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Jack Lucas


Annual Fellow 2017-18


Jack Lucas is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science. He has published articles on the historical development of urban governance, urban public policy, and historical political science in Canada. His first book, Fields of Authority: Special Purpose Governance in Ontario, 1815-2015 was published in 2016 by University of Toronto Press.


Research Activities: 

Political Authority and Democratic Reform in the Western Canadian City

Who should have the right to vote? Are proportional voting systems desirable? Should policymaking be entrusted to technical experts? While these questions may seem to share little in common, what holds them together is a concern about political authority – a concern about who should have the power to govern. Through much of the twentieth century, Western Canadian cities led North America in their willingness to experiment with new answers to these questions – experiments that included proportional electoral systems and the early enfranchisement of women. 

My research will explore these democratic experiments, explaining how they emerged, why they were implemented, and how they embodied changing ideas about political authority. I will write two comparative-historical studies – on enfranchisement and proportional electoral systems – as well as a broader essay on the development of urban political authority in Western Canada. These papers are part of a book-length project on the development of political authority in the Western Canadian city.

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