Photo of Lisa Mills

Lisa Mills

Associate Professor, School of Public Policy and Administration

Phone:613-520-2600 x 2635
Office:D199 Loeb

Associate Professor
Program Director, Bachelor of Public Affairs and Policy Management (BPAPM)

BA (Hons) History and Political Science (University of Melbourne, Australia)
MA Political Science (University of Toronto, Canada)
PhD Political Science (University of Toronto, Canada)

Lisa’s research has focused on two broad areas: health politics and policy in developing countries; and environmental politics and policy. Her health policy research was focused on the implementation of the maternal health Millennium Development Goal (MDG-5). She is now working on the politics of mining regulation, focusing on the Australian case, in a comparative study with Graeme Auld, Alexandra Mallett, and several other researchers.

During, and since, my Ph.D. research I have been concerned with how global political-economic processes interact with policy decision-making at the national and local level. In my doctoral dissertation, I asked: how did governments respond to the scientific and regulatory questions raised by the introduction of agricultural biotechnology products from multinational firms? What led some governments to conclude that such products were safe, while others did not? Following my PhD, I looked at a different set of global processes – the creation of the Millennium Development Goals, and various health reform movements – and how the implementation of these policies affected women’s ability to experience safe pregnancy and childbirth, particularly in Mexico. I am now working with Graeme Auld and Alexandra Mallett, exploring how natural resource governance is being shaped by the actions of governments, corporations, and non-government actors at a global and local scale. My approach has been qualitative – I try to understand the decision-making process, or its implementation, from the point of view of the range of actors involved: government officials; corporate representatives; members of NGOs and social movements; and those directly affected by the decision. In order to gain a deeper understanding of these processes, I have focused on specific cases and localities. In working on the governance of natural resources project, however, I am broadening into comparing regulatory regimes across countries and sectors (mining and forestry).

Selected Recent Publications and Funded Research

Accounting for Blame: The Paradoxical Consequences of Measuring Maternal Health in Mexico, Social Politics, Fall 2015, Vol. 22 No. 3 pp. 411-431

Book Manuscript under review: The Limits of Trust: The Millennium Development Goals and Maternal Health in Mexico.

SSHRC Insight Grant “Governing Natural Resources in a Global Era: Actors, Practices, and Outcomes,” co-investigator, July 2013 to July 2018.

Recent Teaching

Theories of Development
State and Society
Policy: Analysis, Implementation, and Evaluation

Recent Supervisions (Completed)

Paul Minard, Ph.D. Contemporary China Through a New Institutionalist Lens, 2014 (co-supervision with Jose Galdo)

Jayne Bergeron, M.A. Research Essay, Empowering Women and Co-operatives in Tanzania, 2015.

Recent Supervisions (in progress)

Krystal Kehoe-MacLeod. Ph.D. Integrated Care and the Vulnerable Elderly in Canada (co-supervision with Hugh Armstrong)

Hussein Kassim. Ph.D. Controlling Malaria in Uganda and Rwanda.

Erendira Cervantes-Altamirano. M.A. Examining Violence against Indigenous Women through the Lens of Decoloial Theory, (co-supervision with Egla Martinez).


Guest Editor with Doris Buss of Special Section, Measuring Gender, Social Politics, Fall 2015.

Editorial Board, Studies of Political Economy, 2002-2015.