Meet our graduate students

Recent Theses


Recent MA Theses

Explore the exciting Master’s theses completed by our recent MA students.

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Recent PhD Theses

Explore working dissertation titles of our doctoral candidates (i.e., ABDs) as well as our completed dissertations.

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Our graduate students

We are home to a vibrant community of approximately 40 graduate students. Their work covers every field within Political Science and across our research clusters.

Ben Adu Gyamfi (PhD Candidate)

Ben Adu Gyamfi (PhD Candidate)

Fields: Comparative Politics

Bio: I am interested in Public Administration and Public Sector Reforms, Public Policy, Local Governance, Business-Government Relations, International Development, Resource Management in Africa, and Institutional Theory (The New Institutionalism). The African continent as a whole has since the mid-1970s witnessed a renewed interest in and a drive towards decentralization as a “perennial tool for development” and an instrument for efficient and participatory governance. Yet, the level of development achieved in most parts of Africa is ‘nothing to write home about’. My current research, therefore, seeks to revisit the question: Why has decentralization failed to achieve its development goals in Africa.

 

Enoch Appiagyei (PhD Student)

Enoch Appiagyei (PhD Student)

Fields: International Relations

Bio: My area of specialization is International Law & the Politics of International Security. My research interests include International Ethics, International Criminal Punishment, International Courts, Human Rights, and Just War Theories.
For the most significant part of my doctoral studies, I seek to address the question of selective justice within the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Andrew Basso (PhD Candidate)

Andrew Basso (PhD Candidate)

Fields: Comparative Politics

Bio: I research atrocity crimes, human rights and rights violations, international security and the ethics of war, international relations, and Indigenous issues. My article "Towards a Theory of Displacement Atrocities" in Genocide Studies and Prevention identifies how displacement has been used as a weapon to perpetrate atrocity crimes. My dissertation expands on this article to create a typology of Displacement Atrocity crimes using four vastly different historical cases.

I also study the use of displacement as a security threat to individuals, states, and systems. Another collaborative project series deals with domicide — the destruction of the home — in contemporary and historical contexts. Additionally, I am working on another project exploring the nexus of the military and medicine in situations of biological security threats (pandemic level situations, specifically) through the teachings of just war theory. Finally, I am examining the rise of the new semi-authoritarian democracies in the world and differentiating these regimes from illiberal democracies.

Chelsea Boutilier (MA Student)

Chelsea Boutilier (MA Student)

Fields: International Relations

Bio: My research interests are terrorism, radicalization/de-radicalization, political violence, and tools of political communication. Specifically, my research aims to focus on terrorist organizations and their utilization of social media as a tool of political communication. Terrorist propaganda can be a powerful tool in a world where information flows rapidly across borders and has the ability to reach wide audiences. My research will compare terrorist propaganda campaigns between states and will seek to determine their marked similarities and differences.

Alem Cherinet (MA Student)

Alem Cherinet (MA Student)

Field: International Relations

Research Clusters: Latin American Politics, Human Rights Violations and Protections

Bio: With a regional specialization in Latin America, my research focuses on violence, human security, and the influences of sub-state actors. My thesis will examine the crisis of disappearances in Mexico and the policy responses on the part of the Mexican government. In such a highly complex security climate, it is the intersection between conflict and value systems that I am most interested to explore. Since socio-cultural norms are deeply embedded, quietly underpinning that which is political, their role in shaping institutional outcomes is an important consideration and will serve as a focus of my studies.

Holly Ching (MA Student)

Holly Ching (MA Student)

Fields: Political Theory

Research Clusters: Theorizing Beyond the Liberal Order

Bio: My research explores how technology, from Galileo’s telescope to modern quantitative data analysis, has shaped our political consciousness. The area of primary concern in this work is pedagogy. Drawing on Ancient Greek and continental political philosophy, I explore this issue through philosophical cosmology and hermeneutic phenomenology.
    

