University of Calgary
UofC Navigation

Our Graduate Students

Ben Adu Gyamfi

PhD Candidate – Comparative Politics

I am interested in Public Administration and Public Sector Reforms, Public Policy, Local Governance, Business-Government Relations, International Development, Resource Management in Africa, and Institutional Theory (The New Institutionalism). The African continent as a whole has since the mid-1970s witnessed a renewed interest in and a drive towards decentralization as a “perennial tool for development” and an instrument for efficient and participatory governance. Yet, the level of development achieved in most parts of Africa is 'nothing to write home about'. My current research, therefore, seeks to revisit the question: Why has decentralization failed to achieve its development goals in Africa.

Andrew Basso

PhD Candidate – Comparative Politics

I research atrocity crimes, human rights and rights violations, international security and the ethics of war, international relations, and Indigenous issues. My article "Towards a Theory of Displacement Atrocities" in Genocide Studies and Prevention identifies how displacement has been used a weapon to perpetrate atrocity crimes. My dissertation expands on this article to create a typology of Displacement Atrocity crimes using four vastly different historical cases.

I also study the use of displacement as a security threat to individuals, states, and systems. Another collaborative project series deals with domicide — the destruction of the home — in contemporary and historical contexts. Additionally, I am working on another project exploring the nexus of the military and medicine in situations of biological security threats (pandemic level situations, specifically) through the teachings of just war theory. Finally, I am examining the rise of the new semi-authoritarian democracies in the world and differentiating these regimes from illiberal democracies.

Chelsea Boutilier

MA – International Relations

My research interests are terrorism, radicalization/de-radicalization, political violence, and tools of political communication. Specifically, my research aims to focus on terrorist organizations and their utilization of social media as a tool of political communication. Terrorist propaganda can be a powerful tool in a world where information flows rapidly across borders and has the ability to reach wide audiences. My research will compare terrorist propaganda campaigns between states and will seek to determine their marked similarities and differences.

Chris Carlile

MA – Canadian

I am doing my research on databases and communication technology in elections campaigns. I am concentrating on how new technology is changing campaigning and how these changes are impacting campaigns here in Alberta.

Audrey Cheung

MA – Comparative Politics

Currently, my political research interests center around environmental policy analysis.  In particular, I am interested in analyzing policies concerning the implementation of wind generated electrical power in Canada and the United States. I hope to uncover what policy, or combination of policies, maximizes the contribution of wind power in electricity generation within alberta. Previously, in the medical field, I examined possible causes of neuropathic pain and nerve degeneration, in patients and mice, afflicted with diabetes or multiple sclerosis. 

Meagan Cloutier

MA Canadian

I'm interested in Canadian politics, gender and representation. My research interest is in the role of political parties in promoting and supporting women to run for political office.

Brice Coates

PhD – International Relations

I am a Ph.D. student at the Department of Political Science. My major field of study is International Relations with a focus on national security and intelligence. I am interested in the organizations of intelligence and how national security institutions are managed. My doctoral thesis focuses on U.S. intelligence services and the factors that shape organizational culture and direct change. In addition to my academic experience, I worked as a researcher at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., and am a member of the University of Calgary Research Ethics Board.

Nigel Cones

PhD Candidate – Political Thought

I am primarily interested in contemporary and postmodern political theory and on asking whether Michel Foucault’s broad model of non-state power relations and post-liberal individualistic ethics improves our ability to critique the effects of power on individuals. The specific problem I address is how to rebuild individual autonomy using the idea of self-constitution, inspired by Foucault's late-career ethical turn to the Greco-Roman care of the self. Varied secondary research interests include neoliberal political thought, postmodern international relations theory, paternalistic public policy, the politics of the census, and Thucydides’ History.

Julie Croskill

PhD Candidate – Canadian

My research examines how gender affects the content and delivery of political candidates' election campaigns. Looking at candidates at the provincial/state level in Canada and Australia, I assess whether differences emerge in the way that male and female candidates present themselves, and if the candidates alter their message based on the gender of the voters they are seeking to appeal to. In addition to my dissertation project, i am also interested in electoral behavior and research methods.

