Meet our graduate students

Recent Theses


Recent MA Theses

Explore the exciting Master’s theses completed by our recent MA students.

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Recent PhD Theses

Explore working dissertation titles of our doctoral candidates (i.e., ABDs) as well as our completed dissertations.

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Our graduate students

We are home to a vibrant community of approximately 40 graduate students. Their work covers every field within Political Science and across our research clusters.

Camielle "Cami" Adams (MA Student)

Camielle "Cami" Adams (MA Student)

Field: International Relations

Cluster: Blades, Bombs, Bullets and 'Bots; Human Rights Violations and Protections; Public Opinion

Bio:  I study international relations and Canadian politics with a focus on far-right movements across Canadian and American borders, more specifically how social media is fueling the propagation of far-right political groups and policy. My research focuses on how social media introduces Westerners, particularly Americans and Canadians, to far-right ideologies and often reinforces those views through “echo chambers” or forums where those ideals often go unchallenged.

Ben Adu Gyamfi (PhD Candidate)

Ben Adu Gyamfi (PhD Candidate)

Fields: Comparative Politics

Bio: 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)

Enoch Appiagyei (PhD Student)

Fields: International Relations

Bio: 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).

Ashpal Atwal (MA Student)

Ashpal Atwal (MA Student)

Fields: Canadian Politics, Comparative Politics

Bio: My interests are in Canadian political institutions, Canadian judicial politics, and comparative politics. My research looks to examine the role interest groups have within the Canadian judicial system and whether or not their involvement has changed with the implementation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Additionally, I am interested in researching the dynamics between interest groups and judges, specifically judges sitting on the Supreme Court of Canada. Finally, my research will compare Canada’s Supreme Court, interest groups, and judges with their American and British counterparts to better understand the similarities and differences between the three countries.

John Gabriel  Cabayao (MA Student)

John Gabriel Cabayao (MA Student)

Fields: Comparative Politics; Indigenous Politics

Research Clusters: Environmental Politics

Bio: My area of study is on Southeast Asian politics, concentrating broadly on the areas of development, the environment, democratisation, identity, and social movements. I am particularly interested in how developing countries pursue agendas of economic growth and industrialisation amid the growing threat of climate change. My current research compares the social mobilisation of indigenous peoples as well as peasant and rural communities in response to major environmental and development issues such as land reform, indigenous title, resource extraction, and conservation.

 

Alem Cherinet (MA Student)

Alem Cherinet (MA Student)

Field: International Relations

Research Clusters: Latin American Politics, Human Rights Violations and Protections

Bio: 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.

Alexander Chuchin (MA Student)

Alexander Chuchin (MA Student)

Fields: Canadian Politics; Comparative Politics

Research Cluster: Canadian Political Institutions; Elections and Representation; Public Opinion

Bio: My current research focuses on the development and the perceived decline of political institutions in advanced democracies. Likely the oldest Canadian tradition is to claim that Parliament is broken: Jeffrey Simpson patriated the oxymoron “benevolent dictator”; Donald Savoie lamented the end of “accountability” and the “beyond repair” convergence of federal departments; and a century before Lawrence Martin’s Harperland, the New York Times reported that Sir John A. Macdonald’s Canada was no longer democratic. Through assisting Prof. Anthony Sayer’s Canadian Elections Database, I am interested in exploring how and why Canada came to have one of the highest turnover rates in elected legislators, but one of the most stable governments among comparable democracies.

Rob Clifton (MA Student)

Rob Clifton (MA Student)

Fields: International Relations

Research Clusters: Blades, Bombs, Bullets and ‘Bots; Public Opinion; Canadian Political Institutions

Bio: 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 much 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 (PhD Student)

Meagan Cloutier (PhD Student)

Fields: Canadian Politics, Gender and Politics

Research Clusters: Canadian Political Institutions, Gender and Politics, Elections and Representation

Bio: My master's thesis research found that constituency offices employ a greater number of women than men. This suggests that masculine dominance of more powerful political roles is replicated across multiple locations of electoral representation. My doctoral research extends this project by investigating how ideas about gender shape the work performed the constituency offices, and implications for women's involvement in politics. My doctoral research aims to understand the gendered division of labour of constituency offices, including what tasks are assigned to which employees and why. I also explore how the role of Members of Parliament as employers of their constituency offices, and how employee-employer interactions are structured by gender in these offices. I investigate the prevalence of (sexual) harassment in these positions and the gender differences in the recruitment of political staff into elected or more powerful political positions.