 

Rob Clifton (MA Student)

Rob Clifton (MA Student)

Fields: International Relations

Research Clusters: Blades, Bombs, Bullets and ‘Bots; Public Opinion; Canadian Political Institutions

Bio: The focus of my studies engage with recent Franklin Expedition discoveries, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, and how these relate to Canada's quest and narrative regarding Arctic sovereignty and how much can be understood through Securitization Theory. I received my Bachelor of Arts and Science at the University of Lethbridge, with Political Science and Psychology being my majors.

Meagan Cloutier (MA Student)

Meagan Cloutier (MA Student)

Fields: Canadian Politics

Research Clusters: Elections and Representation; Gender and Politics

Bio: My research looks into an often overlooked institution of Canadian politics: constituency offices. I specifically am interested in those who work for Members of Parliament. I have found that across Canada, more women are employed in constituency offices than men. My research investigates the demographics and composition of constituency offices, the motivations for why employees work in them, and the gendered implications of this line of work. One component of my research looks into harassment experienced by employees in these offices, and responses to addressing harassment in Canadian politics. My research interests include: Women in Politics, Gender, Representation, Political Staff, and Members of Parliament as Employers

 

Julie Croskill (PhD Candidate)

Julie Croskill (PhD Candidate)

Fields: Canadian Politics

Bio: My research examines how gender affects the content and delivery of political candidates' election campaigns. Looking at candidates at the provincial/state level in Canada and Australia, I assess whether differences emerge in the way that male and female candidates present themselves, and if the candidates alter their message based on the gender of the voters they are seeking to appeal to. In addition to my dissertation project, i am also interested in electoral behavior and research methods.

Ryan Crosschild (MA Student)

Ryan Crosschild (MA Student)

Research Clusters: Gender and Politics; Indigenous Politics; Legal

Bio: Oki nikso'kowaiksi. Nitaniko Sikapiohkiitopi. Hello, I am Grey Horse Rider, I am Nitsitapii from Kainaiwa (Blood Tribe), which is part of Siksikaitsitapi (Blackfoot Confederacy). My extended relations include the Pace, Soop, Tailfeathers, Eagle Child, Black Plume, Low Horn, and Standing Alone families. My research emerges out of my own life observations and experiences as a self-identified cisgendered queer Blackfoot man. My research examines the political dimensions of what it means to be Blackfoot and Two Spirit Queer (2SQ) living in Blackfoot territory. The following central question and sub-question will be fundamental to achieving this: How can 2SQ Blackfoot people engage in decolonial projects? How are 2SQ Blackfoot people removed from life and politics, both within Indigenous spaces and in modern queer spaces? This research contributes to topics of decolonization and contemporary Queer politics in Canada. My research adds to the critique of white settler colonialism and the strategies that are deployed to erase Indigenous resurgence and activism.

Lucas Czarnecki (MA Student)

Lucas Czarnecki (MA Student)

Fields: Comparative Politics

Bio: My current research focuses on voting behaviour. Specifically, in regards to how social capital influences a citizen's propensity to vote in high and low-salient elections. My interests also include social psychology and evolutionary theory. In this regard, I am most interested in how human cognition shapes political decision-making.

 

Bryanne De Castro Rocha (MA Student)

Bryanne De Castro Rocha (MA Student)

Fields: International Relations

Bio: I study sustainable development, more specifically how benefits are distributed between countries. The concept of Education for Sustainable Development is key because it can help reduce inequalities globally and domestically.

 

Ryan Dean (PhD Candidate)

Ryan Dean (PhD Candidate)

Fields: International Relations

Research Clusters: Blades, Bombs, Bullets and ‘Bots

Bio: I study international relations and Canadian politics with a focus on Arctic relations. My dissertation looks at Canadian policy formulation towards the Arctic since the 1980s. Specifically, I am interested in the creation of security threats by various stakeholders to the Canadian Arctic and the construction and deconstruction of these threats as political practices to attain policy goals.

