Political Studies examines the dynamics of human interaction in which individuals and groups compete to achieve their goals. The study of politics involves a consideration of the interactions between the individual, the state, government, public affairs and public policy. Political Studies examines the dynamics of these interactions in the context of competing visions, values and interests, particularly in the pursuit of varying public goals, including the quest for political power and the control of government. Politics is thus both a study of conflict among competing interests and a study of how these competing interests achieve compromise and cooperation.
Radhika Desai teaches politics, international political economy and development issues from a social justice perspective. She emphasizes the destructive consequences of inequality, oppression, poverty and deprivation and the critical importance of democratic political activity.
At various times, Desai has been active in trade unions, women’s organizations, minority groups and issue-based coalitions. She has consistently sought to bring her scholarship to the service of these organizations and to bring these experiences back to enhance her teaching.
Recently, Desai published Geopolitical Economy: After U.S. Hegemony, Gobalization, & Empire. In this book, she offers a radical critique of the theories of U.S. hegemony, globalization and empire that dominate academic international political economy and international relations, revealing their origins in the U.S.’s successive failed attempts at world dominance through the dollar.
Is there a right to procreate, even when doing so will impose serious costs on others? What does it mean to say that children have a right to education? Is this right compatible with parents’ control over which school their children attend or what they are taught?
These are some of the questions Political Studies professor Dr. Sarah Hannan addresses in her research. She is especially interested in the morality of procreation and parenting, as well as children’s autonomy rights.
She has published several papers on childhood, parenting, and procreation. She also co-edited Permissible Progeny?, which was released by Oxford University Press in 2015, and contributed to a website on equality of opportunity and education (https://edeq.stanford.edu/).
Dr Hannan earned her D.Phil. from Oxford University and was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University’s Center for Ethics in Society. She teaches classes in both contemporary political theory, and the history of political thought.
Whether it’s a matter of gender equity, national self-determination, or human security, people’s rights and identity influence each other. Dr. Tami Jacoby studies these relationships and more in her research.
In her latest project, Jacoby explores the construction of grievance-based identity, or how identity is shaped by conflict and politics.
She is an associate professor and graduate chair in the University of Manitoba’s department of political studies, and a senior analyst at crowd-sourcing consulting firm Wikistrat.
As a scholar of Indigenous politics, Kiera Ladner works extensively in the area of human rights. Her multifaceted research program in Indigenous politics and governance is well situated within the field of human rights. More specifically, her research project on constitutional reconciliation examines the potential for political reconciliation between Indigenous nations and the settler state in the present given the long history of injustice, discrimination, oppression, domination, regime replacement and the (attempted) destruction of nations; a history often referred to as political genocide. Beyond examining the constitutional requirements and foundations for securing political reconciliation, Ladner’s research program includes several community-based projects on envisioning and mobilizing decolonization and reconciliation. These include: (1) a project honouring the 20 year anniversary of the resistance at ‘Oka’ (really Kahnewa:ke and Kanehsata:ke) which was both the result of centuries of human rights violations (collective and individual) in Mohawk territory and it resulted in new human rights violations; (2) a project exploring the manner in which decolonization and reconciliation has been envisioned in Hawaii since the 1970s in response to the both historic and contemporary human rights violations; and (3) developing a project which engages youth in research on social justice and reconciliation. Finally, Ladner is also developing Mamawipawin – a research space for community-based research with Indigenous peoples – which will enable her both further her research and aid other scholars and students who are pursuing research in this area.
An expert in contemporary theory, Dr. Lecce specializes in contemporary political theory, particularly theories of social and distributive justice; the ethical bases of liberalism; democratic theory; and children, families, and the state.
Dr. Lecce and colleagues are working on a book that examines the global struggle for human rights.
He teaches Political Ideas and Ideologies and Political Doctrines of the 20th Century. His publications include Should democracy grow up? Children and voting rights, Why surfers should starve: libertarianism, neutrality and the unconditional basic income and How Political is the Personal? Justice in Upbringing.
Dr. Levasseur joined the political studies department in 2011.
Her research explores the relationship between the voluntary sector – including human rights charities – and the federal government in Canada.
Levasseur’s Carleton PhD dissertation examined the impact of legal, regulatory and funding frameworks on organizations with charitable status.
One particular area she assessed was the limitation placed on human rights charities in terms of their ability to advocate. Her research findings indicate that while real benefits flow from receiving charitable status, such as increased legitimacy and the ability to diversify funding, the trade-off is the ability to engage in advocacy.
Given that much of the work human rights charities do is related to advocacy and policy, the implications for public policy development are significant, particularly in an era when the policy capacity of federal and provincial governments is declining.
Dr. Levasseur is an assistant professor and the director of co-operative education for the joint master’s program in public administration with the University of Winnipeg.