Political Science

Graduate Students

Megan Aiken

Doctor of Philosophy-Political Science
Supervisor: Dr. John Church

My work focuses on regional disparity in federations, with a specific focus on the relationship between health policy, inequity, and regional disparity in Canada




Abdullah Alzubaidi

Doctor of Philosophy : Political Science (Canadian and Comparative Politics)
Supervisor: Dr. Lori Thorlakson

Title: It’s All in the Fine Print- Or Is It? An Analysis of the Deliberative Spaces Provided by the Print Media of New Zealand and British Columbia Leading-into Their Respective Electoral Reform Referendums

The research that I am currently undertaking aims to advance literature on mediated deliberation, referendums, and electoral system change by investigating the coverage provided by major print media publications in both the Oceanic country of New Zealand leading-into their 1992 and 1993 electoral reform referendums, and the Pacific Canadian province of British Columbia before electoral reform referendums that occurred there in 2005 and 2009. This research encompasses several of my areas of research interest, including deliberative democracy, mediated deliberation, the mass media, referendums, electoral reform, and electoral system change.



Meagan Auer

Doctor of Philosophy - Political Science Gender and Politics and International Relations
Supervisor: Dr. Linda Trimble & Dr. Siobhan Byrne

My research examines representations of terrorists in news media through the lens of intersectionality. It seeks to gain insight into how journalism, as a process of differentiation, (re) produces social differences in contexts of war and violence.   





Clare Buckley 

Master of Arts - Political Science
My research focuses on Canadian politics and election studies. I am interested in understanding why Canadian political parties switch policy positions on prominent issues. 





Margot R. Challborn

Doctor of Philosophy, Political Science (Gender and Politics and Canadian Politics)
Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar
Supervisor: Dr. Lois Harder

Title: Understanding Harper's Family-Oriented Public Policy in Canada: The Universal Child Care Benefit, Income Splitting, and Maternal and Child Health

My doctoral research program has two principal objectives: first, to identify and understand the articulation of family values in federal public policy over the past decade, and to reveal how these values are embedded in social and economic policies; and, second, to trace competing conceptions of gender relations in Harper's conservative party and the ways in which these tensions have played out in the social policy terrain, focusing on the Universal Child Care Benefit, Income Splitting, and international Maternal and Child Health protocols.


Chadwick (Chad) Cowie

Doctor of Philosophy: Political Science (Canadian and Comparative Politics)
Supervisor: Dr. Yasmeen Abu-Laban

Title: Complexities and Realities: Indigenous Peoples and Electoral Participation in Canada

As an individual with a mixed background (Anishinaabeg and European), I focus on the following question for my research: Can electoral institutions in Canada be utilized by Indigenous peoples to promote Indigenous interests and integrate Indigenous views - if so, how? Additionally, are there examples elsewhere (such as New Zealand and the Scandinavian states) of institutional design and participation that facilitate Indigenous recognition? The aforementioned question relates well to my areas of research interest: Indigenous/Canadian Relations and Politics; Institutional Change; Elections, Voting and Behaviour; Political Parties; Politics of Identity; Sovereignty; Citizenship; and Federalism.

Chadwick Cowie

Dax D'Orazio

Doctor of Philosophy - Political Science
Supervisor: Dr. Yasmeen Abu-Laban

Title: Is University the Opposite of Diversity? Controversial Political Issues and Freedom of Speech in Canadian Universities

My project asks a broad question: how are our ideas about freedom of speech changing in the contemporary university? On the one hand, universities are assumed to be bastions of free intellectual inquiry, where difficult and controversial issues can and should be discussed. On the other hand, universities have been accounting for their exclusionary nature and perhaps more than ever recognize that the pursuit of knowledge is not morally neutral. Engaging with a range of political theory, the project seeks to map the different rationales for speech restriction to understand how and why certain claims of harm and victimhood are (in) validated through political contestation. It is grounded by three case studies that each represent different types of contestation on contemporary university campuses: student activist groups, controversial professors, and political pundits.


