Political Studies

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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

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.

Sarah Hannan

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.

Tami Jacoby

Dr. Tami Amanda Jacoby joined the Department of Political Studies at the University of Manitoba in 1998 after having completed graduate work at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and York University in Toronto. She  currently serves at the rank of associate professor and was graduate chair for many years.

Her expertise is in the areas of international conflict, particularly the Arab-Israeli Conflict and Middle East politics, gender and war, terrorism and political violence, identity politics, and protest. She is the author of Redefining Security in the Middle East, Women in Zones of Conflict: Power and Resistance in Israel and Bridging the Barrier: Israeli Unilateral Disengagement, as well as many articles and book chapters on related subjects. Her research is based on extensive fieldwork in the Middle East. And she frequently lectures in the local and international communities.

Dr. Jacoby’s latest research projects include a theoretical study of grievance-based identity, a co-edited volume on Middle Eastern diasporas in North America and a book-length manuscript on counter-terrorism in Canada.

Kiera Ladner

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.

Steven Lecce

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.

In 2008, University of Toronto Press published his book Against PerfectionismDefending Liberal Neutrality. In 2011, Lecce delivered a seminar as part of the Idea of a Human Rights Museum series.

Karine Levasseur

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.

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