Camilo Gil Gonzalez (MA Student)

Camilo Gil Gonzalez (MA Student)

Fields: Canadian Politics

Research Clusters: Canadian Political Institutions; Theorizing Beyond the Liberal Order

Bio: My research looks at governmental and civil society roles and relationships in the Canadian policy area of emergency management. The first part of my study focuses on the specific responsibilities carried out by the public and non-profit sectors in the prevention/mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery phases when facing calamities. The second part looks at the intergovernmental and civil-public relationships in this policy area, utilizing a multi-directional and complex-network approach found in multilevel governance literature.

The study of governance in emergency management policy is important, as we seem to be experiencing an increase in global catastrophic weather and climatic change. I hope that this project not only provides interesting insights about governance in a key Canadian policy area but that it also adds to the general conversation on how to synchronize policy-making with our current environmental reality to foster stability and security in our local and greater communities.

Brett Goodwin (MA Student)

Brett Goodwin (MA Student)

Fields: International Relations

Research Clusters: Public Opinion; Blades, Bombs, Bullets and ‘Bots

Bio: My thesis work is focused on understanding the linkages between international trade negotiations and domestic policy networks, specifically the impact that trade negotiations have on lobbying behaviour in the Canadian dairy industry. In addition to the international political economy, I am interested in applying quantitative methods to emerging trends in international relations and strategic studies, especially understanding new modes of power projection and great power competition.

Kelsey Gordon (MA Student)

Kelsey Gordon (MA Student)

Fields: Political Theory

Research Cluster: Theorizing Beyond the Liberal Order

Bio: My area of study is in political philosophy; within this discipline, my interests are primarily with issues of freedom, creativity, belonging, and ethics. I argue that Art is an instance of these uniquely human issues and by returning to foundational theories of Art as a political object, I aim to draw Art back into understandings of politics in the modern world.

Yolande Hasselo-de Witte (MA Student)

Yolande Hasselo-de Witte (MA Student)

Fields: Indigenous Politics

Bio: In 2016, the newly elected Liberal federal government formally adopted United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), and since has invited Indigenous peoples to resolve the practicalities, before changing legislation. It seems the present political climate is ready to face the challenging task of implementing the UNDRIP principles, in which the province of Alberta in 2015 has shown courageous initiative ahead of the federal government. I am interested in how the process of implementing UNDRIP within the Canadian context is managed and progresses.

 

Alex Hayes (MA Student)

Alex Hayes (MA Student)

Fields: Canadian Politics

Bio: I focus on Canadian Politics. More specifically, voters, elections, and political parties. I look at how parties, voters, and elections shift over time. Currently, my research focuses on a descriptive analysis of women's representation in the provincial elections of western Canada.

 

Taruneek Kapoor (MA Student)

Taruneek Kapoor (MA Student)

Fields: Comparative Politics

Bio: My research focuses on the depoliticising effect of neoliberalism on feminist movements and activism in the Global South. It also aims to include some strategies that feminist movements and organizations can adopt to promote gender equality in the face of neoliberalism. I am also interested in studying how neoliberalism has indirectly led to a rise in post-development theory and practices, significantly impacting feminist movements.

 

Andrew Kemle (MA Student)

Andrew Kemle (MA Student)

Fields: Political Theory

Research Cluster: Theorizing Beyond the Liberal Order

Bio: My research uses Public Sphere Theory—and Nancy Fraser's contributions to it in particular--as a lens to analyse the challenges neoliberalism has created for liberal-democratic institutions and norms. I am particularly interested in the public sphere's ability to form legitimate public opinion and translate that into political action in light of the social, economic, and institutional changes undergone in the “neoliberal era”. A normative aspect of my work will consider alternative forms of democracy: specifically, that of cosmopolitanism and anarchism. A secondary interest is the political economy of development and how alternative solutions to governance issues in the developed world could be applied to similar issues in the periphery.

Chris Kleingertner (MA Student)

Chris Kleingertner (MA Student)

Fields: International Relations

Bio: I am interested in researching a variety of overlapping subjects mostly surrounding Canadian foreign policy as it relates to military issues, peace support operations, and terrorism in general. More specifically those topics as they relate to Canada's contributions to West African security.

