Martin Horak

Associate Professor
Associate Director, Centre for Urban Policy and Local Governance


Ph.D., University of Toronto
Telephone: 519.661.2111 ext. 85002
Office: Social Science Centre 4223

Research Interests

Professor Horak specializes in Canadian and comparative urban politics, with an emphasis on the dynamics of urban policy-making and multilevel governance.  He is also interested in how the spaces of urban life and everyday relations within them shape our attitudes towards those who are socially different from us.

Current Research Projects

Professor Horak’s current work includes a conceptual-methodological exploration of the relationship between the state and urban politics; and a book project on the connections between the physical and social contours of urban space, networks of interpersonal relations, and political imaginaries of self and other.

Selected Publications


  • 2015: With Clarence Stone et al.  Urban Neighborhoods in a New Era: Revitalization Politics in the Postindustrial City.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • 2014: Úspěch i Zklamání: Demokracie a Veřejná Politika v Praze, 1990-2000.  Prague: Karolinum Press.
  • 2012: Edited with Robert Young.  Sites of Governance: Multilevel Governance and Policy Making in Canada’s Big Cities, McGill-Queens University Press.
  • 2007: Governing the Post-Communist City:  Institutions and Democratic Development in Prague. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Refereed Journal Articles

  • 2014: With Marilyn Dantico.  “The Limits of Local Redistribution: Neighbourhood Regeneration Initiatives in Toronto and Phoenix”.  International Journal of Canadian Studies 49, 135-158.
  • 2013: "State Rescaling in Practice: Urban Governance Reform in Toronto".  Urban Research & Practice 6:3, 311-328.
  • 2001: “Environmental Policy Reform in the Post-communist Czech Republic: the Case of Air Pollution”.  Europe-Asia Studies 53:2 (March), 313-327.

Book Chapters/ Refereed Papers

  • 2018: With Andreanne Doyon.  “Metropolitan governance in Canada: Lessons from Toronto and Vancouver”.  In Richard Tomlinson and Marcs Spiller, eds.  Australia’s Metropolitan Imperative: An Agenda for Governance Reform.  Clayton: CSIRO Publishing, 109-122.
  • 2018: With Gabriel Eidelman.  “Federalism and Transportation Infrastructure: The U.S. Experience”.  In John R. Allan and Robert Young, eds.  Canadian Federalism and Infrastructure.  Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 247-262.
  • 2017: With Richard E. Stren and Gabriel Eidelman.  “Toronto: Metropolitan Transformation and the Governance of Sustainability”.  In David Gómez-Álvarez, Eduardo López-Moreno, Robin Rajack, and Gabriel Lanfranchi, eds.  Steering the Metropolis: Metropolitan Governance for Sustainable Urban Development.  Washington, DC: IDB, 332-340.
  • 2016: “Toronto and the GTA: Changing Contours of Governance in Ontario’s Global City”.  In Cheryl Collier and Jonathan Malloy, eds.  The Government and Politics of Ontario.  Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 312-328.
  • 2012: With Talja Blokland. “Neighborhoods and Civic Practice". In Susan Clarke, Peter John and Karen Mossberger, eds., Oxford Handbook of Urban Politics, Oxford University Press.
  • 2012: “Multilevel Governance in Toronto:  Overcoming Coordination Challenges in the ‘Megacity’”.  In Robert Young and Martin Horak, eds., Sites of Governance: Multilevel Governance and Policy Making in Canada’s Big Cities, McGill-Queens University Press.
  • 2012: “Conclusion”.  In Robert Young and Martin Horak, eds., Sites of Governance: Multilevel Governance and Policy Making in Canada’s Big Cities, McGill-Queens University Press.
  • 2008: Governance Reform From Below: Multilevel Politics and Toronto’s ‘New Deal’ Campaign.  Global Dialogue Series, No. 4. Nairobi: UN-Habitat.
  • 1998: “The Power of Local Identity: C4LD and the anti-amalgamation mobilization in Toronto.” Research Paper 195. Toronto: Centre for Urban and Community Studies.

Recent Conference Presentations

  • 2017: “Re-stating the City: Multi-Scalar Historical Analysis of Urban Authority Systems.”  Canadian Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Toronto, June.
  • 2015: With Gabriel Eidelman.  “Transportation Infrastructure:  The U.S. Experience”.  State of the Federation Conference, Queen’s University, Kingston, June.

Awards and Distinctions

  • 2013-2016: University Student Council Teaching Honour Roll, University of Western Ontario.
  • 2010: Nominated for SSHRC Aurora Prize, an interdisciplinary Canada-wide prize ($25,000 award) for an outstanding new researcher in the social sciences or humanities.  Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.   
  • 2008: American Political Science Association Prize for Best Urban Politics Book published in 2007.  Awarded for Governing the Post-Communist City: Institutions and Democratic Development in Prague.