migrationResearchers in Carleton’s Political Science department are engaged in exploring many important and fascinating dimensions of political life. We have interests ranging from the abstract to the concrete, from the local to the global. The department has a long tradition of commitment to interdisciplinary work, intellectual pluralism, tolerance, diversity, and excellence. Individual faculty members have a strong record of success in competitions for research funding. Through our research, Carleton political scientists are contributing to a better understanding of how politics works, and how political systems can be transformed to promote democracy, human rights, and the public good.

Research Field Groups

Canadian Politics

The field of Canadian Politics at Carleton University encompasses both the study of traditional political institutions including Parliament, the public service, political parties, elections, federalism and the courts, and important themes and questions in Canadian politics, including indigenous peoples, national unity, political economy, gender, race and ethnicity. Students explore not just how our political system works, but ask broader and deeper questions about what it means to be Canadian in a globalized and networked society.

Comparative Politics

Research and teaching in the field of comparative politics focuses on issues such as the origins and evolution of states; political economy and theories of development; democratic and authoritarian tendencies in diverse regimes; types of government (parliamentary and presidential, unitary and federal, etc.); core political institutions (constitutions, electoral systems, etc.); cross-national differences in public policy; patterns of political participation; elections, parties, interest groups and social movements; identity politics, political culture, and social capital; contentious politics, revolutions, and civil wars. Comparative theories and methods are used to study political developments within and across Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and North America.

International Relations

The Department has one of the largest concentrations of political scientists conducting research on International Relations (IR) in the country.  Our research expertise covers traditional subjects of inter-state politics such as foreign policy, security, international institutions, international political economy and global governance, as well as newer thematic concerns such as the international politics of migration, ethics, humanitarian intervention and food.  Our research spans all of the principal theoretical approaches found in the field of IR and draws on several methodological traditions within the social sciences more generally.  Our research concerns also mesh with those of other fields, especially comparative politics, political theory and public policy and administration.

Political Theory

Research and teaching in the field of Political Theory is grounded in the history of political philosophy and its major paradigms including classical, modern and historicist.  Themes include reason and revelation; justice, legitimacy and the common good; character, civic virtue and liberal education; global technology and radical modernity; the encounter between Western and non-Western theory and practice.  Schools of thought examined include the Enlightenment, German Idealism, critical theory, phenomenology, post-modernism, feminist political theory.  The thematic consideration of political theory is pre-eminently guided by the study of the primary texts.

Public Affairs and Policy Analysis

The Public Affairs and Policy Analysis field provides students with a grounding in traditional theories of public administration and public policy as well as well as in the emerging realm of public affairs. The field stresses a variety of analytic methods for conducting academic and applied policy analysis. The substantive material emphasized in research and teaching include such areas as the environment, health, science and technology and the patterns of public opinion and participation underlying activities in these areas.