Sydney Krill (MA Student)

Sydney Krill (MA Student)

Fields: Canadian Politics

Research Clusters: Gender and Politics; Indigenous Politics; Theorizing Beyond the Liberal Order

Bio: My research interests emerge out of recent political critiques of settler colonial studies, namely its need to adopt an increasingly intersectional or multidimensional approach to how co-constituting forms of power operate within and through the settler colonial state. In particular, I look at the political role white women hold as racialized and gendered actors in sustaining Canada’s settler colonial regime. In doing so, I hope to further illuminate how interlocking manifestations and processes of gender heteronormativity, patriarchy, sexuality, and white supremacy serve to generate, and be generated by, the foundational structures and processes of settler colonialism in Canada.

Erica Kunimoto (MA Student)

Erica Kunimoto (MA Student)

Fields: Political Theory

Research Clusters: Gender and Politics; Theorizing Beyond The Liberal Order

Bio: Within the history of political thought and contemporary feminist theory, my research is largely motivated by the problem of authenticity, or how one can live in a condition of non-alienation or non-oppression. This broad concern has led me to focus on questions of desire and love, as a central place for the problem of authenticity to be explored and addressed.

Comfort Kwarteng (PhD Candidate)

Comfort Kwarteng (PhD Candidate)

Fields: Comparative Politics

Research Clusters: Gender and Politics; Human Rights Violations and Protections

Bio: Comfort Tiwaa Kwarteng is a PhD candidate and Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Calgary, specializing in Comparative Politics and International Relations with interests in health, policy, security, migration, gender, domestic violence, and African Politics. She had her MA (Political Science) at Brock University and her bachelor education in Political Science and Archaeology at the University of Ghana.

 

Jeanne Liendo (MA Student)

Jeanne Liendo (MA Student)

Fields: Comparative Politics

Bio: My primary field of study is comparative politics, with a focus on energy policy and politics, and a regional concentration in Latin America. My research looks at the interplay between sectoral institutions and the political-economic system of left-wing governments to analyse the performance of the hydrocarbon sector. It particularly examines the case of Bolivia and Venezuela, whose oil and gas industries have performed so differently in spite of their similar political agendas. I propose an alternative account that stresses the importance of political factors in which country's development model is embedded to explain variations within the energy sector.

Chance A. Minnett Watchel (PhD Candidate)

Chance A. Minnett Watchel (PhD Candidate)

Fields: Canadian Politics

Bio: I'm interested in Canadian politics and public policy. My dissertation examines LGBT politics in Alberta. Specifically, I seek to understand how institutional and cultural factors affect the Alberta government's handling of policy debates specific to the LGBT community.

Connor Molineaux (MA Student)

Connor Molineaux (MA Student)

Fields: Canadian Politics

Research Clusters: Canadian Political Institutions; Elections and Representation

Bio: I am interested in political institutions, elections, and provincial politics in Canada. My current research compares the patterns of party competition in the four Western provinces, with a particular focus on the rise of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation and its successor party, the NDP.

Lauren Moslow (PhD Candidate)

Lauren Moslow (PhD Candidate)

Fields: International Relations

Bio: My research interests include Canadian and American foreign and defence policies, circumpolar relations and Arctic sovereignty and security studies. As a PhD candidate (ABD) my thesis examines the extent to which Arctic states are collaborating on the development of disputed natural resources, (oil and gas, fish stocks, minerals) in an environmentally sustainable manner and in accordance with the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Arctic state compliance with the tenants of the Polar Code and the Arctic Search and Rescue Agreement, are also investigated.

Elizabeth Pando (PhD Candidate)

Elizabeth Pando (PhD Candidate)

Fields: Comparative Politics

Research Clusters: Latin American Politics; Gender and Politics

Bio: I am a doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Calgary. My fields of study are Comparative Politics and International Relations. My dissertation looks at immigration policies in Chile adopted after the return to democratic rule. I argue that the absence of institutionalized immigration policies, as well as the ambiguity of existing rules, have created new policy venues and opportunities for actors, working within and outside the state, to advance immigration policy in a depoliticized manner. My research interests include Latin American politics and immigration, as well as policies of transnational care work.