My research also explores the role of front-line workers in representative democracy, looking at the work and effectiveness of front-line workers, who are the first point of contact for constituents. My doctoral research aims to present many new insights, including backroom dynamics of political recruitment, MPs as employers, and gendered divisions of representational work in federal politics.

Laura Conrad (MA Student)

Laura Conrad (MA Student)

Fields: Canadian Politics

Clusters: Gender and Politics; Elections and Representation; Canadian Political Institutions

Bio: My research centres around municipal politics in Canada. I will examine the career trajectory of sitting and retired women city councillors. My research will explore why women enter, remain, and leave municipal politics, as well as the progression of their careers once they have been elected. I am also interested in the ways in which City Councillors provide representation to constituents and the variables (such as gender and ward) that influence the style of representation employed.

 

Julie Croskill (PhD Candidate)

Julie Croskill (PhD Candidate)

Fields: Canadian Politics

Bio: 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 (PhD Student)

Ryan Crosschild (PhD Student)

Fields: Indigenous Politics; Canadian Politics

Clusters: Theorizing Beyond the Liberal Order

Bio: Oki nikso'kowaiksi. Nitaniko Sikapiohkiitopi. Greetings, my name is Ryan and I am Nitsitapii from Kainaiwa (Blood Tribe), which is part of Siksikaitsitapi (Blackfoot Confederacy). I belong to the Fish Eaters Clan and serve as a member of the Grey Horse Society. I was born and raised in Lethbridge, and educated on the unceded territories of the Musqueam people at UBC where I completed my undergraduate degree in Political Science and Indigenous Studies. My research interests include Prairie Indigenous Political Philosophy and Indigiqueer resurgence and governance formations. My doctoral research builds off of my MA, in which I examined how Indigenous territorialities and the relational networks they carry, are central to the political resurgence of queer people within Blackfoot governance and resurgence formations. It flows from the concluding questions I raised in my MA about what it means to engage in highly divisive questions of memory in the context and aftermaths of targeted gender oppression and violence that my current PhD work unfolds. In my doctoral research I ask, how do we create pathways to decolonial futures in the presence of traditionalized heteropatriarchy and anthropocentrism in Indigenous governance and resurgence paradigms? Specifically, I turn to the Buffalo Treaty (2016) as way to understand how the removal of salient kin, in this case Buffalo, impacted Indigenous life and politics, and what political strategies are being adopted contemporarily to address it. This will afford me an opportunity to critically reflect on the way relational ethics and politics are negotiated, governed, and managed in contemporary expressions of inter-Indigenous/inter-being resurgence.

Bryanne De Castro Rocha (MA Student)

Bryanne De Castro Rocha (MA Student)

Fields: International Relations

Bio:  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)

Ryan Dean (PhD Candidate)

Fields: International Relations

Research Clusters: Blades, Bombs, Bullets and ‘Bots

Bio: 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 Student)

Camilo Gil Gonzalez (MA Student)

Fields: Canadian Politics

Research Clusters: Canadian Political Institutions; Theorizing Beyond the Liberal Order

Bio: My research looks at governmental and civil society roles and relationships in the Canadian policy area of emergency management. The first part of my study focuses on the specific responsibilities carried out by the public and non-profit sectors in the prevention/mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery phases when facing calamities. The second part looks at the intergovernmental and civil-public relationships in this policy area, utilizing a multi-directional and complex-network approach found in multilevel governance literature.

The study of governance in emergency management policy is important, as we seem to be experiencing an increase in global catastrophic weather and climatic change. I hope that this project not only provides interesting insights about governance in a key Canadian policy area but that it also adds to the general conversation on how to synchronize policy-making with our current environmental reality to foster stability and security in our local and greater communities.

Rachel Grigg (MA Student)

Rachel Grigg (MA Student)

Fields: Canadian Politics

Research Clusters: Gender and Politics; Elections and Representations

Bio: My research focuses on elections and voter behaviour and representation of women in Canadian politics at the federal and provincial level of government. I am interested in political ambition and the factors that encourage or discourage women from running for elected office. Additionally, I’m interested in the effect of the media on elections and voter behaviour, particularly the impact of gendered news and how the media influences vote choice.

