Top 10 21st Century Political Science Scholars in Canada

Many Canadians are exemplary 21st century political scientists. The scholars on this top 10 list have revolutionized literature and have paved the way for greater debates. Many of them are visiting scholars in universities around the world and are recognized as the best in the fields.  As such here are the top 10 21st Century political science scholars in Canada.


1. Michael Ignatieff:

Many remember might remember Ignatieff as the former leader of the Liberal Party, the former opposition party of Canada. His poor judgment and leadership skills led to the ultimate downfall of the party in the May 2011 election.

Before he was a politician, he was a scholar, writer and professor who worked in Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. He immensely wrote in the field of International Relations on the topic of nation building, peacekeeping and the international responsibilities of Western nations. After leaving politics in 2011, Ignatieff took on a teaching position at University of Toronto where he will continue to build on his scholarly writings.


2. Robert W. Cox:

A former political science professor and United Nations officer, Robert W. Cox is another 20th and 21st century political science scholar in Canada. He has changed and paved way for an innovative critical Political Economy thought. Many scholars like Stephen Gill were influenced by Cox and are continuing Cox`s work and tradition. He is most famous for what is now labeled as Neo-Gramscian Thought. Here he focuses on a critical analysis of IR as opposed to a problem solving one.


3. Leo Panitch:

Dr. Leo Panitch has been teaching at York University for the past 27 years. He is a Marxist scholar who typically uses imperialist thought to describe United States actions in 21st Century. He is currently an editor at Socialist Register, which provides free articles for everyone to read. Although Marxist, he does challenge Karl Marx`s interpretation of trade unions helping people to become class conscious in the capitalist world. He believes trade unions are compatible with capitalism.


4. Shannon Bell:

If you thought political theory is boring and too classic, you need to immerse yourself in Shannon Bell`s literature. She has been a political science professor at York University since 1995. Since becoming a professor and obtaining her PhD she has revolutionized post-modern political theory in Canada. Her publications include: Writing and Rewriting the Prostitute BodyWhore Carnival and Bad Attitude/s on Trial. Furthermore,her courses on cyberspace politics and Post Identity politics are popular amongst students and are easily filled.

In her recently published book, Fast Feminism, she adds a personal touch to the major feminist political theory assumptions. She focuses on the hyper masculinity of feminist by combining traditional feminist theories with that of speed politics and the work of Paul Varilio.

Graduate students at York University are lucky to have such a scholar as their mentor.


5. Gad Horowitz:

This political scholar in Canada has led us to understand why Canada is more conservative than United States and why the country is more tolerant of Socialism. Unlike the United States, Canada is a compact of British and French influences. Many conservative loyalists moved from the United States to Canada during the American Revolution. They helped shape collectivist policies which Dr. Horowitz defines as being part of Canada since its inception. Socialism, for him, came out of Conservatism and is also collective. This is all explained in his theory of Red Tory.

Dr. Horowitz is a professor at University of Toronto where he teaches Canadian Politics and Political Theory.


6. Janine Brodie:

Dr. Brodie is a research chair at the University of Alberta. Her research focuses on gender equality, globalization, political economics, political representation, regionalism and social policies. She has written several books such as Critical Concepts which are used in many introductory political science courses throughout Canada. She is also known for being the first Chair of the Feminist Research in York University.


7. Stephen Gill:

Dr. Gill is a Distinguished Research Professor at York University who follows Robert Cox’s work on Neo-Gramscian thought. He most notably contributed to coining the term new constitutionalism. It is a project which aims to lock capital on a global scale. His work draws on American hegemony, cultural hegemony, organic intellect and state-civil society. He frequently lectures in universities around the world, Helsinki, Seoul and Warsaw.


8. Jeffrey Kopstein:

Dr. Kopstein is another major scholar in the political science department. He works at the University of Toronto where he holds a full Professor position. Dr. Kopstein examines Comparative Politics, especially in Europe. Most recently he examined East Europe and the impact of economic downturn in 2009. He believes that the EU (specifically Western European countries) is sucking many countries like Ukraine and Latvia into mass debt through loans.


9. Anna Agathangelou:

Dr. Agathangelou has been a professor at York University since 2005. She immensely writes about sex tourism and human trafficking violations. She strongly believes that the Liberal masculine dominant theory of IR misrepresents the situation by noting personal choice and the market as the causes for migration and human trafficking. She furthermore feels that the Liberal IR theorists conceal the exploitation of migrant workers in much of their research. Her courses are popular where she encourages and helps students look at the forest and not the trees.


10.  Rand Dyck:

A professor at Carleton University, Dr. Dyck is also quite popular. His Critical Approaches textbook is used by Universities for their Canadian politics classes. He is popular amongst students and is dedicated to helping them succeed.

There are many more who deserve to be on this list: Ann Denholm Crosby, Stephen Brooks, Stephen Clarkson, Ellen Wood and Murray Dobbin. Ann Denholm Crosby, specifically, was an exemplary professor at York University until her death in 2009. She provided an unconventional, yet interesting approach to IR which her students still remember.


Griffiths, Marti, Steven C. Roach and M. Scott Solomon (2009), Fifty Key Thinkers in International Relations, Second Edition. Routledge

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