Department of Political Studies

Department of Political Studies
Department of Political Studies

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Since last year, the department has welcomed two new full-time faculty members, two new cross-appointees, and two new postdoctoral fellows. Two of our faculty members, professors Margaret Moore and Kim Nossal were inducted as fellows into the Royal Society of Canada. Associate Professor Stéfanie von Hlatky was awarded a Canada Research Chair Tier II in “Gender, Security, and the Armed Forces,” and Assistant Professor Stéphanie Martel was the recipient of the Alma Mater Society’s Frank Knox Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2019-2020. In August 2020, two longstanding faculty members, professors Kim Nossal and Cathy Conaghan, left the department for a well-deserved retirement after many years of service.

Welcome!

Amarnath Amarasingam (Cross-Appointed Professor)

Amarnath Amarasingam (Cross-Appointed Professor)

Amarnath Amarasingam is an assistant professor in the School of Religion at Queen’s University, a senior research fellow at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, and an associate fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation. His research interests are in radicalization, terrorism, diaspora politics, post-war reconstruction, and the sociology of religion. He is the author of Pain, Pride, and Politics: Sri Lankan Tamil Activism in Canada (2015), and the co-editor of Sri Lanka: The Struggle for Peace in the Aftermath of War (2016). Amarasingam is an experienced field researcher having conducted field research in Sri Lanka, Syria, Iraq, Morocco, Somalia, Lebanon, and Israel/Palestine. He has been interviewed on CNN, PBS Newshour, CBC, BBC, and a variety of other media outlets.

Elizabeth Baisley (Assistant Professor)

Elizabeth Baisley (Assistant Professor)

Elizabeth Baisley is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Studies. Broadly speaking, Elizabeth’s research examines questions of Canadian political development in comparative-historical perspective. This research considers how history, institutions, and identity interact to explain large-scale political change. Their ongoing work foregrounds the role of political organizations, especially political parties, interest groups, and social movements. This work uses both qualitative and quantitative materials. Elizabeth’s current book project examines party position change on sexuality politics in the U.S. and Canada with a focus on interest group involvement in federal party nominations, leadership races, and party policy conventions.

Pinar Dokumaci (Peacock Postdoctoral Fellow)

Pinar Dokumaci (Peacock Postdoctoral Fellow)

Pınar Dokumaci is the Peacock Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Political Studies. Prior to joining Queen’s University, she held another postdoctoral position in the Leverhulme-Trust-funded project Rethinking Civil Society: History, Theory, Critique at the Department of Politics, University of York (UK), where she examined Western and non-Western feminist critiques of the civil society. She completed her PhD at the Department of Political Science, University of Toronto, where she specialized in political theory and comparative politics. Pınar’s research spans multiple disciplines (most notably politics, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, religion, and law) and closely interweaves comparative political theory with ethnographic empirical research. Her main interest targets the dynamics of feminist solidarity and disagreement between women’s rights groups in deep-rooted politico-religious conflict and how these groups interact with each other in the civil society. Currently, Pınar is working on her book project and building the theoretical framework of her next project, which aims to offer a more comprehensive relational model of autonomy and solidarity that can be shared between different Western liberal/secular and Islamic/pious women’s groups.

Olivier Jacques (Skelton-Clark Postdoctoral Fellow)

Olivier Jacques (Skelton-Clark Postdoctoral Fellow)

Olivier Jacques is the Skelton-Clark Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Political Studies. His general research interests include comparative and Canadian political economy, social policy, taxation, inequality, public finance, Canadian and Quebec politics, European politics, public opinion, and time series analysis. His research agenda in Canadian political economy has addressed various areas of public policy such as Canadian provinces’ (lack of) childcare policy development, political discretion in infrastructure spending at the federal level, and the determinants of tax policies. He also studied the impact of welfare states on income distribution and on health outcomes. During the Skelton-Clark fellowship, Olivier aims to improve understanding of the current political tensions within the Canadian federation by investigating how income inequality, interprovincial redistribution, decentralization and regional identities interact to foster political conflict.

Rachel Laforest (Associate Professor)

Rachel Laforest (Associate Professor)

Rachel Laforest joined the Department of Political Studies from the School of Policy Studies in 2019. Her research focuses on Canadian politics, with a particular interest in how civil society groups mobilize to influence social policy dynamics. Her work examines the interplay between institutions and the strategies of organized interests who have mobilized in order to affect change and illustrates how the ideas and content of the poverty reduction strategy policies adopted are shaped by these dynamics. Rachel is part of numerous funded research teams, which has allowed her to work on varied topics such as the restructuring of social services in the field of mental health and addictions in Ontario and in Quebec; comparing provincial strategies to provide access to French language services in minority contexts; the impact of charitable regulations on political advocacy; and the impact of social procurement policies on social enterprises.

Grace Scoppio (Cross-Appointed Professor)

Grace Scoppio (Cross-Appointed Professor)

Dr Grazia (Grace) Scoppio is a professor in the Department of Defence Studies at the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC), is cross-appointed in the Queen’s University Department of Political Studies, and is a fellow at the Centre for International and Defence Policy at Queen’s. She has been selected as a Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Peace and War Studies at Norwich University, in Vermont, U.S. During her residency at Norwich, from January to May 2021, her research will focus on immigrants’ participation in the military from an international perspective. Dr. Scoppio holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Toronto, a master’s degree from the Université Stendhal Grenoble 3, France, and a PhD in Education from the University of Toronto. She has presented her multidisciplinary research at numerous national and international conferences. Dr Scoppio is an active member of various academic societies including the Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society, and the Comparative and International Education Society of Canada, where she has been part of the Executive since 2001.

Lindsay McCabe (Online and Experiential Learning Coordinator) and Lindsey Morey (Department and Financial Assistant)

Lindsay McCabe

Lindsay McCabe
Lindsey Morey
Lindsey Morey

This year, the department has also expanded its staff complement. Lindsay McCabe joined the department in August 2019 in the role of Graduate Assistant while Kristina Fennell was on maternity leave and has subsequently accepted the role of Online and Experiential Learning Coordinator in the department as of September 2020.  Lindsey Morey assumed the position of Departmental and Financial Assistant in February 2020.