Alex Hayes (MA Student)

Alex Hayes (MA Student)

Fields: Canadian Politics

Bio: 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 Student)

Taruneek Kapoor (MA Student)

Fields: Comparative Politics

Bio: 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)

Andrew Kemle (MA Student)

Fields: Political Theory

Research Cluster: Theorizing Beyond the Liberal Order

Bio: 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 (MA Student)

Chris Kleingertner (MA Student)

Fields: International Relations

Bio: 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.

Comfort Kwarteng (PhD Candidate)

Comfort Kwarteng (PhD Candidate)

Fields: Comparative Politics

Research Clusters: Gender and Politics; Human Rights Violations and Protections

Bio: Comfort Tiwaa Kwarteng is a PhD candidate and Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Calgary, specializing in Comparative Politics and International Relations with interests in health, policy, security, migration, gender, domestic violence, and African Politics. She had her MA (Political Science) at Brock University and her bachelor education in Political Science and Archaeology at the University of Ghana.

Raj Lakhan (MA Student)

Raj Lakhan (MA Student)

Fields: International Relations

Bio: My research interests include areas of proliferation and arms control. I am particularly interested in studying how successful in a global arms treaty would be in stopping the proliferation of hypersonic weapons.

Reed Merrill (MA Student)

Reed Merrill (MA Student)

Fields: Comparative Politics, International Relations

Bio: My research focuses on the politics of international development and the public policy of developing states. I have a particular interest in the agricultural sectors of developing states and how they respond to the influences that are exerted upon them by other actors such as states, non-governmental organizations, supranational institutions, and the private sector. I am also interested in doing research to better understand how developing states attempt to reconcile their interests with changes in the production and consumption patterns of the global economy.

Chance A. Minnett Watchel (PhD Candidate)

Chance A. Minnett Watchel (PhD Candidate)

Fields: Canadian Politics

Bio: 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 Student)

Connor Molineaux (MA Student)

Fields: Canadian Politics

Research Clusters: Canadian Political Institutions; Elections and Representation

Bio: I am interested in political institutions, elections, and provincial politics in Canada. My current research compares the patterns of party competition in the four Western provinces, with a particular focus on the rise of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation and its successor party, the NDP.

Lauren Moslow (PhD Candidate)

Lauren Moslow (PhD Candidate)

Fields: International Relations

Bio: 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.

Cara Peacock (MA Student)

Cara Peacock (MA Student)

Fields: Political Theory; Indigenous Politics

Clusters: Theorizing Beyond the Liberal Order

Bio: My research examines how Indigenous ontologies and epistemologies inform the theoretical and political base of Indigenous peoples’ decolonial resistance. I’m particularly interested in how this political resistance forms a politics of “refusal”, which defies conventional, liberal models of “recognition”. I’m specifically interested in answering how Indigenous social movements reject the dominant, settler-colonial structures and create alternative, decolonial politics that meaningfully challenge settler-colonial sovereignty and ultimately substantiate and empower Indigenous sovereignty.

Zach Pfeifer (MA Student)

Zach Pfeifer (MA Student)

Field: Political Theory

Cluster: Theorizing Beyond the Liberal Order

Bio: My research interests are the conceptual formation and decay of political communities. I am particularly interested in the formation of the West as a distinct political community and how the understanding of this community both shapes and is shaped by historical narratives. My research approach draws on the traditions of the history of political thought and the history of ideas. 

Evgeniia (Jen) Sidorova (PhD Candidate)

Evgeniia (Jen) Sidorova (PhD Candidate)

Fields: International Relations

Research Clusters: Blades, Bombs, Bullets, and ‘Bots; Indigenous Politics; Legal Regimes and Politics

Bio: My research examines the discussion on application and utilization of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) in the Arctic Council. My study examines the perceptions and understandings of TEK by different actors in the region (Arctic Council Working Groups, Arctic states, Permanent Participants and others). I’m looking closely at the development of TEK as a concept throughout the history of Arctic cooperation to find out why TEK has remained a mystery for many actors involved in policy-making process.