Anas Fassih

Doctor of Philosophy (International Relations, Comparative Politics)
Supervisor: Dr. Mojtaba Mahdavi 
My broad research interests fall at the nexus between international relations and comparative politics with a chief emphasis on third world security, political economy of energy, postcolonial analysis, and global North-South energy relationships (post-petroleum) as either political dependence, independence or both. In my PhD thesis, I aim to unravel the complexity of how energy systems, petroleum or solar (or hydroelectric), concentrate rather than disperse power and shape particular kinds of state’s sovereignty in the Twenty-first century.








Sagnik Guha
Master of Arts - Political Science
Supervisor: Dr. Greg Anderson
My research interests largely relate to the field of International Relations and International Political Economy. I am interested in the discourse surrounding global development and institutions of global governance. Specifically, I am interested in studying the impact of these institutions on the global South (particularly Asia) and examining shifts in developmental paradigms concurrent to the rise of India, China and the dynamic geopolitics of Asia. Understanding the complex interplay of factors underlying the interactions of these emerging economies with the 'old order' of the 20th century forms an important part of my research interests. 




Amissa Jablonski

Master of Arts - Political Science 
Political climate and culture in Alberta



Ehsan Kashfi


Doctor of Philosophy – Political Science  
Supervisor: Dr. Mojtaba Mahdavi    
My research is about the manifold state-sponsored attempts to reconstruct Shia identity in the post-revolutionary Iran, seeking to delineate the discursive processes and institutions through which Shi’ism is evoked and restored to articulate a hegemonic narrative of identity, securing political support and cementing legitimacy.   






Emrah Keskin

Doctor of Philosophy - International Relations
Supervisor: Dr. Siobhan Byrne

My current research focuses on the impact of mental health trauma on post-conflict reconciliation.


William Kujala

Doctor of Philosophy -- Political Science
Supervisor: Dr Catherine Kellogg

My research interests are mainly at the border of political theory and international relations. I am interested in early modern theories of sovereignty (especially those of Hobbes and Spinoza) and their reception in contemporary political thought; the relationship between philosophy of history and judgments of political violence; and the distinction between empire and the modern international realm in the field of international relations.  My proposed PhD research links these interests in a project that aims to connect, and construct a critique of, two recent sets of claims by placing them in the context of the colonial long-term: first, that internal (police) and external (war) forms of violence are increasingly indistinct in a new age of globalization or empire; and second, that we are faced today with an unprecedented amount of 'senseless' violence, a category that seems to link otherwise different forms of violence such as police violence, 'lone wolf terrorism,' and rioting.




Anya Kuteleva

Doctor of Philosophy - Political Science (International Relations and Comparative Politics)
Supervisor: Dr Ian Urquhart

Title: China’s Energy Relations with Canada, Kazakhstan, and Russia: The Social Construction of Energy

At the heart of my research is a general interest in the nexus between politics and sociocultural contexts. My research project will explore this nexus by drawing on the development of bilateral energy relations between China and Canada, Kazakhstan, and Russia as case studies. By examining China’s relations with Canada, Kazakhstan, and Russia, my research seeks to provide insights into how modern China defines and communicates its identity in energy relations and how it makes its energy choices. It also considers how China’s quest for energy is perceived by energy exporters and asks whether their interactions with China transform the way they view their own energy wealth.



Justin Leifso

Doctor of Philosophy – Political Science
Supervisor: Dr. Janine Brodie

Title: Mapping the Red Tape: Exploring Public Bureaucracy in Shifting Forms of Governance

From the laissez faire state to the welfare state to the neoliberal state, my research traces the changing bureaucratic articulation of political rationalities and their corresponding state forms. I examine the “ideal” bureaucracy in different periods in order to demonstrate the dynamic, fluid nature of public bureaucracy and how best to understand contemporary public administration.


Nicole V.T. Lugosi

Doctor of Philosophy - Political Science (International Relations and Comparative Politics)
Supervisor: Dr. Lori Thorlakson

Title: Elite Nationalism and Racism in Hungary: Mapping Right Wing Populist Discourses on Diaspora, Immigration, and Roma Inclusion Policies

My research focuses on the mobilization of race and ethnicity by right-wing policy makers in Hungary, namely the currently ruling Fidesz and the growing Jobbik parties. This single case study explores the discourses of Fidesz and Jobbik as articulated in their positions on Hungarian diaspora, immigration, and Roma inclusion policies.


