Zack Taylor

Assistant Professor
Director, Centre for Urban Policy and Local Governance (CUP-LG)

Zack Taylor
PhD, University of Toronto
Telephone: 519.661.2111 ext. 85169

Office: Social Science Centre 4166
Google Scholar Profile Profile
ResearchGate Profile

Research Interests

Professor Taylor specializes in urban political economy and Canadian and comparative politics and policymaking, with an empirical focus on historical and contemporary multi-level governance of cities. He also pursues parallel interests in municipal campaigns and elections, local public finance, and political geography. Professor Taylor is the director of Western’s Centre for Urban Policy and Local Governance and director of NEST’s Canadian Communities Policy Observatory. He is a Fellow at the Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance in the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy and a non-practicing Registered Professional Planner.

Graduate Supervision

Professor Taylor is excited to work with Political Science and Public Administration graduate students on a wide range of topics, including local and metropolitan governance, multi-level governance, public administration, urban politics, urban planning, ideas and institutions, and political geography.

Current Research Projects

1. Place and Politics

How does space inflect politics? This project employs spatial analysis techniques to examine, first, how urban location and neighbourhood characteristics may influence electoral behaviour, and second, how the relative spatial clustering of groups within ridings may drive political party strategy in national elections. Initial research for this project was funded by an Insight Development Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council in 2016–19, and further supported by small grants from the Faculty of Social Science. A book on place and politics in Toronto, coauthored with Daniel Silver (Toronto) and Jan Doering (McGill), will be published in 2022.

2. The City in Comparative Political Development

Building on a growing American literature that examines the role of urbanization in American Political Development (APD), this project investigates urbanization as a motivator of change in Canadian politics and the national political economy since Confederation. This project, undertaken in collaboration with Jack Lucas (Calgary) and Dave Armstrong (Western) is funded by a 2019–24 Insight Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council in 2016.

3. Multi-Level Urban Governance in Theory and Practice

Cities and neighbourhoods are increasingly the targets of place-based public policies and Municipalities increasingly function as policy makers rather than policy takers are full participants in intergovernmental policy partnerships. On his own and in collaboration with Neil Bradford (Huron), Alison Smith (Toronto), and Martin Horak (Western), Professor Taylor continues to research current and historical multi-level governance processes and institutions in relation to cities and urbanization. His book Shaping the Metropolis, a comparative historical analysis of multi-level urban governance in Canada and the United States, was published in 2019. Related recent works include research reports on municipal statute law and metropolitan governance innovation for the Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance and a journal articles theorizing legitimacy in metropolitan governance institutions. Among other connected projects, he is currently working on a book manuscript that situates home rule, state pre-emption, multi-level governance, and metagovernance within a single conceptual framework.

Selected Publications

Shaping the Metropolis Taylor CoverBook

Refereed Journal Articles

Book Chapters

  • In press 2020: Triadafilopoulos, Triadafilos and Zack Taylor. “The Political Foundations of Canadian Exceptionalism in Immigration Policy.” Chapter in Yiagadeesen Samy and Howard Duncan, eds., International Affairs and Canadian Migration Policy. London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • In press 2020: Taylor, Zack. “Toronto.” In Richardson Dilworth, ed., Oxford Bibliography of Urban Studies.
  • 2020: Taylor, Zack and Neil Bradford. 2020. “Governing Canadian Cities.” In Markus Moos, Ryan Walker, and Tara Vinodrai, eds., Canadian Cities in Transition, 6th ed., Toronto: Oxford University Press. pp. 33–50.
  • 2015: Taylor, Zack and Neil Bradford. “The New Localism: Canadian Urban Governance in the Twenty-First Century,” in Pierre Filion, Markus Moos, Ryan Walker, and Tara Vinodrai, eds., Canadian Cities in Transition, 5th ed., Toronto: Oxford University Press: 194–208.

