2016 Archived News

Professor Richard Vernon - New Publication

Justice Back and Forth Book CoverRichard Vernon, Distinguished University Professor, has published a new book entitled Justice Back and Forth: Duties to the Past and Future , University of Toronto Press, 2016.  Ideas of justice have traditionally focused on what individuals owe to one another and have drawn our attention to what is considered fair – what one of us owes to another is justly matched by what the other owes to them. However, what does justice require us to do for past and future generations?  In  Justice Back and Forth, award-winning author Richard Vernon explores the possibility of justice in cases where time makes reciprocity impossible. This “temporal justice” is examined in ten controversial cases including the duty to return historical artifacts, the ethics and politics of parenting, the punishment of historical offences, the right to procreate, and the imposition of constitutions on future citizens. By deftly weaving together discussions on historical redress and justice for future generations, Vernon reveals that these two opposing topics can in fact be used to illuminate each other. In doing so, he concludes that reciprocity can be adapted to serve intergenerational cases.

Professor Don Abelson - Best Book of 2016

Professor Abelson's  Northern Lights: Northern Lights: Exploring Canada’s Think Tank Landscape  was recognized by The Hill Times  as one of the best books of 2016.

Dana Gold - Recent Publication

PhD Candidate Dana Gold has co-authored a chapter with Dr. Stephen McGlinchey in E-IR's International Relations textbook.  As reviewed by Professor Marta Dyczok, "In today’s volatile and fast moving world, it is important to understand how things really work on the global stage. This book brings together scholars and practitioners from around the world to explain key issues, concepts and dynamics from a variety of perspectives in clear and accessible language. An invaluable and interesting read for anyone who wants to learn the basics of international relations." 

Professor Don Abelson - New Publication

Don Chinese Translation CoverThe Simplified Chinese translation of Professor Abelson’s book, A Capitol Idea: Think Tanks and US Foreign Policy , has recently been published by Nanjing University Press.  In this book, Professor  Abelson focuses on a host of high profile think tanks - including the Brookings Institution, the Heritage Foundation, and the Project for the New American Century - and on the public and private channels they rely on to influence important and controversial foreign policies, including the development and possible deployment of a National Missile Defense and George Bush's controversial war on terror. In the process of uncovering how some of the nation's most prominent think tanks have established themselves as key players in the political arena, he challenges traditional approaches to assessing policy influence and suggests alternative models.   

Zheger Hassan - Globe and Mail Article

Political Science Graduate, Zheger Hassan, recently published an article in the Globe and Mail titled "The Real Battle for Mosul Begins When Islamic State is Defeated".  Zheger received his PhD in Political Science from Western with an area of focus in Comparative Politics and International Relations.

Professor Marta Dyczok - Exclusive Interview for Public Radio Ukraine

Professor Dyczok interviews Canada's first diplomat posted to Ukraine, Nestor Gayowsky.  Gayowskygives the first behind the scenes look at how Canada recognized Ukraine's Independence Referendum 25 years ago, a move that led to the dissolution of the USSR in this interview.

Professor Cris de Clercy - Western News

Professor de Clercy featured in an article in the Western News.  The article, “Results A Call for Renewed Focus on Gender” discusses the U.S. Presidential election results and the role of gender in politics.  On Nov. 8, Trump defeated Clinton in one of the most surprising elections in history.  “As the first-ever woman atop a major party presidential ticket, Clinton might be shouldering a lot of the blame for her loss,” Professor de Clercy said. “But it’s important to look at the results through a wider lens.”

Professor Zack Taylor - Appointed to Toronto City Hall Task Force

Professor Taylor has been appointed to a task force  on improving deliberation and decision making at Toronto City Hall. Launched by the University of Toronto’s School of Public Policy and Governance, the task force will propose reforms that City Council can act on quickly, without any major legislative or regulatory changes, under powers afforded by the City of Toronto Act and other relevant statutes. A final report will be released in April, 2017. Other task force members include former Toronto city managers Joe Pennachetti and Shirley Hoy, and former councillors John Parker and David Soknacki. 

Sakhi Naimpoor - Opinion Defense

Political Science PhD candidate  Sakhi Naimpoor ’s opinion editorial "Why Canada Should Re-Engage with Afghanistan" published in The Hill Times on November 9.

Professor Richard VandeWetering - 4 New Publications

Professor VandeWetering has published five articles concerning the history of political thought since April.  They are "Thomas Phipps" in the Wiltshire Family History Society Journal (April 2016 no 141 pp. 28-37), "Townsend's Mixture: a Misattribution" in the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine  (2016 Vol 109 pp. 200-205), "James Phipps" in the Wiltshire Family History Society Journal  (July 2016 no 142 pp. 18-25), "The Children of James and Catherina Phipps" in the Wiltshire Family History Society Journal (Oct 2016 no 143 pp. 33-41), and "Privateers and lawyers: The 1745-1752 battle over the treasures of the 'Marquis d'Antin' and the 'Louis Erasmus'" in Magna: Magazine of the Friends of the National Archives  (Nov 2016 vol 27 no 2 pp 39-42).  Professor VandeWetering is working towards the completion of two biographies:  "The Adventurer: the Life of Chauncy Townsend 1708-1770" and "An Awakened Man: the Life of Joseph Townsend 1739-1816".

