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Queen's University

Ronald L. WattsCFFN_UF_Ronald_Watts.jpg

B.A. (Toronto), M.A., D.Phil (Oxford), C.C.,LL.D., F.R.S.C.


Phone: (613) 533-6000 ext. 74220

Ronald L. Watts is Principal Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of Political Studies and Fellow of the Institute of Intergovernmental Relations at Queen's University. He has been a member of the academic staff at Queen's since 1955 and was Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the university from 1974 to 1984. He is currently a Fellow and is a former Director of the International Association of Centres for Federal Studies from 1991 to 1998, was a founding board member of the international Forum of the Federations from 2000 to 2006, and is currently a Fellow. He is a former Board Member and chairman of the Research Committee, and is currently a Fellow of the Institute for Research on Public Policy. From 1988 to 1993, he was Director of the Institute of Intergovernmental Relations. He was also the President of the International Association of Centres for Federal Studies from 1991 to 1998. On several occasions he has been a consultant to the Government of Canada during constitutional deliberations, most notably as a commissioner on the Task Force on Canadian Unity (Pepin-Roberts) from 1978 to 1979, as a consultant to the Federal-Provincial Relations Office in 1980 to 1981, and as Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet for Constitutional Development (Federal-Provincial Relations Office) from 1991 to 1992. He has also been an advisor to governments in several other countries including Uganda, Papua New Guinea, South Africa, and, more recently, Switzerland, Kenya, Cyprus, Yugoslavia, Pakistan, the Philippines, India, Nepal and Ethiopia.

As a political scientist, Ronald L. Watts has worked for more than fifty  years on the comparative study of federal systems and on Canadian federalism, and has written, edited or co-edited 29 books and has written more than one hundred articles and chapters in books. He has received five honorary degrees. His most recent book is Comparing Federal Systems, of which a second edition was published in 1999. A French edition appeared in 2002, a Spanish edition in 2006, and a version was translated into Arabic and Kurdish in 2006. An updated and enlarged third edition was published in early 2008. He has received five honourary degrees. He became an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1979, and was promoted to the Companion of the Order of Canada in 2000.

Areas of Expertise:

  • The Constitution
  • Federal systems around the world
  • Spending Power
  • Aboriginal Politics
  • Systems, World

Curriculum Vitae:

Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000