New project: Cities in Canadian Political Development

I am pleased to a be co-investigator with Jack Lucas (University of Calgary) of a new, multi-year collaborative research project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council: Cities in Canadian Political Development.

The five-year project will investigate a gap in our understanding of Canadian politics: how the country’s transformation from an agrarian society in 1867 to a highly urbanized one today shaped political representation, conflict, and policy agendas. 

We will construct original datasets to analyze the effects of urban and suburban expansion on the long-term development since Confederation of five dimensions of Canadian federal politics—urban, suburban, and rural representation in the House of Commons; government and opposition caucuses, and cabinets; political parties and the party system; and public policy attention as articulated in Throne Speeches—and then theorize and explain these effects.

Long-term patterns and episodes of change in urban representation and attention will be explained using in-depth qualitative research. This mixed-methods approach will produce a new account of how urban places and people have shaped Canadian political development.

We are pleased to work with Western Poli Sci’s Dave Armstrong in a collaborator role. The $95,727 SSHRC Insight Grant will fund training and research by graduate student researchers at Western and the University of Calgary.