The Barnard Scholarship in Political Philosophy at Western

Afifa and TomThe Department has received $25,000 in funding for two recipients of The Dr. Frederick M. Barnard Scholarship Trust for the 2016/2017 academic year.  Afifa Khwaja and Thomas Randall, Doctoral Students in Political Science, are this year’s Barnard Scholars; both have been awarded $12,500.  Mrs. Margot Barnard has generously endowed a scholarship trust in memory of her late husband, Frederick Mechner Barnard who was a distinguished political theorist and intellectual historian at Western from 1970 until his retirement in 1985. The BarnardScholarship Trust offers scholarships to graduate students in Political Philosophy, entering MA or PhD programs in either Political Science or Philosophy at Western.  Afifa Khwaja is beginning her first year of doctoral work and Thomas Randall is in his second year of doctoral study; both in political theory.  More details on the award can be found here.

Professor Don Abelson - Book Launch

The book launch for Northern Lights: Exploring Canada’s Think Tank Landscape, by Professor Abelson, will be taking place at Octopus Books in Ottawa, on December 1 at 7:00 pm.

Professor Christopher Alcantara - New Publication

Professor Alcantara has published a new co-authored paper with Jason Roy entitled "Fighting Fire with Fire: The Implications of (Not) Going Negative in a Multiparty Election Campaign" in the Canadian Journal of Political Science on the issue of whether adopting a negative campaign tone affects voting behaviour in multi-party systems like Canada. Alcantara and his co-author find that "sunny ways, my friends, sunny ways" is the best strategy for parties seeking to maximize voter support, but only when the other parties go negative.

Professor Christopher Alcantara - Presentation to Canadian MPs in Ottawa

Professor Alcantara  will be delivering a presentation on Monday, November 28 as part of the Library of Parliament's Seminar Series for Canadian Members of Parliament and their staff.  The presentation will focus on understanding the policy implications and challenges of reforming the Indian Act, as well as lessons from current and past initiatives to move beyond the Act's constraints.  Fellow panelists include Dr. Ken Coates (University of Saskatchewan), Dr. Douglas Sanderson (University of Toronto), and moderator Tonina Simeone, Chief, Aboriginal Affairs and Social Development.

Fall Preview Day - Sunday, November 13

On this day of discovery, have a chance to meet with faculty, staff and students and learn why Western offers the best student experience among Canadian Universities.  Members of the Political Science Department are available on November 13 from 9:00 AM-3:00 PM, Main Lobby, Social Science Centre.  Professor Charles Jones will discuss "Why Politics Matters" in a mini-lecture from 12:30-1:00 PM in Room 2050 in the Social Science Centre.

Professor Nandita Biswas Mellamphy - Presenting Latest Book

Professor Biswas Mellamphy along with co-editor Professor Dan Mellamphy (Western), will be presenting her latest book, The Digital Dionysus: Nietzsche & the Network-Centric Condition, at a Book Launch on November 10 at The Only Café-Pub in Toronto.

Dr. Ian Kalman – New Postdoctoral Fellow

The Department of Political Science is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Ian Kalman as a Postdoctoral Fellow with Dr. Christopher Alcantara, beginning October 4.  Dr. Kalman will be working with Drs. Alcantara and Jen Nelles on a research project on the evolution and outcomes of Indigenous – local intergovernmental relations in Canada.  This project is connected to an Early Researcher Award funded by the Ontario Government.

Dr. Kalman recently completed his Doctoral degree in Anthropology at McGill University (2016).  His research interests include:  law and politics; border studies; Indigenous studies; criminology and policing; theory and method.

Professor Nandita Biswas Mellamphy - Presentation at Western

Professor Biswas Mellamphy will give a talk titled "ISIS UNVEILED: Clothing, Consent & Control" on Wednesday, October 19 at 4:30pm in the Social Science Centre, Room 0314 hosted by Western's Caucus on Women's Issues.  The talk is an official event of Western’s Consent & Sexual Violence Awareness Week.

Professor Laura Stephenson – Public Forum on Electoral Reform

Professor Stephenson will be participating in an interactive public forum on the Canadian electoral reform on October 20 hosted by The  Centre for the Study of Democratic Citizenship  and the Research Chair in Electoral Studies  at the Université de Montréal alongside Peter Loewen, Marc André Bodet, Sven-Oliver Proksch, and André Blais with special guest Minister Maryam Monsef.  The forum will take place from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., at the McGill New Residence Hall (3625 Av du Parc, Montréal). A livestream of the event will be available nation-wide on CPAC ’s website. 

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Professor Marta Dyczok - Presentation at the University of Cambridge

Professor Dyczok will be delivering a presentation on Tuesday October 11 at the University of Cambridge and will be speaking on the evolution of Ukrainian media since independence.

Professor Christopher Alcantara - Presentation at Carleton University

Professor Alcantara will be delivering a presentation on Thursday October 13 as part of the Seminar Series of the Bell Chair in Canadian Parliamentary Democracy in the Department of Political Science at Carleton University.  He will be talking about his new book, A Quiet Evolution: The Emergence of Indigenous - Local Intergovernmental Partnerships in Canada, co-authored with Jen Nelles and published by University of Toronto Press.

Professor Joanna Quinn - Presentation at Australia National University

Joanna TripProfessor Quinn presented findings from her research on the utility of customary law in Fiji Islands at a workshop entitled "Transitional Justice and Civil Society in Asia and the Pacific" at Australia National University in Canberra, Australia from September 29-30.  

