Photo of Michael  Christensen

Michael Christensen

Assistant Professor (Department of Law and Legal Studies)

Degrees:Ph.D. (York University), M.A. (Minnesota State University, Mankato), B.A. (St. Cloud State University)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 3608
Office:C 476 Loeb Building

Michael Christensen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Law and Legal Studies at Carleton University. He has previously taught in the Department of Sociology and Criminology at Saint Mary’s University (Halifax) and in the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa. In 2016-2017 he was a postdoctoral fellow at York University’s Global Digital Citizenship Lab and he had previously held a research fellowship with the Democratic Resource Center at the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington, DC. His academic interests are in the fields of democracy and human rights, international aid organizations, science and expert knowledge and digital media. His current research focuses on emerging forms of expertise and democratic debate mediated through digital technologies, with a special emphasis on the social and legal implications of online harassment and disinformation. This research incorporates qualitative methodological approaches with new forms of computational social science designed to deal with large unstructured text corpora.

Research Interests

  • Law, democracy and digital culture
  • Privacy, data justice and social inequality
  • Science and Technology Studies
  • Social and political theory
  • Qualitative research methods
  • Computational social science and digital research methods
  • History of human rights and western humanitarianism
  • History of the social sciences

Journal Articles

Christensen, M. (2017) “Interpreting the Organizational Practices of North American Democracy Assistance” International Political Sociology, 11(2): 148-165.

Christensen, M. (2015) “Re-establishing ‘the social’ in research on democratic processes: Mid-century     voter studies and Paul F. Lazarsfeld’s alternative vision,” Journal of the History of the Behavioral       Sciences 51(3): 308-332

Christensen, M. (2013) “The Social Facts of Democracy: Science meets politics with Mosca, Pareto, Michels & Schumpeter,” Journal of Classical Sociology, 13(4): 460-486

Book Chapters

Christensen, M (2017) “A Critical Sociology of International Expertise: The Case of International Democracy Assistance,” in Kurasawa (ed.) Interrogating the Social – A Critical Sociology for the 21st Century. Palgrave Macmillan.

Articles in Process

Christensen, M. “Legal and Political Discourses of Expertise in Western Democratization Projects”

Christensen, M., with F. Kurasawa, P. Walsh, Y. Zhao and B. Baca, “The Clash of Digitally-Based Epistemic Cultures: Evidentiary Artifacts and Practices During Climate Science Controversies”