Department of Political Studies

Department of Political Studies
Department of Political Studies

John Meisel 

Professor Emeritus John MeiselProfessor Emeritus
Degrees: University of Toronto; London School of Economics 

Brief Biography

A professor at Queen’s University beginning in 1949, John Meisel was a pioneer in research on political behavior in Canada, writing widely on political parties, elections, Quebec politics, broadcasting, and culture policy. Throughout his career, he has led the broader scholarly community, serving as the founding editor of both the Canadian Journal of Political Science and the International Political Science Review, as well as the president of the Royal Society of Canada.

Professor Meisel was also a public intellectual, contributing to public debates over major controversies. During the political battles over the constitution, he worked hard at maintaining intellectual linkages between Quebec and the rest of Canada. A strong supporter of Canadian culture and the arts, he was appointed as chair of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), overseeing the introduction of pay-TV in the country. His contributions to Canada were recognized in 1989, when he was made an officer of the Order of Canada, and again in 1999, when he was promoted to Companion, the highest grade in the Order.

Charming, engaging, optimistic, enthusiastic: John remains all of these things. As a member of the Queen’s community, John was all of these and more.

He was a wonderful teacher, inspiring generations of students to engage in political and cultural life. As department head, he recruited stellar new faculty, helping to build the department into one of the strongest in the country. He was an enthusiastic mentor, supporting his younger colleagues and drawing them into national and international networks. Long retired but still highly visible on campus, John remains a symbol of the best of the Queen’s tradition.