Professor Nandita Biswas Mellamphy – New Publication

Nanditas Anthology CoverProfessor Biswas Mellamphy has just published an anthology—dedicated to the memory of The Department of Political Science's late great Bibi Pettypiece —with the New York publisher Punctum Books.  The anthology is entitled The Digital Dionysus: Nietzsche and the Network-Centric Condition , and features essays by such luminaries as Arthur Kroker (UVic Political Science professor, Canada Research Chair in Technology Culture & Society), Horst Hutter (uConcordia Political Science professor, world-renowned scholar of Plato and Nietzsche, author of  Shaping the Future: Nietzsche’s New Regime and Politics as Friendship: Classical Notions of Politics & the Practice of Friendship), Shannon Bell (YorkU Political Science professor,Researcher  &Theorist of Fast Feminism), Eugene Thacker (New School professor of Media Studies, author of The Global Genome: Biotechnology, Politics & Culture), Julian Reid (King’s College UK professor of International Relations  & Political Theory, author of The Liberal Way of War in addition to  Biopolitics of the War on Terror ), and many more .  “Dan Mellamphy  & NanditaBiswas Mellamphy (Western University) have staged a brilliant collaboration among critical theorists from a range of disciplines to explore the import of  Nietzschean thought  for contemporary issues in media, technologies and digitization.  The result is The Digital Dionysus, a must-read for scholars in media, aesthetics, politics, and philosophy”— Patricia Ticineto Clough , Professor of Sociology  & Women’s Studies ( The Graduate Center, City University of New York), author of Auto-Affection: Unconscious Thought in the Age of Tele-Technology as well as  The End(s) of Ethnography: From Realism to Social Criticism, and editor of The Affective Turn: Theorizing the Social (Duke University Press).  

Dana Gold – Graduate Research

PhD Candidate, Dana Gold, has accepted a graduate researcher position at the  Azrieli Institute of Isreali Studies .  Dana’s research focuses on how mental representations of the ‘Other’ are constructed and reproduced through the educational system in Israel. Congratulations!

Professor Don Abelson - Two New Publications

Northern Lights CoverThink Tanks CoverTwo books by Professor Abelson have come out this fall:  Northern Lights: Exploring Canada’s Think Tank Landscape (McGill-Queen’s University Press); and with Xin Hua and Stephen Brooks ( eds), Think Tanks, Foreign Policy and Geo-politics ( Routledge).  A Simplified Chinese translation of this volume will be published by Nanjing University Press in 2017. In Northern Lights , Abelson explores the rise of think tanks in Canada and addresses many of the most commonly asked questions about how, and under what circumstances, they are able to affect public opinion and public policy. He identifies the ways in which Canadian think tanks often prioritize political advocacy over policy research, and seeks to explain why these organizations are well-suited and equipped to shape the discourse around key policy issues. The first comprehensive examination of think tanks in Canada, Northern Lights is both a primer for those looking to understand the role and function of think tanks in the policy-making process and a guide to the leading policy institutes in the country.  In Think Tanks, Foreign Policy and Geo-politics , Abelson and his colleagues examine how think tanks have helped frame domestic and international conversations on matters of foreign policy and geopolitics. Among other things, the contributors to this volume analyze how governments and actors in civil society are influenced by the activities of think tanks in various countries. 

Professor Marta Dyczok – Presenting Latest Book

Professor Dyczok will be presenting her latest book, Ukraine's Euromaidan: Broadcasting through Information Wars with Hromadske Radioon September 9 at the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs. Professor Dyczok will be introduced by the Toronto Star's Senior Correspondent Olivia Ward.

Kenny Ie - Awarded Doctoral Fellowship

Kenny Ie , PhD Candidate, has been awarded the Canadian Study of Parliament Group Doctoral Fellowship ( CSPG) for 2016/17.  This award supports doctoral students whose work focuses on the study, understanding and discussion of the parliamentary process and institutions in Canada. Congratulations Kenny!

Retirement of Dr. Robert Young

Bob YoungDr. Robert (Bob) Young retired on June 30, 2016.  He joined the Department of Political Science in 1981. Widely recognized as one of Canada’s most distinguished political scientists, Dr. Young served as Department Chair, President of the Canadian Political Science Association, and, until recently, Canada Research Chair in Multilevel Governance. A prolific scholar with wide-ranging interests in Canadian politics and public policy, he is a recipient of Western’s Hellmuth Prize for excellence in research.  This is just one of the many accolades he received during his stellar career.  His awarding winning book, The Secession of Quebec and the Future of Canada, as well as the multiple volumes he edited or co-edited as part of his research program in multilevel governance, is a testament to the incredible contribution he has made to the discipline of political science.    

The Department looks forward to recognizing Dr. Young’s years of service and incredible contributions at a celebration of his retirement on November 5, 2016 in the Great Hall.

Professor Zack Taylor – Presentation on Local Good Governance

On September 15, Professor Taylor will present on the meaning of good governance for Canadian cities at the Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs. The presentation is based on an original monograph commissioned by the Institute. To register to attend, visit the IMFG website.

Milestones of our Graduates – Dr. Ismaili Appointed to Chief Academic Officer Position

Karim IsmailiWe are pleased to announce that Dr. Karim Ismaili (PhD 1997) has been appointed Chief Academic Officer at the largest university in the Massachusetts state university system, Bridgewater State University.  Congratulations!

Professor Zack Taylor – Research Grant Awarded

The Faculty of Social Sciences has awarded Professor Taylor a grant to develop the Canadian NeighbourhoodChange Database. This dataset, which will combine census data across years, will make it easier to analyze and map social and economic change at the census tract level over time. When complete, the dataset will be made publicly available for use by academic researchers and public-, private-, and non-profit-sector professionals. It will have a variety of applications, including analyses of immigration, socio-economic inequality, ethnic and racial segregation, urban development, criminality, public health, and policymaking and service planning by governments.

Surer Mohamed - MA Thesis Defense

Surer Mohamed successfully completed her MA, "Doing Justice to Justice? Entanglements with Hegemony and Transitional Justice", supervised by Professor Joanna Quinn. She will be attending Cambridge University for doctoral studies beginning in September.  Congratulations Surer!