Renée E. McBeth

Doctor of Philosophy - Political Science
Supervisor: Dr. Cressida J. Heyes

Title: Solidarity after Occupy: Social movement cohesion in antipoverty activism in Victoria, BC

My doctoral research emerges from the demonstrated need to develop better ways of building solidarity around common issues while affirming differences. I examine local efforts to build political alliances responding to longstanding questions of wealth inequality and class, which have proliferated in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and the Occupy movement.


Elim Ng

Doctor of Philosophy - Political Science
Supervisor: Dr. Yasmeen Abu-Laban

Title: Canadian Chinese-language television news providers: minority media amidst transnational migration and transnational politics.  
My areas of research are transnational migration and minority media.  My dissertation explores how Canadian Chinese-language television news providers navigate the power and influence of the Chinese and Canadian states.  In raising these issues, I identify and qualify the influence of sending states in the lives of overseas communities; at the same time, I highlight some of the opportunities and challenges faced by media organizations providing news to diverse Chinese communities in Canada.  

Daisy Raphael

Doctor of Philosophy - Political Science
(Gender and Politics and Canadian Politics)

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar (2013)
Supervisors: Dr. Lois Harder

Title: Feeling Canadian: Affect, Citizenship, and Government in Canada

My research explores concepts of citizenship and nation in contemporary Canada through the lens of affect theory. Examining national narratives and origin myths under Harper and Trudeau, I want to trace the ways in which our relationships to the nation are governed via our feelings, whether of belonging or exclusion, for instance.

Geoff Salomons

Doctor of Philosophy - Political Science (Comparative Politics; Political Theory)
Supervisor: Dr. Steve Patten

Title: Intergenerational Equity in Oil and Gas Policy in Alberta and Norway

My dissertation has three goals. First, my dissertation seeks to examine to what extent, and in what way, the policies related to the governance of oil and gas resources in Alberta and Norway address, or fail to address, concerns of intergenerational equity. Second, it seeks to identify and explain the factors that contributed to the success or failure of these two cases in addressing such concerns. This will, thirdly, allow me to draw out lessons for developing intergenerationally equitable oil and gas policy.

Luke Sandle

Doctor of Philosophy - Political Science
Supervisor: Dr. Roger Epp

Title: Resistance to American exceptionalism on faith-based liberal arts campuses

My research looks at the overlaps between critical theory and Christian theology. I use this framework to study the resistance to, and reproduction of, hegemonic discourses in American political culture. In particular, I look at American exceptionalism, American righteous war, and manifest destiny.




David Semaan

Master of Arts : Political Science 

My current research trajectory is focused on critical approaches to liberal and neoliberal notions of agency. I take concern with the relationship of rationality, reasoning and choice to questions of citizenship as consent. Therefore, on a holistic level, my research trajectory is guided by critical approaches to democratic perceptions of citizenship and agency in liberal and neoliberal thought. I am particularly concerned with ideas of child agency, theories of childism, child autonomy and challenging modern values of citizenship by critically placing children at the center of discussions of rights and citizenship.


Nikita Sleptcov

Doctor of Philosophy - Political Science
Supervisor: Dr.Lori Thorlakson

My scientific interests include political homophobia as a state strategy, sexual citizenship, political usage of homosexuality, and gender and politics.






Leigh Spanner

Doctor of Philosophy - Political Science
Supervisor: Dr. Siobhan Byrne

Title: Constituting the Military: The Family’s Material and Symbolic Role in Upholding the Canadian Military

Brief description of work: My work interrogates to what extent has Canada and its military’s relies on the military family, in both the material and symbolic sense, in the post 9/11 context. This work also examines how this dynamic shaped and reinforced through policy and discourses, or resisted by military spouses through social networking sites (SNSs).



Noureddin Zaamout

Doctor of Philosophy-Political Science
Supervisor:Dr.Mojtaba Mahdavi

My research is rooted in the fields of international relations and comparative politics, focusing on identity, nationalism, authoritarianism, security and geopolitics in the context of the Middle East.