Ryan Crosschild

MAIndigenous Politics

“Oki niitaniko Sikapiohkiitopi. I am Blackfoot from Kainaiwa (Blood Tribe) Nation. I am interested in Indigenous politics, contemporary political theory, and radical social and political thought. My research will explore the resilience and resurgence of Two Spirit peoples in Indigenous communities, particularly within the Blackfoot Confederacy. This work is motivated by the struggle of Two-Spirit peoples navigating the negative impacts of colonization and the imposition of violent settler-colonial constructs; such as colonial masculinities and heteropatriarchy. It seeks to reaffirm the identities of Two Spirit peoples and provide insights on how to bridge decolonization with Two Spirit resurgence in decolonial projects of nation building. Part of this will be answering how Indigenous theory can engage with queer theory and enhance decolonial processes.”

Lucas Czarnecki

MA – Comparative Politics

My current research focuses on voting behaviour. Specifically, in regards to how social capital influences a citizen's propensity to vote in high and low-salient elections. My interests also include social psychology and evolutionary theory. In this regard I am most interested in how human cognition shapes political decision-making.

Ryan Dean

PhD Candidate – International Relations

I study international relations and Canadian politics with a focus on Arctic relations. My dissertation looks at Canadian policy formulation towards the Arctic since the 1980s. Specifically, I am interested in the creation of security threats by various stakeholders to the Canadian Arctic and the construction and deconstruction of these threats as political practices to attain policy goals.

Camilo Gil Gonzalez

MA Canadian Politics

I am interested in studying the relationships between multilevel governance and civil society in natural disaster mitigation, response and relief. My research looks at how policy is formulated and applied within the different levels of government, especially within the local and provincial levels, and at how civil society groups and organizations respond to disasters in relation to these policies. I will be focusing on Canadian natural emergency examples, such as the 2013 Southern Alberta floods, and the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire. 

Brett Goodwin

MA International Relations

My research interests are currently centred on the interaction between post-industrial western democracies and international macroeconomic forces. Specifically I am interested in what if any role forces like trade and immigration have had in the polarization of voter preferences in western democracies.

Mark Harding

PhD Candidate – Canadian

I am interested in the relationship between the judicial and elected branches of government in common law systems and Canadian constitutionalism. My research investigates the extent of “inter-institutional dialogue” between courts and legislatures in Canada, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand. My dissertation research assesses the formal institutional structure of judicial review to the reality of policy dialogue within each case country. This research highlights how judicial power grows in a manner currently overlooked within the literature. In each case country, the judiciary uses the bill of rights to update or revise other areas of the law. This process takes place when the bill of rights is used to update common law rules and to re-interpret statutes. This process raises questions about the appropriate division of labour between courts and legislatures and the possibility of a balanced institutional dialogue.

Yolande Hasselo-de Witte

MA Indigenous Politics

In 2016, the newly elected Liberal federal government formally adopted United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), and since has invited Indigenous peoples to resolve the practicalities, before changing legislation. It seems the present political climate is ready to face the challenging task of implementing the UNDRIP principles, in which the province of Alberta in 2015 has shown courageous initiative ahead of the federal government. I am interested in how the process of implementing UNDRIP within the Canadian context is managed, and progresses.

Floris Heidsma

MA – Exchange Student (Leiden University)

I am pursuing a master's degree in North American Studies at the University of Leiden. My current research interests lie in the role of U.S. military bases as cultural vehicles in remote communities, specifically in Okinawa during the Cold War and the present day.

Taruneek Kapoor

MA Comparative Politics

My research focuses on the depoliticising effect of neoliberalism on feminist movements and activism in the Global South. It also aims to include some strategies that feminist movements and organizations can adopt to promote gender equality in the face of neoliberalism. I am also interested in studying how neoliberalism has indirectly led to a rise in post-development theory and practices, significantly impacting feminist movements. 