Alcantara New BookProfessor Christopher Alcantara – New Publication

The University of Toronto Press has published Professor Alcantara 's new book, co-authored with Jen Nelles, entitled A Quiet Evolution: The Emergence of Indigenous - Local Intergovernmental Relations in Canada. The book is based on five years of SSHRC-funded research and involved a number of UWO PhD students who worked as research assistants.  Endorsements for the book come from the Right Honourable Paul Martin and Canada Research Chair Dr. Ken Coates.  Buy the book here!

Professor Marta Dyczok - Hromadske Radio Launch 'Ukraine Calling' Podcast

Thanks to the efforts of Professor Dyczok , more news and views from Ukraine will reach the English-speaking world every week.  In association with Hromadske Radio in Kyiv, Ukraine, Dr. Dyczok recently launched 'Ukraine Calling', a weekly English-language podcast on Ukraine's current affairs.

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Professor David Armstrong – New Blog Post

Professor Armstrong’s blog about the recent Dallas shootings “This one chart shows what Americans believe about protests and police responses”, posted on the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage Blog.

Milestones of our Graduates – Dr. McGregor Appointed to Tenure-Track Position

Dr Michael McGregorWe are pleased to announce that on July 1, Dr. R. Michael McGregor (PhD 2012) joined the Department of Politics and Public Administration at Ryerson University as an Assistant Professor in a tenure-track position. Congratulations!

New Research Initiative - Innovative Cost Savings Practices from Ontario Municipalities

Umera Ali, Meli Limani, Rachna Goswami 

Research Associates (left to right): Umera Ali, Meli Limani, Rachna Goswami

There will be lots of activity in the Allan O’Brien Multilevel Governance Research Lab this summer and autumn.  Three Research Associates will be working in the lab on a project funded by the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing to document examples of innovative cost savings practices from Ontario municipalities.  The Researchers (in order as shown in the photo) are Umera Ali ( MPA Western), Meli Limani ( MPA Western), and Rachna Goswami (PhD, Panjab University, India). The Principal Investigator is Professor Martin Horak , who hopes to attract funding for similar projects in the future.  He is assisted by Professor Andrew Sancton .  Ms. Ali and Ms. Limani will be working on the project at least until September.  Dr. Goswami will see it through to its conclusion early in 2017.

Professor Zack Taylor - New SSHRC Insight Development Grant

Professor Taylor has been awarded a SSHRC Insight Development Grant for his project, "Place and Politics: Neighbourhood Effects and Political Behaviour in Canadian Cities.” Despite citywide shifts from one election to the next as different candidates or parties prevail, the relative political orientations of neighbourhoods often remain remarkably consistent: the left- and right-most areas of the city in any given election remain so, regardless of whether right-leaning or left-leaning candidates and parties win. The project will generate and test hypotheses about how neighbourhood characteristics systematically influence voting behaviour over time and how this influence is mediated by election campaign discourses that selectively activate identities rooted in the neighbourhood-scale characteristics. The ultimate objective is to develop a new integrative theory of urban political order. The study is an interdisciplinary collaboration with sociologist Daniel Silver and geographer Steven Farber of the University of Toronto and sociologist Jan Doering of McGill University. 

Professors Cristine de Clercy and Peter Ferguson - New Article

Professor de Clercy and Professor Ferguson have published a new study in the Politics and Governance Journal, volume 4 no. 2 (2016): 104-114. “Leadership in Precarious Contexts:  Studying Political Leaders after the Global Financial Crisis,” that explores the scholarly literature on political leadership and crisis since the 2008 global financial crisis. They ask what sorts of inquiries are being pursued, what sorts of paradigms are (and are not) being employed, and how is the concept of crisis being understood and find several scholars are contributing much insight from the perspective of leadership and crisis management. Several analysts are investigating the politics of crisis from a decentralist perspective, focusing on local leadership in response to challenging events.  As well, studying how citizens interpret, respond to, or resist leaders’ signals is a developing area of inquiry. While this study reveals some debate about the nature of crisis, and whether the context has changed significantly, most of the scholarship reviewed holds modern politicians face large challenges in exercising leadership within precarious contexts.

This study is part of a volume dedicated to revealing new approaches to the study of political leadership, accessible here. This is the first of three co-authored articles in the area of risk, crisis and leadership that are in progress.

Chris Rastrick - Dissertation Defense

Chris Rastrick successfully completed his PhD, "Atlantic Drift: Supranational and American Think Tanks in Comparison", supervised by Professor Don Abelson. Congratulations Chris!

Professor David Armstrong - New Professor in Political Science

Dr. David ArmstrongWestern Political Science is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. David Armstrong as a Tenured, Associate Professor, beginning January 1, 2017.

Dr. Armstrong comes to Western from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and has also taught as an instructor at the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research ( ICPS) Summer Program from 2006.  He received his Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Political Science at the University of Maine at Presque Isle (1998) and his Doctoral Degree in Government and Politics at The University of Maryland (2009).

Dr. Armstrong’s research interests are in the fields of quantitative methods, measurement and latent dimension estimation, measurement and conceptualization of democracy, and internal state conflict.  His most recent research has been published in the CRC Press; American Journal of Political Science; The R Journal; Journal of Peace Research; American Sociological Review.   He is also a co-investigator in a multi-million dollar grant from the Social Science Research Council of Norway.

Professor Joanna Quinn – Opinion Editorial

Professor Quinn's opinion editorial, "For true reconciliation, all Canadians must join the conversation" published June 15 th in The Globe and Mail.

