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Queen's University

Ethnicity and Democratic Governance

Simeon.jpgRichard Simeon

Professor Emeritus
Department of Political Science
University of Toronto


Research Statement (59 kB) Richard Simeon is professor emeritus of Political Science and Law, University of Toronto. He is a graduate of the University of British Columbia (1964), and received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Yale University in 1968.

Simeon has also served as Director of the Institute of Intergovernmental Relations and of the School of Public Administration, both at Queen's University, Kingston.

Dr. Simeon's contributions to public service include: Research Coordinator, Institutions of Federalism, with the Royal Commission on the Economic Union and Canada's Development Prospects; Vice-Chair of the Ontario Law Reform Commission; and adviser to Ontario governments on constitutional and intergovernmental matters. He also provided advice on constitutional development in South Africa between 1995 and 1997.

He is currently a member of the Advisory Council of the Club de Madrid, an association of former heads of government of democratic countries devoted to democratic promotion and consolidation.

Simeon has held visiting appointments at the University of British Columbia, Essex University, the Australian National University, and the University of Cape Town. In 1998, he was the Mackenzie King Visiting Professor of Canadian Studies at Harvard University.

Simeon's research and writing has focused on Canadian politics and public policy, with a special emphasis on federalism, the constitution and intergovernmental relations. More recently, Simeon has explored broader issues in contemporary governance, both in Canada and comparatively. His current work focuses on federalism, democracy and constitutionalism in divided societies.

Born in Britain, Simeon was brought up in Vancouver, and resides in Toronto with his wife, MaryEtta Cheney. He has two children.


  • Canadian politics and public policy, with a special emphasis on federalism, the constitution and intergovernmental relations
  • Federalism, democracy and constitutionalism in divided societies
  • Constitutional development in South Africa
  • Institutions and practices related to the accommodation and management of difference

Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000