Andrew Klain

MA – Canadian

My research interest is in Canadian Politics, Environmental Politics and Public Policy. More specifically my research examines decision making in local governments with regards to municipal water utilities. Public policy and institutional change surrounding the provision of municipal water services is often a focal point for many citizens and a highly contested topic. This makes decisions over whether to increase water rates, invest in infrastructure or outsource the management of municipal water services highly political for citizens and local politicians. I am interested in how local governments decide on specific policies and institutional changes, and how much local politics plays a role in these outcomes. 

Chris Kleingertner

MAInternational Relations

I am interested in researching a variety of overlapping subjects mostly surrounding Canadian foreign policy as it relates to military issues, peace support operations, and terrorism in general. More specifically those topics as they relate to Canada's contributions to West African security.

Sydney Krill

MA Canadian Politics

In light of the recent Canadian national inquiry into the missing and murdered Indigenous women (MMIW) phenomenon, my research seeks to understand how the historical and current dispossession of Indigenous land by the Canadian state influences and perpetuates this crisis. I will be focusing on understanding how we can decolonize the issue of violence against Indigenous women by addressing linkages between land dispossession and gendered racial violence. Engaging with concepts of eco-colonialism will confront how the impacts of environmental marginalization, degradation, and conflict contribute to and reflect an imbalance of the political power relationship between the Canadian state and Indigenous nations. The impacts of environmental alterations are not distributed equally throughout society, and I am interested in researching how this may reinforce social and economic inequalities upon Indigenous women specifically.

Erica Kunimoto

MA Political Theory

I am interested in contemporary political theory and the history of political thought. My research interests involve themes related to identity and the self, gender and sexuality, as well as ethics. Within the educational field, I am interested in hermeneutic phenomenology and contemplative pedagogies.

Comfort Kwarteng

PhD Comparative Politics

I specialize in Comparative Politics and International Relations with interests in health, policy, gender, and domestic violence.

Jeanne Liendo

MA – Comparative Politics

My primary field of study is comparative politics, with a focus on energy policy and politics, and a regional concentration in Latin America. My research looks at the interplay between sectoral institutions and the political-economic system of left-wing governments to analyse the performance of the hydrocarbon sector. It particularly examines the case of Bolivia and Venezuela, whose oil and gas industries have performed so differently in spite of their similar political agendas. I propose an alternative account that stresses the importance of political factors in which country's development model is embedded to explain variations within the energy sector.

Bethany Matchullis

MA – Comparative Politics

My research interests focus on the voice and engagement of marginalized groups within political systems. I am interested in studying indigenous movements in Africa to analyze their varying impacts on society and politics. My work will concentrate on practical and theoretical tools which may contribute to the understanding of how a given 'system' can be transformed to include diverse political identities and interests.

Chance A. Minnett Watchel

PhD Candidate – Canadian

I'm interested in Canadian politics and public policy. My dissertation examines LGBT politics in Alberta. Specifically, I seek to understand how institutional and cultural factors affect the Alberta government's handling of policy debates specific to the LGBT community.

Connor Molineaux

MA – Canadian

I am interested in Canadian political institutions including parties, legislatures, executives, and federalism. My current research looks at variation in the ideological positions of federal and provincial political parties in Canada by analyzing party election platforms. I aim to determine whether similar parties adopt different ideological positions in different electoral contexts, and to determine what factors might create differences.

Lauren Moslow

PhD Candidate – International Relations

My research interests include Canadian and American foreign and defence policies, circumpolar relations and Arctic sovereignty and security studies. As a PhD candidate (ABD) my thesis examines the extent to which Arctic states are collaborating on the development of disputed natural resources, (oil and gas, fish stocks, minerals) in an environmentally sustainable manner and in accordance with the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Arctic state compliance with the tenants of the Polar Code and the Arctic Search and Rescue Agreement, are also investigated.