New Urban and Local Governance Working Paper Series Launched

The Department of Political Science and graduate Local Government Program are pleased to announce the launch of a new working paper series on issues of urban and local governance and public policy. The series will include original research by faculty and graduate students. The first paper in the series, by Professor Zack Taylorand Toronto-based consulting urban planner Leah Birnbaum , is entitled “Toward Regional Resilience in Toronto: From Diagnosis to Action.” Produced with the support of the O ntario Growth Secretariat , Ministry of Municipal Affairs, and the Urban Land Institute, the paper develops and applies a resilience framework to assess the Toronto region’s current assets and vulnerabilities in relation to future risks. Academics and practitioners are invited to subscribe to series updates.  

Professor Adam Harmes - New Article

Professor Harmes has authored a new article, entitled “Political Marketing in Post-Conflict Elections: The Case of Iraq”, published in the Journal of Political Marketing. The article examines political marketing in post-conflict elections through an illustrative case study of post- Saddam Iraq. It does so through articles and media reports as well as interviews and participant-observation research conducted in Iraq during the 2014 national and provincial elections. The article argues that, despite having a number of the comparative and ethnic conflict country characteristics that work against a market oriented approach, Iraqi political parties have become increasingly professionalized and, to a lesser extent, willing to change their product in response to market research. It further argues that the Iraqi case can contribute to broader debates in the political marketing literature over the definition of market orientation and over the comparative factors that can help or hinder the spread of political marketing techniques.

Professor Christopher Alcantara - New Publication

Professor Alcantara has co-authored a new paper with PhD alumni Dr.  Zac Spicer (Brock University) called, "A New Model for Making Aboriginal Policy? Evaluating the Kelowna Accord and the Promise of Multilevel Governance in Canada" published in the latest issue of the journal, Canadian Public Administration.  This paper is the fourth in a series of papers by Dr. Alcantara and his colleagues that redefines the concept of multilevel governance and explores its analytical utility in Canada.  Previous papers were published in Publius: Journal of Federalism; Territory, Politics, Governance; and the 2013 State of the Federation edited book published by MQUP and the Institute of Intergovernmental Relations at Queen's University.  

According to the abstract:  "Government policy-making affecting Indigenous communities in Canada has often been met with stiff resistance from Indigenous leadership. We examine multilevel governance as an alternate model for Aboriginal policy-making by examining a particular case study: the process leading up to the 2005 Kelowna Accord. We find that although multilevel governance may have the potential to produce highly desirable outcomes, its emergence seems to depend heavily on political agency. Meaningful and enduring change to Aboriginal policy-making will therefore likely require significant institutional adjustments to the Canadian federation."

Professor Zack Taylor - New Monograph on Good Governance at the Local Level

Professor Taylor ’s new paper outlines how to measure and improve good local governance.  Commissioned by the Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance at University of Toronto’s Munk School, this new paper makes recommendations for improving the quality of good governance in Canadian municipalities.  In the face of declining public trust in governments at all levels, the quality of our governance systems is a matter of great interest to Canadians, yet little has been written about what good governance looks like at the local level.  In the paper, Good Governance at the Local Level: Meaning and Measurement (No. 26) , released June 16 th, Professor Taylor explores the meaning of good governance for Canadian cities.

Professor Marta Dyczok – Presented Research at Second Donbas Media Forum

Marta in Mariupol 2016Professor Dyczok presented her research on Information Warfare on June 10 th at the Second Donbas Media Forum held in Mariupol, the acting capital of Ukraine's war-torn Donets'k Oblast, on June 10. During panel discussions, Donbas Media Forum participants discussed the ways to overcome information blockade on the occupied and liberated territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the ways to counteract disinformation and propaganda, and the ways local media can survive.

Professor Andrew Sancton - Round Table Recognition

Andy Sancton Panel

Photo: Panel Members (left to right): David Siegel, Martin Horak, Andrew Sancton, Aaron Moore, Zachary Spicer

On June 2 at this year’s 2016 Canadian Political Science Association (CPSA) Annual Conference, Professor Andrew Sancton’s esteemed career and many years of devoted service was celebrated at a round table (Session E15) in recognition of his contributions to the study of Local Government.  Panel members included Zachary Spicer(Brock University), Aaron Moore (University of Winnipeg), Martin Horak (Western University), and David Siegel(Brock University).

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Professor Christopher Alcantara - Awarded Two New Research Prizes

Professor Alcantara was recently awarded Western's 2016 Petro-Canada Young Innovator Award and the Canadian Political Science Association's 2016 John McMenemy Prize for the best article, in English or French, published in volume 48 of CJPS. 

The Petro-Canada Young Innovator Award, which is worth $12,000, is intended to help attract and retain bright young minds at Canadian Universities, colleges and major research institutes and to help young researchers launch their scholarly careers and enable them to carry their research forward.  Professor Alcantara intends to use the funds to run a series of experiments that investigate a number of political myths and assumptions in Canada.

The winning paper for the 2016 John McMenemy Prize is: Christopher Alcantara and Adrienne Davidson. 2015. "Negotiating Aboriginal Self Government Agreements in Canada." 48(03): 553-575.  According to the jury report: "This paper provides unique and original insight into the complex factors that influence Aboriginal self-government negotiations in Canada as exemplified by the experiences of the Inuvialuit. While the Inuvialuit were the second group in Canada to sign a modern treaty in 1984 they have yet to conclude the self-government agreement initiated in 1996. Drawing upon the existing literature on land claim negotiations, Aboriginal self-government and historical institutionalism, Alcantara and Davidson analyze a variety of primary and secondary sources to argue that a number of institutional and non-institutional factors have prevented the Inuvialuit from successfully completing self-government negotiations with the Crown. These factors include institutional elements such as the way in which federal land claims and self-government policies have evolved over time and the pace and nature of territorial devolution as well as non-institutional factors such as the embedded nature of Inuvialuitcommunities and non- Inuvialuit communities within the region."

