "Refusing Peace, Affirming War: On the Importance of Thinking Bio-Politics Polemologically" and professor Guha will be presenting a paper entitled "Intensive War: ... not the Beginning, not the Middle, not the End." For more information, see the NWW.2 website (sponsored by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada as well as The University of Western Ontario's Faculty of Social Science, Social Science Students' Council, Students' Council, and Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism). Also see Nietzsche Workshop @ Western 2010 poster for further details.

Milestones of our Graduates - Newly Elected President

On April 22, PhD candidate Alison Braley was elected President of Western's Graduate Teaching Assistants' (GTA) Union. Alison has been involved in the GTA Union since her first year at Western, and she brings a great depth of labour movement experience to the position.

Launch of Western's Canada-US Institute

The Canada-US Institute unveiling took place at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. See news articles for details. News Releases: London Free Press, Globe and Mail, Western News, Presentation at Woodrow Wilson Center.

“Bridging the Gap” Consultant

Professor Radoslav Dimitrov became a Consultant to the global transportation sector. Based on his expertise in global climate politics and persuasion in negotiations, he was hired by the "Bridging the Gap" Alliance of Transnational Ground Transport Associations to help them secure government support and private investment for sustainable transport. In March 2010, he conducted a one-day workshop in Paris to design an effective lobbying strategy for the transport sector in the global transition to low-carbon development.

New TJ Centre Website Launched

The Centre for Transitional Justice and Post-Conflict Reconstruction has launched its new website. The Centre brings together experts from across the Western community whose teaching and research focuses on issues including reconciliation, criminal accountability, post-colonial legacies, legal reconstruction, the environment, human rights, economic justice, healing circles, democratization, and more. Additional information can be found at the TJ Centre website.

Director of Western’s Canada-U.S. Institute Announced

Dr. Julie McMullin, Acting Dean, Faculty of Social Science recently announced that Professor Donald Abelson will be the inaugural Director of Western’s Canada-U.S. Institute for an initial three-year term. Professor Abelson is Chair of the Department of Political Science and Director of the Centre for American Studies at The University of Western Ontario. The Institute will be officially launched on April 13, 2010 in Washington D.C. At the launch, Western Professors Laura Stephenson and Cameron Anderson will present the Institute’s first research paper, “Moving Closer or Drifting Apart?: Assessing the State of the U.S.-Canada Relationship”. Congratulations Don on this new appointment!

“Child Soldiers in Uganda?”


Joanna Quinn giving a talk on "Child Soldiers in Uganda" at the Signature Lecture and Cinema Series.

Professor Joanna Quinn gave a talk on Thursday, March 4, 2010 at the Centre for Governance Innovation in Waterloo on "child soldiers in Uganda". Joanna’s talk was part of the CIGI Signature Lectures and Cinema Series. Additional information can be found at the CIGI website. Click here for the video of the presentation.

Environmentalism and Elections in Canada: Assessing Recent Trends

Professor Cameron Anderson will give a lecture that will explore the extent to which environmental concern impacts the way citizens view and vote in Canada based on research conducted with Professor Laura Stephenson. The lecture entitled "Environmentalism and Elections in Canada: Assessing Recent Trends" is offered through the complimentary community lecture series by The University of Western Ontario – Classes without Quizzes. Additional information about the lecture can be found at the Classes without Quizzes website.

Milestones of our Graduates - Presented at 51st ISA Annual Convention 2010

Asim Ali, a Doctoral candidate in the Department, presented a paper at the International Studies Association Conference, held in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA on February 17-20, 2010. The paper, entitled "Global Governance of Sovereign Wealth Funds: Which Venue?" examined the international political economy of why the United States and leading OECD states have had been calling for the global regulation of the Sovereign Wealth Funds- government owned investment vehicles.

Milestones of our Graduates - Paper Accepted for Publication by Journal

Steven Seligman, a Doctoral candidate in the Department has written a paper entitled "Politics and Principle at the UN Human Rights Commission and Council (1992-2008)," which has been accepted for publication by the journal, Israel Affairs. The date of the publication is to be announced. More information about the journal can be found at the Taylor & Francis Group.

New Book - Dr. Andrés Pérez


On January 26, Professor Andrés Pérez presented his new book La Subversión Ética de la Realidad: Crisis y Renovación del Pensamiento Crítico Latinoamericano (2009) at the Universidad Centroamericana in Managua, Nicaragua. The first part of the book offers an assessment of Latin American Marxism and analyzes the relationship between Marxism and Liberation Theology. The second part of the book articulates a normative foundation for “a new relation between critical theology and social science in Latin America”. Some of the main ideas of the book were presented by Professor Pérez in October 2009 at the V Conference of Latin American and Caribbean Social Science organized by the Consejo Latinoamericano de Ciencias Sociales (CLACSO) in Cochabamba, Bolivia . In April of this year Professor Pérez will discuss the book in a forum organized by the Asociación para el Avance de las Ciencias Sociales (AVANCSO) in Guatemala.

The TJ Centre Launches

The Centre for Transitional Justice and Post-Conflict Reconstruction has been formed out of the former Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict Research Group. The Centre will host speakers, conferences, colloquia and other events. Details will be posted on the website.

Recognition for Outstanding Teaching at Western 2008-2009

The following Faculty members have been recognized on the USC Teaching Honour Roll for 2008-2009: Nandita Biswas Mellemphy, Tom Deligiannis, Martin Horak, Bruce Morrison, Richard Vernon, Joanna Quinn and Martin Westmacott. This award is to acknowledge outstanding teaching methods and techniques demonstrated by our Faculty. Congratulations to all!

Canada-U.S. Institute Approved

Professor Donald Abelson is pleased to announce that the proposal to create the Canada-U.S. Institute at Western has been approved by the Office of the Vice- President (Research and International Relations) for an initial three year period, beginning January 1, 2010. The Institute will be officially launched at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC on April 13, 2010 with the release of a study by Professors Cameron Anderson and Laura Stephenson on perceptions and attitudes of Canadians toward the US and those of Americans toward Canada. This is a Woodrow Wilson international Center for Scholars Canada Institute event. News Releases: Western News online article. Free Press online article, January 14. Gazette online article, January 20.

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