Elizabeth Pando

PhD Candidate – Comparative Politics

I am interested in policies of immigration, particularly why and how states use their immigration policies to respond to the care crisis by importing care workers, and how this alters the landscape of welfare (care) provision. My dissertation will explore how these processes occur in Canada, a traditional immigration country, and Chile, a country which in recent years has become a destination for workers from other countries in Latin America.

John Santos

MA – Canadian

I am interested in elections, parties, voter behaviour, and political culture in Canada, especially in how these differ across regions. I have a particular interest in the work conducted by election studies teams at both the federal and provincial level. My research will explore what differences exist between the attitudes of voters in Alberta and voters of analogous parties in other parts of Canada.

Evgeniia (Jen) Sidorova

PhD Candidate – Comparative Politics

I am interested in the policy of Arctic offshore oil and gas extraction and its effects on the well-being of Indigenous communities and environment. My research will compare the Arctic regions of Russia, Canada and the United States (Alaska) to identify the best way of dealing with negative externalities of petroleum extraction in these particular regions.  I also consider the possibility of international cooperation between the Arctic regions and indigenous organizations in these selected countries.

Sara Skinner

PhD Candidate – Comparative Politics

I am interested in the logic that underpins violence and how that violence is taken into consideration when intervention missions are considered. Specifically, I ask: What are the logics of violence within political violence and would crafting response and recovery operations based on these logics produce better outcomes?

Dylan Thiessen

MA – Canadian

Historically, reconciliation has helped states transition from authoritarian regimes to democratic regimes after a period of violent conflict. More recently, settler states, including Canada, have adopted this approach to try to heal relationships between settler and Indigenous populations. How reconciliation can be used in a non-transitional setting (ie. in an already-established democracy), however, is uncertain. As such, I offer a reconceptualization of reconciliation, informed by the works of Hannah Arendt and Chantal Mouffe, that I argue is better suited to the Canadian context. My research then seeks to analyze and understand points of tension or conflict (in particular, the supremacy of the individual, private property and land use, and multiculturalism) that arise when reconciliation is pursued within the confines of the Canadian liberal democratic state.

Camilo Torres

MA Comparative Politics

My current research focuses on forms of political communication and the construction of identity among victims, perpetrators, and bystanders in instances of genocide, in an effort to elaborate on existing theories about genocidal policies and decision-making. Additionally, I am interested in how regimes construct their visions of an idealized, post-atrocity society and how this affects patterns of communication and development before the radicalization of the genocidal state.

Paulo Veneracion

MA – International Relations

I am a first year MA Political Science student with a focus on International Relations. My research interests lie in US Foreign and Security Policy and International Relations. I aim to examine how US policy decisions shape and alter the international environment in which both states and non-state actors operate. In particular, I am interested in studying how shifts in US policies affect the behaviours and decisions of other states, especially Canada. I also aim to expand and apply my knowledge of core theoretical paradigms from which to view global politics at all levels of analysis.

Ricardo Vernet

PhD Candidate – Comparative Politics

I am interested in the development of political regimes. My focus is particularly on the factors that explain the propensity of different types of political regimes to survive. My current project examines the process of democratization in Haiti and Nicaragua. The two countries share striking similarities, yet transition to democracy in both cases resulted in divergent political regimes. My project attempts to explain why the process of democratization led to different political outcomes. I also have a strong interest in comparative politics, failed states, Caribbean politics, and peasant studies.

Jessica Weber

MA – Canadian

I am interested in the relationship between the provincial and federal governments and how this affects oil politics in Alberta.  Specifically, I am interested in overlapping and disjointed jurisdictional issues concerning the development of natural resources and environmental protection. Areas of interest to me are federalism, environmental policy, interprovincial trade, royalty regimes, and energy policy.

Talia Wells

MA – International Relations

My research focus is environmental security in the Canadian Arctic and environmental global governance. I am interested in the way in which climate change is reshaping our notion of environmental security in the Arctic, the Canadian government response to these changes, and the way in which science and research initiatives are translated into adaptive governance responses in the region.