Professor Erika Simpson – Keynote Speaker in Calgary, Alberta

Professor Simpson  is the Keynote Speaker at the 2016 Conference of the Canadian Peace Research Association ( CPRA) taking place from June 1-3 at the University of Calgary.  Professor Simpson will speak on: "The contribution of two famous Canadian Peace Researchers: Prof. Anatol Rapoport and Senator Douglas Roche".   The CPRA 2016 conference is the only event in Canada which will bring together scholars and activists from Canada and abroad concerned with critical international-relations issues that have been challenging the global and regional order and stability, as well as offer a unique opportunity to Professors, Peace-Researchers, independent thinkers and Graduate Students to discuss peace-related issues in a participant-involving occasion.

Professor Zack Taylor – Awarded Best Dissertation by the American Political Science Association ( APSA)

Professor Taylor has been chosen as the winner of the Best Dissertation Award by the Urban and Local Politics Section of the American Political Science Association.   The Dissertation Award Committee was impressed with Professor Taylor's dissertation, The Politics of Metropolitan Development:  Institutions, Interests, and Ideas in the Making of Urban Governance in the United States and Canada, 1800-2000.  Professor Taylor has been invited to Philadelphia to receive the award in person at the Business Meeting of the Urban and Local Politics Section on Friday, Sept. 2 nd at 6:30 pm. 

Professor Christopher Alcantara - Appointed to the Editorial Board of Canadian Public Administration

Professor Alcantara has been appointed to the Editorial Advisory Board of the highly respected journal, Canadian Public Administration, effective July 1, 2016 .   This journal is the "refereed scholarly publication of the Institute of Public Administration of Canada ( IPAC). It covers executive, legislative, judicial and quasi-judicial functions at all three levels of Canadian government. Published quarterly, the journal focuses mainly on Canadian issues but also welcomes manuscripts which compare Canadian public sector institutions and practices with those in other countries or examine issues in other countries or international organizations which are of interest to the public administration community in Canada.”  Professor Alcantara's duties will be to work with the other members of the board to advise the Editor, Managing Editor, and Associate Editors regarding the aims and scope of the journal as well as provide suggestions for referees and reviews of manuscripts submitted to the journal, when needed.

Sakhi Naimpoor - Opinion Defense

Political Science PhD candidate Sakhi Naimpoor ’s opinion defense "Our failing approach to Afghanistan" published in The Hill Times on May 18.

Professor Erika Simpson - Opinion Editorial

Professor Simpson and Professor Henrik Lagerlund (Department of Philosphy, Western) co-authored an opinion editorial, “Carrying on with wayward sons; with their brains not maturing until their mid-20s, it’s time to use a different approach to life and learning with our young men”.  Published May 13, the editorial was carried by Postmedia, Canada’s largest newspaper chain.

Professor Erika Simpson – Ontario Roundtable by the Minister of National Defence

On April 6, 2016, the Minister of National Defence launched an important consultation process aimed at informing the development of a new defence policy for Canada.  As part of the consultation process, the Minister and his advisors hold six roundtables with relevant experts in six cities.  Professor Simpson participated in the only roundtable in Ontario, which was held on May 20, 2016 in Toronto.  Professor Simpson and 14 other experts from Toronto, Ottawa and the surrounding regions were selected.  As part of Professor Simpson’s attendance at the roundtable, a two-page submission outlining her views and key points will be made available by the Department of National Defence ( DND) online.  The event was attended by the new Minister of Defence and his aides – and their final report will be written by other attendees including General Ray Henault and Bill Graham, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs and the former Minister of Defence. 

Professor Joanna Quinn - Workshop on Non-State Security Providers and Political Formation in Conflict-Affected States

Professor Quinn attended a workshop that considered "Non-State Security Providers and Political Formation in Conflict Affected States."  The workshop was hosted by the Centre for Security Governance ( CSG) and the Balsillie School of International Affairs ( BSIA) from May 5-6 in Waterloo.  One of the overarching goals of the workshop is to identify best practices for aid donors to engage non-state security actors when supporting political transitions and state-building projects in conflict-affected countries. The workshop will bring together participants from academia, think tanks, government, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations.

Professor Marta Dyczok – New Book Launch 

Marta Dyczok signing her book

Photo by: Elvira Saale


Professor Dyczok had a launch event and signing for her new book, Ukraine's Euromaidan: Broadcasting through Information Wars with Hromadske Radio, in Toronto on May 7. The book is available through open access here .  With this book, Professor Dyczok brings light to the Ukraine crisis, broadcasting history as it happens, with intimate knowledge of Ukraine’s Euromaidan and beyond.

Professor Christopher Alcantara - Finalist for 2016 John McMenemy Prize

Professor Alcantara 's recent co-authored paper in the Canadian Journal of Political Science is one of three finalists for the CPSA's 2016 John McMenemy Prize. The prize is meant to recognize the best article, in English or French, published in volume 48 of CJPS. The winner will be announced at the President's Dinner at the annual conference in Calgary.  The shortlisted paper is: Alcantara, Christopher and Adrienne Davidson "Negotiating Aboriginal Self Government Agreements in Canada." 48(03): 553-575.

