Feb. 12, 2021

UCalgary Political Science Congratulates: Andrew Kemle!

2019–20 winner of the Michael Jenson MA Award

The Michael Jensen Memorial Master’s Scholarship is for students in our MA program who exemplify Michael’s qualities of scholarship, social justice activism, and participation in political discourse.

This scholarship is for a registered full-time student completing an MA in the Department of Political Science. Students must have completed the first year of the program with a minimum GPA of 3.70 in their first year. Students must also submit a one-page summary of whose actions that reflect a commitment for social justice and equality, engagement within the community, and/or participation in political activities. The value of the Scholarship is $1,500.

The Michael Jensen Memorial Master’s Scholarship was established in memory of Dr. Michael A. Jensen.


Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I specialize in political theory/philosophy and draw heavily from political economy as well. I try to be as active as I can in supporting my fellow students and vulnerable members of the community—though there’s always room for improvement in that regard. I work through most of my ideas by getting into imaginary debates with people who are way smarter than me and usually also long-dead (which I assume is normal for philosophers). As my Twitter handle implies, I have a very positive attitude about things in general. 


What is your MA thesis about?

My thesis tries to answer the question of why increasing discontent with the current political order has led to a rise in populism, particularly “authoritarian populism”. This seems to be the case even amongst diverse groups of people and in diverse regions. Jurgen Habermas has this idea of a “Legitimation Crisis,” which is a good description of people losing faith in the political order, and my research makes the claim that past attempts to mitigate legitimation crises have made it more likely that at least some parts of a political community will end up supporting populism. 

What are your plans for the future?

That’s a good question. Right now my plan after graduation is to do some independent writing, build off some ideas I’ve got stored in the back of my head. I’d like to keep going on to a Ph.D., but I’m not quite sure what the time frame for that might be. Depends on whether civilization utterly collapses too, I guess. 

Congratulations to Andrew Kemle on your 2019–20 Michael Jenson MA Award!


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