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Dana Somerville

Public discourse, environmental policy and elections within the neoliberal paradigm of resource-dependent economies

Before beginning your studies at the Institute of Political Economy where did you study and what program(s) were you enrolled in?

I graduated from York University in Communication Studies. I then completed a post-graduate certificate in Public Relations and Corporate Communications at Seneca College.

What is it specifically that attracted you to study Political Economy at Carleton?

During my undergrad I became increasingly fascinated with the field of Political Economy. I wanted to better understand how the power relations within our society dictate the production and maintenance of dominant discourses that shape the way we view interpret issues such as climate change.

My areas of research interest include…

Examining how political public discourse regarding carbon tax on social media leading up to the 2019 Canadian federal election reflects or challenges the prevailing political-economic paradigm within Canada’s resource-dependent economy.

What activities have you been involved in lately? (work placement, work experience, Undergraduate research, research positions, volunteer work, awards, travel, favourite books)

I recently volunteered in a Wildlife Conservation and Forest Management program in Costa Rica. I was involved in a research project that collected data on monkeys, bats and butterflies within the dry tropical rainforest of Barra Honda national park. The purpose of the research was to measure the impact of climate change to provide the government with recommendations on how the nation can adapt to global rising temperatures to protect biodiversity.

What advice would you give to a prospective Political Economy graduate student?

Enjoy the opportunity that comes with the wide variety of course selection!