According to the jury report: "This paper provides unique and original insight into the complex factors that influence Aboriginal self-government negotiations in Canada as exemplified by the experiences of the Inuvialuit. While the Inuvialuit were the second group in Canada to sign a modern treaty in 1984 they have yet to conclude the self-government agreement initiated in 1996. Drawing upon the existing literature on land claim negotiations, Aboriginal self-government and historical institutionalism, Alcantara and Davidson analyze a variety of primary and secondary sources to argue that a number of institutional and non-institutional factors have prevented the Inuvialuit from successfully completing self-government negotiations with the Crown. These factors include institutional elements such as the way in which federal land claims and self-government policies have evolved over time and the pace and nature of territorial devolution as well as non-institutional factors such as the embedded nature of Inuvialuit communities and non- Inuvialuit communities within the region."

Professor Christopher Alcantara - Presentation at Princeton University

Professor Alcantara has been invited to present the findings from his forthcoming book, A Quiet Evolution: The Emergence of Indigenous - Local Intergovernmental Partnerships in Canada,  as part of a workshop co-hosted by Dr. Dwight Newman, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Rights in Constitutional and International Law and the American Society of International Law Rights of Indigenous Peoples Interest Group.  He will deliver his presentation on Thursday, May 12 at Bobst Hall, Princeton University.

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Bojan Ratkovic - Dissertation Defense

Bojan Ratkovic successfully completed his PhD, "Republican Nationalism: Nations, Cultures, and Politics", supervised by Professor Charles Jones. Congratulations Bojan!

Professor Zack Taylor Keynote Speaker in Victoria, British Columbia

Zack Taylor Keynote Speaker in Victoria, BC

Professor Taylor Speaking at Conference

On Saturday, April 30,  Professor Taylor was the keynote speaker at Simon Fraser University’s Fourth Annual Rethinking the Region Conference in Vancouver, BC, speaking on the legitimacy of regional governance. Rethinking the Region is an opportunity for deep dialogue, reflection and learning about the past, present and future of regional governance in Metro Vancouver.

Professor Christopher Alcantara - Toronto Star Article and Radio Interviews

Professor Alcantara recently published an article in the  Toronto Star entitled, " Seniority is a Lousy Way to Hire Teachers.” He spoke about this issue locally on AM 590's The Andrew Lawton Show on Thursday, April 21 and nationally on CBC Radio's The 180 with Jim Brown on Sunday, April 24. He also spoke to reporters about the Nunavut plebiscite in Monday's issue of The Globe and Mail. 

Professor Andrew Sancton – Dean’s Excellence Award for Teaching

Andrew Sancton AwardProfessor Sancton has been recognized for his life-long commitment to teaching and awarded as one of the first recipients of the Dean’s Excellence Award for Teaching (Social Science).  This is a new award that recognizes the outstanding contribution faculty make both inside and outside the classroom.

Professor Joanna Quinn - New SSHRC Insight Grant

Professor Quinn has been awarded a SSHRC Insight Grant for her project, "What Makes People Care? Thin Sympathy and Acknowledgement by By-Standers and Outsiders to Conflict".  The study seeks to understand why only a limited number of by-standers and outsiders care to understand what has taken place in post-conflict divided societies, and then to act on their understanding by working with survivor communities to promote acknowledgement and reconciliation.  The acknowledgement hypothesis is further hypothesized to show the importance of thin sympathy (a basic understanding of the needs of the "other") as a necessary condition for action.

Professor Nigmendra Narain – Professor of the Year Award

Nig Narain AwardVoted for by the fourth year class, Professor Narain was awarded Professor of the Year distributed by the Political Science department and Political Science Association ( PSA).  This award is presented at the Political Science Graduate Banquet on April 1 st, 2016.

Professor Radoslav Dimitrov – Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance ( OUSA) Award for Teaching Excellence

Professor Dimitrov was awarded the 2016 Award for Teaching Excellence, given by the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance ( OUSA).  This award recognizes a professor from each member institution that “has shown innovation and creativity in their pedagogical practices.” The award will be presented in Toronto at a ceremony on April 5th, 2016 where Dr. John Doerkson, Vice-Provost (Academic Programs) will be accepting the award on Professor Dimitrov’s behalf. 

Surer Mohamed – 3 Minute Thesis Qualifier

After six exciting heats that have taken place over the past five weeks, Surer Mohamed, Political Science Graduate Student became one of Western’s 3 Minute Thesis Top 20 Finalists.  On March 24, 2016 the top 20 students across Western University competed in the Western 3MT Final at the Davenport Theatre, Talbot College with the top student going on to represent Western at 3MT Ontario 2016 on April 14 at Wilfrid Laurier University. Congratulations Surer on all your hard work!

Marta Dyczok with New BookProfessor Marta Dyczok – New Book

Professor Dyczok recently published an open access book entitled Ukraine’s Euromaidan: Broadcasting through Information Wars with Hromadske Radio. You can download it for free, read, and listen to the podcasts, or is also available in hard copy. This book brings together a series of English language reports on the Ukraine crisis first broadcast on Hromadske Radio between 3 February 2014 and 7 August 2015. Collected and transcribed here, they offer a kaleidoscopic chronicle of events in Ukraine. Bookending the reports, purpose written introduction and conclusion sections contextualize the independent radio project within the larger picture of Ukraine’s media and political developments – both before the Euromaidan and in its dramatic aftermath.

Professor Christopher Alcantara - Presentation at Brock University

On Tuesday, March 9, 2016, Professor Alcantara  presented some findings from his forthcoming book, A Quiet Evolution: The Emergence of Indigenous - Local Intergovernmental Partnerships in Canada , to the department of political science at Brock University, in St. Catharines, ON.  In his presentation, Professor Alcantara discussed how Indigenous and local governments in Canada have been quietly forging a variety of partnerships with each other. While some partnerships have dealt mainly with service delivery agreements, others have involved the co-management of greenspaces, skateboard parks, and doctor recruitment programs, among other things.  His new book, co-authored with Jen Nelles (Hunter College), will be published by University of Toronto Press in August 2016.