Research Reports

Recent Research Funding

  • 2020–22: Canadian Communities Policy Observatory Project. Co-Investigator with Victoria Esses (Western) and David Armstrong (Western). Faculty of Social Science, Western University. $137,500
  • 2019–20: Party Strategy, Electoral Incentives, and the Immigrant Vote Since Confederation. Co-Investigator with PI Robert Wardhaugh (Western) and Collaborator Triadafilos Triadafilopoulos (Toronto). Collaborative Research Grant, Faculty of Social Science, Western University. $9,945
  • 2019–23: Canada’s Implicit National Urban Agenda: Multilevel Governance for Place-based Policy. PI with Co-Applicants Neil Bradford (Huron) and Alison Smith (Toronto). SSHRC Insight Development Grant. $62,542
  • 2019–24: Cities in Canadian Political Development. Co-Investigator with PI Jack Lucas (Calgary) and Collaborator Dave Armstrong (Western). SSHRC Insight Grant. $95,727
  • 2019–20: Early Postwar Canadian Urban Change Data Creation Project. Principal Investigator. Faculty Research Development Fund Research Grant, Faculty of Social Science, Western University. $8,925
  • 2017–20: The Process and Politics of Planning for Resilience in Canadian Cities. Collaborator with PI Carrie Mitchell (Waterloo), Co-Investigator Greg Oualahen (Ryerson), and Collaborator Sarah Burch (Waterloo). SSHRC Insight Development Grant. $65,518
  • 2016–19: Place and Politics Project. Principal Investigator with Co-Investigators Daniel Silver (Toronto) and Jan Doering (McGill), and collaborator Steven Farber (Toronto). SSHRC Insight Development Grant. $53,577
  • 2016–17: Canadian Neighbourhood Change Database Principal Investigator. Faculty Directed Research Fund Small Grant, Faculty of Social Science, Western University. $5,000

Selected Recent Conference Presentations

  • 2019: Taylor, Zack. “Populism, Party Politics, and Immigration Policy in Canada.” Workshop on Canadian Exceptionalism, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto.
  • 2019: Taylor, Zack, Dan Silver, and Jan Doering. “The Spatial Articulation of Urban Political Cleavages: Evidence from Chicago, Toronto, and London.” American Political Science Association, Washington, DC.
  • 2019: Taylor, Zack, Carrie Mitchell, and Joanne Fitzgibbons. “Perceptions of the Future in Public Policymaking: Content Analysis of ‘100 Resilient Cities’ Plans.” Canadian Political Science Association, Vancouver.
  • 2019: Taylor, Zack. “Local Election Campaign Finance Regimes in Canada: Toward a Research Agenda.” Canadian Political Science Association, Vancouver.
  • 2019: Taylor, Zack. Panelist, “Ideas and Urban Political Development: US-UK-Canada Comparisons” in the “How Ideas Shape Urban Political Development” half-day short course, American Political Science Association, Washington, DC.
  • 2018: Allen, Jeff and Zack Taylor. “A New Tool for Neighbourhood Change Research: The Canadian Longitudinal Census Tract Database, 1971 to 2016. Statistics Canada: 100 years and Counting Conference, Ottawa.
  • 2018: Taylor, Zack and Jack Lucas. “Putting Politics in its Place: Urbanization and the City in Canadian Political Development.” Urban Affairs Association, Toronto.
  • 2017: Taylor, Zack. “Institutional Performance and Metropolitan Governance in the United States and Canada: Comparing Minneapolis–St. Paul and Toronto, 1945–2015.” American Political Science Association, San Francisco.
  • 2016: Taylor, Zack. “Legitimacy and the quest for regionalism in Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, BC.” Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, Portland, OR.
  • 2016: Taylor, Zack. “Neighbourhood effects on electoral behaviour in a large city: Toronto, 1997–2014.” American Political Science Association, Philadelphia.
  • 2016: Taylor, Zack. Keynote speaker, “Regionalism and legitimacy.” Simon Fraser University Rethinking the Region Conference, Vancouver.
  • 2016: Taylor, Zack. “Urbanizing political authority and development.” Canadian Political Science Association, Calgary.

Awards and Distinctions

  • 2016: Best Doctoral Dissertation, Urban Politics Section, American Political Science Association.
  • 2010: Clarence N. Stone Scholar, Urban Politics Section, American Political Science Association.
  • 2009: Excellence in Planning Award, Planning Publications category, Canadian Institute of Planners.