Graduate Students

Megan Aiken

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

I am a student of Canadian and Comparative politics who is deeply interested in comparative health policy. My thesis research examines Canada's opioid crisis within the historical context of over 100 years of opioid regulation. Through genealogy, my research challenges dominant notions of drug criminalization, the relationship between the federal government and pharmaceutical enterprise, and the consequences for public policy during a declared crisis.

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.

Telisa Courtney

Doctor of Philosophy - Political Science
Supervisor: Dr. Andy Knight

Telisa's research investigates the utility of theatre for development in the reintegration of demobilised child soldiers, and post-conflict reconciliation more broadly. Telisa's geographical interest is in Central and East Africa, specifically Congo and South Sudan. They have done previous research in Kenya and Uganda in their undergrad and masters degree


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.



Master of Arts - Political Science



Supervisor: Dr. Catherine Kellogg




My research in political theory and law engages the Canadian and Chinese states on questions of colonialism, capitalism, and violence. I am interested in how these states deploy material and discursive instruments to dominate bodies deemed threatening or superfluous, especially through the governance of land, gender, race, kinship, and intimacy.

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.

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.

Rissa-Wilissa Reist

Doctor of Philosophy - Political Science (Gender and Politics and Canadian Politics)
Supervisor: Dr. Linda Trimble
Brief description of work: My dissertation research explores how political humour responds to gendered and racialized forms of violence in contemporary Canada. Using a combination of critical discourse analysis and activity-based focus groups, my methodology disaggregates humour into two components: the meanings communicated by humour and the reception of it by audiences. Through this research, my goal is to understand how political humour in Canada reinforces and/or contests gendered and racialized hierarchies by marking some acts of violence normal and humorous while others as unacceptable.

Daisy Raphael

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

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar (2013)
Supervisor: 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. Catherine Kellogg
Dissertation Title: Natality and Fidelity: Politics in a New Ontological Mode

My work lies in the fields of political ontology, continental political thought and radical democratic theory. I am writing my dissertation on the ontological claims found in the thought of Hannah Arendt and Alain Badiou. My argument is that the use of the terms ‘natality’ (Arendt) and ‘fidelity’ (Badiou) to theorize political subjectivity and political action represent a methodological exemplarity when it comes to work on the philosophy of the political. I thus oppose the work of Arendt and Badiou to a wide swathe of authors who have also claimed to express the fundamental logic of politics, such as Ernesto Laclau, Chantal Mouffe, Jean-Luc Nancy, Giorgio Agamben, and Jacques Rancière




Kelsey Schober

Master of Arts - Political Science
Supervisor: Dr. Roger Epp

Kelsey's research focuses on natural resources, climate change, community participation, and the Arctic. Her thesis research is a comparative case study of political incentives to oil development in the Northwest Territories and Alaska.

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.

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.