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Laura Macdonald

Latin American politics; Mexican politics; North American politics; Canadian foreign policy; Democracy and civil society

Degrees:BA (Queen's) MA, PhD (York)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 2771
Office:C669 Loeb


Laura Macdonald is a Professor in the Department of Political Science and the Institute of Political Economy at Carleton University. She has published numerous articles in journals and edited collections on such issues as the role of non-governmental organizations in development, global civil society, citizenship struggles in Latin America, Canadian development assistance and the political impact of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). She has edited four books: The Politics of Violence in Latin America and the Caribbean, Cambridge University Press, 2017 (with Tina Hilgers); North American in Question: Regional Integration in an Era of Economic Turbulence, University of Toronto Press, 2012 (with Jeffrey Ayres); Contentious Politics in North America, Palgrave Macmillan, 2009 (with Jeffrey Ayres); and Post-Neoliberalism in the Americas: Beyond the Washington Consensus?, Palgrave Macmillan, 2009 (with Arne Ruckert). She is co-author of Women, Democracy, and Globalization in North America: A Comparative Study.  Palgrave Macmillan, 2006 (with Jane Bayes, Patricia Begne, Laura Gonzalez, Lois Harder, and Mary Hawkesworth), and author of Supporting Civil Society: The Political Impact of NGO Assistance to Central America, Basingstoke, UK and New York City: Macmillan Press and St. Martin’s Press, 1997. Her recent work looks at Canada’s role in Latin America, policies to reduce crime and violence in Mexico City, and transnational activism around human rights in North America.

Professor Macdonald is also a regular media commentator on issues related to Latin American and North American political economy, and is a member of the McLeod Group (, a group of academics and development professionals working to advance Canadian policy and action in international cooperation and foreign affairs.

Selected Publications

Laura Macdonald, “Upsetting the Apple Cart? Implications of the NAFTA Re-Negotiations for Canada–US Relations,” in David Carment and Chris Sands, eds., Canada-US Relations: Sovereignty or Shared Institutions?, Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018, 193-213

Tina Hilgers and Laura Macdonald, eds., Violence in Latin America and the Caribbean: Subnational Structures, Institutions, and Clientelistic Networks, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2017.

Christina Gabriel and Laura Macdonald, “After the IOM: Recruitment of Guatemalan Temporary Agricultural Workers to Canada,” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, vol. 44, no. 10, 2018, pp. 1706-1724.

Arne Ruckert, Laura Macdonald and Kristina Proulx, “Post-Neoliberalism in Crisis? A Conceptual Review“, Third World Quarterly. Vol. 37, no. 7, 2017.

Laura Macdonald, “Neoliberal Governance in Latin America,” in The Handbook of South American Governance, Christopher Wylde and Pia Riggirozzi, Routledge, eds., 2017.

Laura Macdonald, “Canada in the Post-Hegemonic Hemisphere: Evaluating the Harper Government’s Americas Strategy,” Studies in Political Economy, 97: 1, 2016, 1-17.

Laura Macdonald, “Evaluating Canadian economic diplomacy: Canada’s relations with emerging markets in the Americas,” Canadian Foreign Policy Journal, 22 (1) 2016, 12-25.