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:
My major ongoing research projects include:
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:
For more on my approach to graduate supervision, please see my Advisory Philosophy.
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
The institutions, processes, and dynamics involved in developing public policy in Canada.Fall Term 2021
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
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