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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.

Enoch Appiagyei

PhD Student  International Relations

My area of specialization is International Law & the Politics of International Security. My research interests include International Ethics, International Criminal Punishment, International Courts, Human Rights, and Just War Theories.

For the most significant part of my doctoral studies, I seek to address the question of selective justice within the International Criminal Court (ICC).

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.

Alem Cherinet

MA Student  Comparative Politics

With a regional specialization in Latin America, my research focuses on violence, human security, and the influences of sub-state actors. My thesis will examine the crisis of disappearances in Mexico and the policy responses on the part of the Mexican government. In such a highly complex security climate, it is the intersection between conflict and value systems that I am most interested to explore. Since socio-cultural norms are deeply embedded, quietly underpinning that which is political, their role in shaping institutional outcomes is an important consideration and will serve as a focus of my studies.

Holly Ching

MA Student Political Theory

My research is focused on the topic of technology and political theory. Drawing from classical and continental political philosophy, my research looks to provide an account of how technology has impacted our political lives.

Rob Clifton

MA Student International Relations

The focus of my studies engage with recent Franklin Expedition discoveries, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, and how these relate to Canada's quest and narrative regarding Arctic sovereignty and how such can be understood through Securitization Theory. I received my Bachelor of Arts and Science at the University of Lethbridge, with Political Science and Psychology being my majors. 

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.

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.

Bryanne De Castro Rocha

MA Student International Relations

I study sustainable development, more specifically how benefits are distributed between countries. The concept of Education for Sustainable Development is key because it can help reduce inequalities globally and domestically.

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.

Kelsey Gordon

MA Student Political Theory

My area of study is in the history of political thought; specifically, the ways in which ideasbe they developed or discovered have shaped the world that we live in. My interests within political theory are primarily concerned with issues of freedom, creativity, belonging, and purpose. My work looks to ancient and continental aesthetic theory to understand the ways in which Arts offers insights into these very issues.

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.

Alex Hayes

MA Student Canadian Politics

I focus on Canadian Politics. More specifically, voters, elections, and political parties. I look at how parties, voters, and elections shift over time. Currently my research focuses on a descriptive analysis of women's representation in the provincial elections of western Canada.

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 Kemle

MA Student Political Theory

My research uses Public Sphere Theory--and Nancy Fraser's contributions to it in particular--as a lens to analyse the challenges neoliberalism has created for liberal-democratic institutions and norms. I am particularly interested in the public sphere's ability to form legitimate public opinion and translate that into political action in light of the social, economic, and institutional changes undergone in the "neoliberal era". A normative aspect of my work will consider alternative forms of democracy: specifically, that of cosmopolitanism and anarchism. A secondary interest is the political economy of development and how alternative solutions to governance issues in the developed world could be applied to similar issues in the periphery.

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.

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?

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.

Dakoda Trithara

PhD Student International Relations

I study international relations and comparative politics with a focus on multinational corporations. My interests include regime theory, privacy rights, technology, neoliberalism, and global governance.

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.

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.