Sara Skinner (PhD Candidate)

Sara Skinner (PhD Candidate)

Fields: Comparative Politics

Bio: 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?

Saaka Sulemana (PhD Student)

Saaka Sulemana (PhD Student)

Fields: Comparative Politics and International Relations

Bio: Prior to joining U of C, I earned a bachelor's in Political Science and Philosophy from the University of Ghana and an MA in Political Science (Public Policy) from Brock University. My broad research interests include comparative public policy, social policy, gender policy, and gender and politics, specifically female representation (political & portfolio appointments) in developing countries, from both historical and contemporary perspectives and how that shapes (if any) gender policy discourse. 

Ruth Thorkelson (MA Student)

Ruth Thorkelson (MA Student)

Field: Canadian politics

Bio: My focus is Canadian politics, and my research is in the intersection of incumbency, party discipline, and political communications. While national campaigns use mass voter contact profiles, I am interested in the use of local and specific voter outreach material and activation programs by individual MPs, both during elections and their terms. I am interested in identifying success or failure in riding-specific voter outreach and activation.

Camilo Torres (MA Student)

Camilo Torres (MA Student)

Fields: Comparative Politics

Bio: 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 Candidate)

Dakoda Trithara (PhD Candidate)

Fields: International Relations

Research Cluster: Legal Regimes and Politics

Bio: I study international relations and comparative politics with a focus on technology, platform governance, and cyber norms. Cyberspace, an environment where information is created, stored, and exchanged, is a domain where various actors such as states, multinational corporations, and other non-state actors interact and compete with one another. Meanwhile, cyber activities are becoming part of everyday functions for individuals across societies. My research interests include examining how humans interact in cyberspace for political purposes, how states assert their digital sovereignty, and how various global actors contest digital rights and the content moderation regime.

Paulo Veneracion (MA Student)

Paulo Veneracion (MA Student)

Fields: International Relations

Research Clusters: Blades, Bombs, Bullets, and ‘Bots; Legal Regimes and Politics; Theorizing Beyond the Liberal Order

Bio: My current research centers on US Foreign and Security Policy and International Relations, with a particular focus on the George W. Bush administration’s 2003 Iraq War. I aim to examine how and why the interactions between the plethora of factors at the international and domestic levels led to the Bush administration’s decision to invade and transform Iraq. More specifically, I seek to explain how the combination of actual and perceived unipolarity in the international system, the shock of the 11 September terror attacks, and the unique internal characteristics of the United States culminated in the application of the Bush administration’s doctrine of military primacy, unilateralism, pre-emptive or preventive war, and, ultimately, democratic regime change in Iraq. My research interests include political ideologies, comparative politics, domestic political structures, political philosophy, theories of international relations, and international regimes and norms.

Ricardo Vernet (PhD Candidate)

Ricardo Vernet (PhD Candidate)

Fields: Comparative Politics

Research Clusters: Elections and Representation; Human Rights Violations and Protections; Latin American Politics; Theorizing Beyond The Liberal Order

Bio: 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.

Ginamaria Vetro (MA Student)

Ginamaria Vetro (MA Student)

Field: Comparative Politics

Research Clusters: Latin American Politics; Gender and Politics

Bio: My research focuses on social movements in Latin America. Specifically, I am interested in the advancements of sexual and reproductive rights in the region. Over the last two decades, Latin America has witnessed an unprecedented expansion of LGBT rights, including the implementation of some of the most progressive gender identity laws in the world. This expansion is due to the successes of the LGBT social movement in the region. On the other hand, the advancement of abortion rights continues to lag. The difference in the successes of these movements is of particular interest to my research. Additionally, I am interested in the religious and conservative countermovement to LGBT rights throughout the region.

Ariane Wilson (MA Student)

Ariane Wilson (MA Student)

Research Field: Indigenous Politics

Research Cluster(s): Theorizing beyond the liberal order

Bio: My research interests focus on Indigenous governance, identity, and membership in the Canadian context. More specifically, I am interested in unpacking the ways in which membership codes can be revitalized in an era of Indian Act governance. I plan on examining the political implications of moving away from colonially imposed criteria for determining band membership and the way that rejecting Indian Act governance enables the assertion of Indigenous sovereignty and nationhood.