Jared Wesley, PhD

Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts - Political Science Dept
Associate Chair (Graduate), Faculty of Arts - Political Science Dept


Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts - Political Science Dept
(780) 492-1829
11-24 Tory (H.M.) Building
11211 Saskatchewan Drive NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2H4

Associate Chair (Graduate), Faculty of Arts - Political Science Dept

Book an appointment: https://calendly.com/jjwesley


Area of Study / Keywords

Canadian politics Alberta politics political culture elections political parties


I am a “pracademic” -- a practicing political scientist -- whose career path has taken me from government boardrooms to university classrooms. I am leading the Common Ground initiative - a research project helping to uncover the values that underpin politics in Western Canada and the American West. I am also Director of Master's Programs for the Department of Political Science.

Prior to joining the University of Alberta, I served in various senior management roles in the Government of Alberta, including as Director of Learning and Development Policy (Public Service Commission), Senior Operations Manager (Executive Council), and Director of Intergovernmental Relations (Executive Council).


My research and teaching concerns the intersection of political culture, political parties, and public policy:

  • political culture (norms, values)
  • provincial politics (Canada, elections, policy)
  • elections and electioneering (behaviour and campaigns)
  • comparative public policy
  • intergovernmental relations
  • political acumen / acuity

My major ongoing research projects include: 

  • Common Ground: an ethnographic study of the unspoken norms and values underpinning politics in Western Canada and the American West.
  • Viewpoint Alberta: a survey series tracking political attitudes in Alberta, aligned with the Consortium on Electoral Democracy (C-Dem)
  • PoliVolume: a social media study of provincial and federal elections in Canada
  • The Politics of Pot:  a study of cannabis legalization in the Canadian provinces
  • Party Switchers:  a study of floor-crossing in the Canadian provinces
  • Public Servants' Role: a study of the role of public servants in 21st century democracy

I am co-author of The Public Servant's Guide to Government in Canada (University of Toronto Press, 2019) and Inside Canadian Politics.

I have served as principal investigator of the SSHRC-funded "Comparative Provincial Elections Project", which studied provincial elections in every jurisdiction between 2011 and 2015. In addition to my books -- Code Politics: Campaigns and Cultures on the Canadian Prairies (UBC Press, 2011); Disengaged?: Fixed Date, Democracy, and Understanding the 2011 Manitoba Election (co-edited with Andrea Rounce, University of Regina Press); Big Worlds: Politics and Elections in the Canadian Provinces and Territories (editor, University of Toronto Press, 2015), and Inside Canadian Politics (co-author with Alex Marland, Oxford University Press, 2016) -- I have published in the Canadian Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Canadian Studies, Prairie Forum, and several recent books.


As a university instructor, I view my primary responsibility as developing competent producers and confident consumers of political research. This entails a delicate balance of dedicated mentorship and encouragement of critical thinking.

For more on my approach to teaching, please see my Teaching Statement.


I am currently accepting honours students, graduate students and post-doctoral researchers in the following areas:

  • Political Culture (community-based norms and values, polarization)
  • Canadian Politics (parties & party systems, elections & electioneering)
  • Provincial Politics (Alberta politics, comparative provincial politics)
  • Federalism (intergovernmental relations)
  • Public Policy (policy diffusion, political acumen) 

For more on my approach to graduate supervision, please see my Advisory Philosophy.


POL S 224 - Canadian Government

Examines the constitutional and institutional foundations of Canadian government. Not to be taken by students with credit in POL S 220. Prerequisite: POL S 101 or consent of Department.

Winter Term 2022
POL S 527 - Power, Politics, and Policymaking in Canada

The institutions, processes, and dynamics involved in developing public policy in Canada.

Fall Term 2021
POL S 901 - Directed Study in Policy Studies

Analysis of selected research problems and design of research projects in policy studies, planned by the student in consultation with the instructor. Prerequisite: consent of Department.

Fall Term 2021
POL S 902 - Policy Studies Capstone Seminar

Integrate and synthesize public policy concepts, principles, and theories and apply critical thinking and communication skills in a project of relevance to the study and practice of policy studies. Prerequisite: consent of Department.

Fall Term 2021

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