Photo of Sascha Harvey

Sascha Harvey


Degrees:Master of Arts, Political Economy

What led you to pursue a degree with Political Economy?

I wanted to pursue my research interests and make an original contribution to the field of study. Well before beginning my undergraduate studies, I was interested in learning about how the economy functions. After taking a few introductory economic courses, I figured out that while there was a lot of value in economic modelling, the picture of the economy and society these courses provided was incomplete. I really wanted to understand the political processes behind economic decision-making.

In the final year of my undergraduate studies, I took a survey course in the Institute of Political Economy taught by the current director of the master’s program, Cristina Rojas. The approach of that course blended aspects of international relations, political theory, and critical development studies. It was new to me and very exciting. It forced me to ask deeper questions. It was ultimately that course, together with my desire to continue learning, that led me to pursue a degree in political economy.

What had you been doing previously?

Before entering the program, I was an undergraduate in political science at Carleton. During the summer prior to beginning my master’s studies, I completed a research internship called the Carleton University Research Opportunity (CUROP), which allowed me to design my own research project and work with a faculty member. Some of my research eventually made its way into my master’s research project, and spending a summer doing research gave me a huge advantage going into the master’s program. I would highly recommend CUROP to any undergraduate student considering graduate studies.

What was the focus of your thesis?

My research examined how the financial reproduction problems of mature capitalist economies imposes limits on democratization. It was a highly theoretical project in which I contextualized recent empirical developments using contemporary political theory.

What were the highlights of your experience?

Meeting different students with different academic backgrounds and research interests was great. Everyone in the program takes two core courses together, and each student brought a different perspective to the conversation. I learned a lot not just from my instructors but also from my colleagues in the program.

Working on my research project with a faculty member whom I respected and who guided me through the research process with kindness and care was also a highlight.

What did you learn that you found most important?

I learned that being a successful graduate student requires always looking for funding opportunities and finding events to showcase one’s research. The Institute of Political Economy was extremely helpful at always pointing me in the right direction.

What’s next for you?

I begin doctoral studies in the fall at Western University.