Photo of Laura Macdonald

Laura Macdonald

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

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

Chancellor’s Professor

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

Christina Gabriel and Laura Macdonald. “New Architectures for Migration Governance: NAFTA and Transnational Activism around Migrants’ Rights,” Third World Quarterly, 42: 1, 68-85.

Laura Macdonald. “Canada in the North American Region: Implications of Trump and the NAFTA Re-negotiations,” Canadian Journal of Political Science, 53: 2, 2020, 505-520.

Laura Macdonald, “Stronger together? Canada-Mexico relations and the NAFTA re-negotiations,” Canadian Foreign Policy Journal, Vol. 26, no. 2, 152-166, 2020.

Laura Macdonald, “Civil Society,” in Olaf Kaltmeier, Anne Tittor, Daniel Hawkins and Eleanora Rohlands, eds., The Routledge Handbook on Political Economy and Governance in the Americas: Geopolitics and Governance, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon UK and New York: Routledge, 2020, 297-307.

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.

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

Recent Talks

Panel on Feminist Foreign Policy

More on Feminist Foreign Policy:

Laura Macdonald and Karyn Keenan, “Globalization, Trade and Investment,” in Feminist Foreign Policy Working Group, Be Brave, Be Bold: Recommendations for Feminist Foreign Policy.