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Professor Christopher Alcantara – New Publication

Professor Alcantara has co-authored a new article with Dr. Jorg Broschek ( WLU) and Dr. Jen Nelles (Hunter College) entitled, "Rethinking Multilevel Governance as an Instance of Multilevel Politics: A Conceptual Strategy" in the latest issue of Territory, Politics, Governance Vol. 4 No. 1, 2016. This paper seeks to bring conceptual clarity to what has long been a nebulous and imprecise concept, multilevel governance, by framing it and its corollary, intergovernmental relations, as instances of decision-making that belong within the broader category of multilevel politics. Rather than treating multilevel governance as a system akin to federalism, the authors argue that it is better to think of multilevel governance and intergovernmental relations as instances of policy-making that can emerge sporadically or more regularly within federal, unitary, and confederal systems. They illustrate the utility of their conceptual approach by examining water governance in North America.  This article is the second of series of papers that Professor Alcantara is writing that attempts to redefine multilevel governance in a way that makes the concept more useful for comparative and systematic analysis across countries, policy fields, and jurisdictions.

Undergraduate Students Participate in Model NATO 2016

Students at NATO 2016 Conference
Students with HonourableMinister of National Defence, HarjitSingh Sajjan( centre)

Western Political Science organized the participation of 34 Faculty of Social Science and 4 Huron College Undergraduate Students in the Carleton Model NATO 2016 Conference held from February 18 – 21, 2016 at the Canadian War Museum, Ottawa, Ontario. Western students provided an unprecedented 8 delegations at the Conference. Students were given the opportunity to experience a professionally organized simulation of one of the world’s most important transnational organizations. They also had the opportunity to connect with professionals in Ottawa’s policy and diplomatic communities, attend briefing sessions at the embassy of their assigned countries, and speak with the Keynote Speakers. These students represented 10 different NATO member and partner states at Model NATO.

Western Political Science would like to acknowledge and thank the Social Science Students’ Council for the tremendous financial support that made it possible for Social Science undergraduate students’ to participate in Model NATO this year.

Professor Christopher Alcantara - New Publication

Professor Alcantara has co-authored a new article with PhD Candidate Adrienne Davidson (University of Toronto) entitled, "Negotiating Aboriginal Self-Government Agreements in Canada: An Analysis of the InuvialuitExperience" in the latest issue of the Canadian Journal of Political Science Vol. 48 No. 3, 2016. This paper develops a new theoretical framework using the the tools of rational choice and historical institutionalism to explain the outcomes of self-government agreement negotiations between Indigenous communities and the governments of Canada. Drawing upon a variety of archival materials and elite interviews, they illustrate how negotiations depend heavily on a number of institutional and non-institutional factors relating to the negotiation process and the actors involved.

Professor Erika Simpson “Digging Deeper into Ukraine, Syria, and the Deep Geological Repository: What’s in Today’s News (and What’s Not!)”

Professor Simpson gave an invited talk to the Humanists Association of London and Area on February 10, 2016. In her talk, Simpson examines current crises stretching from Ukraine to Syria, and their implications for plans to bury nuclear waste in a Deep Geological Repository on the shores of Lake Huron here in Ontario.

Photo Exhibit – Faces of Displacement in Ukraine

Sofika Lysenko, Age 7Professor Marta Dyczok shares preliminary findings from her sabbatical research on people displaced by Russia’s annexation of Crimea and hybrid war in eastern Ukraine in a photo exhibit entitled ‘Faces of Displacement in Ukraine.’ Photos will be displayed at the Spencer Gallery in The D.B. Weldon Library for the entire months of February, March, and April. One portrait reveals a seven year old girl, Sofiika Lysenko, born and raised in Donets'k and now lives and goes to school in Kyiv. “When the shelling started, Mama said 'pack your things'.”

Social Science Students' Council Student Leadership Awards

We are proud to announce that three Political Science Undergraduate Students, Talitha Cherer, Derek Hooper, and Kevin Lass were awarded Social Science Students’ Council Leadership Awards.  Students are selected based on their demonstrated leadership and participation in extra-curricular activities on campus and/or the local, national, and international levels while maintaining a minimum 70% average.  Congratulations to all!

Professor Erika Simpson attends InterAction Council Meeting Chaired by Jean Chretien

Professor Simpson was invited by the InterAction Council, an international think tank of former world leaders, to attend a High-Level Expert Group meeting on January 19, 2016 at Massey College in Toronto, Canada. The theme for the meeting was “Iran and the New Middle East” and the meeting was chaired by the Right HonourableJean Chretien. The meeting had 17 high-level experts each of whom provided background on various elements of the theme. The Chairman’s report will be tabled at the InterAction Council’s annual plenary meeting in March. The Council deliberates on long-term, global issues facing humankind and tries to come up with feasible solutions, which are incorporated into the Final Communique and sent to decisionmakers throughout the world. For more information on the InterAction Council.

Professor Nandita Biswas Mellamphy Keynote Speaker at 2 nd Annual Social Science Academic Conference

Professor Biswas Mellamphy is delivering the morning keynote address entitled The Fog of Peace: War by Any Other Means at The Second Annual Social Science Academic Conference: Pursuing Peace in an Age of Insecurity. The conference will be held Saturday, January 23, 2016 beginning at 10:30 AM in the UCC Community Room and also features an evening keynote address by Jean Chretien.   All are welcome to attend.

Nick Caruana - Dissertation Defense

Nick Caruana successfully completed his PhD,"Should Voters Decide? Successes, Failures and Effects of Electoral Reform", supervised by Professor Laura Stephenson.  Congratulations Nick!

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