Roger Epp is professor of political science: a willing teacher, an experienced administrator, and a public scholar with diverse interests (see below).
A native of rural Saskatchewan, and a former newspaper journalist, I earned a BA (Honours) at the University of Alberta and both MA and PhD at Queen's University.
I have served the University in a number of senior leadership capacities. I held the positions of Deputy Provost and Vice-Provost (Academic) in 2014-15, and was founding Dean of the University's Augustana Campus in Camrose from 2004 to 2011. Currently in addition to my responsibilities in Political Science, I have been appointed Director of UAlberta North, a new coordinating office for northern initiatives and relationships.
I have held visiting appointments at the University of Wales, Aberystywyth, the University of North Carolina - Asheville, and the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná in Brazil.
My research has involved such diverse subjects as the rural west, settler-aboriginal relations, higher education, and, from a critical position, theory and ethics in international relations. My writing has appeared in such diverse public venues as Inside Higher Ed, the Small Farmer’s Journal, the Toronto Star, Alberta Views, the literary magazine Geist, as well as in leading academic journals such as the Review of International Studies.
In international relations, my current interests are rooted in both the English School – in what I take to be openings in Martin Wight’s work – and applied hermeneutics: first, on the idea of the limit, the frontier, the outsider, the apocalyptic; and second, on thinking the international from beyond ‘the West.’ Recently I contributed to the Guide to the English School in International Studies (2014).
I have also explored what it means to live in the prairie region with a sense of memory and care. That work includes We are All Treaty People: Prairie Essays (2008), Writing Off the Rural West (co-edited, 2001) and Roads Taken: The Professorial Life, Scholarship in Place, and the Public Good (2014). I co-produced the radio documentary “The Canadian Clearances,” for CBC Radio's Ideas. I was an honorary witness at hearings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and participated in two panels at the final national assembly in 2014.
I welcome graduate students in any of the above areas.
POL S 469/560: Ethics and International Relations
This course is an exercise in international political theory. Rather than imagine that ethical questions are somehow imposed on the ‘real world’ of international politics by philosophers drawing on transcendent ‘normative’ principles, this course critically examines a series of ethical questions having to do, for example, with war, human rights, justice, and asylum, and asks how they arise out of, and might even help to construct, what we experience as ‘the international’ and ‘the global.’ Why, and how, has the modern experience of a world fragmented (and, at the same time, organized) into ‘sovereign’ states framed moral argument around the vocabulary of insiders and outsiders? What is the moral significance of borders? What do they permit, require and excuse? Who are ‘we’? What do ‘we’ owe ‘them’? Who is my neighbour? Whose lives should we grieve? Whose not? What makes human beings worthy of respect? What violations justify ‘humanitarian intervention’? What makes any war just? Who gets to ask the question? Act on it? Within what limits?
Explores how texts from the history of western political theory, from ancient Greece to the 20th century, help to deepen and diversify our understanding of themes like justice, freedom, equality, property, rights, and democracy. Not to be taken by students with credit in POL S 210. Prerequisite: POL S 101 or consent of Department.Fall Term 2020
Selected topics of contemporary interest in Canadian public policy. Information about the specific topic is available from the Department. A variable content course, which may be repeated if topics vary. Prerequisite: One of POL S 224, 225 (or 220) or Department consent.Winter Term 2021
Selected topics and approaches in comparative public policy; content may vary from year to year.Winter Term 2021