Profile: Bruce Hicks

Profile: Bruce Hicks

Bruce Hicks - Bell Chair Fellow/SSHRC Postdoc

  • Degrees: BA (McGill), MA (McGill), PhD (Université de Montréal)
  • Phone: 613-520-2600 x 1432
  • Email:
  • Office: D681 Loeb

Bruce Hicks’ primary research focus is on formal institutions of governance – constitutions, legislatures, courts, governments and federalism – in developed countries like Canada, the U.S., U.K., Australia, New Zealand and Europe. More specifically he has been researching institutional change; why some countries have been able to ‘reform’ their institutions of governance and amend their constitutions, while in other countries these seem impervious to change; and the relationship of social cleavages and partisan politics to change. Dr. Hicks’ writing has appeared in such academic publications as the Review of Constitutional Studies, Electoral Insight, Electoral Studies and the Canadian Journal of Political Science.

He is at Carleton from 2012-2014 courtesy of a Fellowship from SSHRC, though he continues to be part-time faculty at Concordia University in Montreal. A former Associate with the Canada Research Chair in Electoral Studies, Dr. Hicks is the person who proposed the change to the Canadian coat of arms which saw the motto of the Order of Canada added to the shield (a change approved by the Queen in 1993). More recently, his suggestion that the Canadian Parliament should establish a visual identity distinct from the judiciary and the executive branch resulted in the Commons and the Senate adopting symbols in 2008. Prior to teaching, he was Editor-in-Chief of The Financial Post’s ‘Directory of Government’, bureau chief for United Press International, syndicated columnist in (mostly) Thomson newspapers and a political strategist.

Selected Significant Publications

Bruce M. Hicks, “The U.K. Approach to Prorogation, Dissolution and Fixed-Election Dates”, Canadian Parliamentary Review 35 (2). 2012.

Bruce M. Hicks, “Use of Non-Traditional Evidence: A case study using heraldry to examine competing theories for Canada’s Confederation”, British Journal of Canadian Studies 43 (1): 87-117. 2010.

Bruce M. Hicks, “The Crown’s ‘Democratic’ Reserve Powers”, Journal of Canadian Studies 44 (2): 5-31. 2010.

Bruce M. Hicks, “Do Large-N Media Studies Bury the Lead, or Even Miss the Story?”, Canadian Political Science Review 3 (2): 89-104. 2009.

Bruce M. Hicks, “Guiding the Governor General’s Prerogatives: Constitutional Convention Versus an Apolitical Decision Rule”, Constitutional Forum 18 (2): 55-67. 2009.

Jerome H. Black and Bruce M. Hicks, “Electoral Politics and Immigration in Canada: How Does Immigration Matter?” Journal of International Migration and Integration 9 (3): 241-267. 2008.

Bruce M. Hicks and André Blais, “Restructuring the Canadian Senate through Electoral Rules”, Policy Choices 14 (15). 2008.