 

Evgeniia (Jen) Sidorova (PhD Candidate)

Evgeniia (Jen) Sidorova (PhD Candidate)

Fields: International Relations

Research Clusters: Blades, Bombs, Bullets, and ‘Bots; Indigenous Politics; Legal Regimes and Politics

Bio: My research examines the discussion on application and utilization of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) in the Arctic Council. My study examines the perceptions and understandings of TEK by different actors in the region (Arctic Council Working Groups, Arctic states, Permanent Participants and others). I’m looking closely at the development of TEK as a concept throughout the history of Arctic cooperation to find out why TEK has remained a mystery for many actors involved in policy-making process.

 

Sara Skinner (PhD Candidate)

Sara Skinner (PhD Candidate)

Fields: Comparative Politics

Bio: I am interested in the logic that underpins violence and how that violence is taken into consideration when intervention missions are considered. Specifically, I ask: What are the logics of violence within political violence and would crafting response and recovery operations based on these logics produce better outcomes?

 

Camilo Torres (MA Student)

Camilo Torres (MA Student)

Fields: Comparative Politics

Bio: My current research focuses on forms of political communication and the construction of identity among victims, perpetrators, and bystanders in instances of genocide, in an effort to elaborate on existing theories about genocidal policies and decision-making. Additionally, I am interested in how regimes construct their visions of an idealized, post-atrocity society and how this affects patterns of communication and development before the radicalization of the genocidal state.

Dakoda Trithara (PhD Student)

Dakoda Trithara (PhD Student)

Fields: International Relations

Research Cluster: Legal Regimes and Politics

Bio: I study international relations and comparative politics with a focus on technology, privacy rights, and cyber-issues. Cyberspace, an environment where information is created, stored, and exchanged, is a domain where various actors such as states, multinational corporations, and other non-state actors interact and compete with one another. Meanwhile, cyber activities are becoming part of everyday functions for individuals across societies. My research interests include examining how humans interact in cyberspace for political purposes, how states assert their digital sovereignty, and how various global actors contend with digital rights and the issue of managing individuals' data.

Paulo Veneracion (MA Student)

Paulo Veneracion (MA Student)

Fields: International Relations

Research Clusters: Blades, Bombs, Bullets, and ‘Bots; Legal Regimes and Politics; Theorizing Beyond the Liberal Order

Bio: My current research centers on US Foreign and Security Policy and International Relations, with a particular focus on the George W. Bush administration’s 2003 Iraq War. I aim to examine how and why the interactions between the plethora of factors at the international and domestic levels led to the Bush administration’s decision to invade and transform Iraq. More specifically, I seek to explain how the combination of actual and perceived unipolarity in the international system, the shock of the 11 September terror attacks, and the unique internal characteristics of the United States culminated in the application of the Bush administration’s doctrine of military primacy, unilateralism, pre-emptive or preventive war, and, ultimately, democratic regime change in Iraq. My research interests include political ideologies, comparative politics, domestic political structures, political philosophy, theories of international relations, and international regimes and norms.

Ricardo Vernet (PhD Candidate)

Ricardo Vernet (PhD Candidate)

Fields: Comparative Politics

Research Clusters: Elections and Representation; Human Rights Violations and Protections; Latin American Politics; Theorizing Beyond The Liberal Order

Bio: I am interested in the development of political regimes. My focus is particularly on the factors that explain the propensity of different types of political regimes to survive. My current project examines the process of democratization in Haiti and Nicaragua. The two countries share striking similarities, yet transition to democracy in both cases resulted in divergent political regimes. My project attempts to explain why the process of democratization led to different political outcomes. I also have a strong interest in comparative politics, failed states, Caribbean politics, and peasant studies.

Talia Wells (MA Student)

Talia Wells (MA Student)

Fields: International Relations

Bio: My research focus is environmental security in the Canadian Arctic and environmental global governance. I am interested in the way in which climate change is reshaping our notion of environmental security in the Arctic, the Canadian government response to these changes, and the way in which science and research initiatives are translated into adaptive governance responses in the region.