Department of Politics News

The Department of Politics is proud to share the accomplishments of our students and faculty. Here is a small selection.


Dr. Geoffrey Whitehall has published an open access article in Relaciones Internacionales, "En diferentes estados de indiferencia: movimiento, fricción y resistencia" (In different states of indifference: movement, friction, and resistance).

Dr. Can Mutlu has co-published an open access article in International Migration, "The rise of the border apps."

Congratulations to Dr. Andrew Biro and Acadia colleague Dr. Alice Cohen on the publication of their new book, Organizing Nature: Turning Canada’s Ecosystems into Resources! The book explores how the environment is organized in Canada’s resource-dependent economy and considers how particular ecosystem components come to be understood as natural resources and how these resources in turn are used to organize life in Canada. Learn more about their research HERE.

Congratulations to Acadia Politics faculty member, Dr. Can Mutlu, on the publication of the second edition of his co-authored book, Research Methods in Critical Security Studies! This textbook surveys new and emergent methods for doing research in critical security studies. Learn more HERE.



Congratulations to POLS Honours student, Robin Lauzon who is the 2023 recipient of the Governor-General's Silver Medal! The Governor-General's Medal is awarded to the undergraduate student who achieves the highest academic standing in their graduating class.

Congratulations to POLS Honours student, Robin Lauzon, whose research on mental health care access in rural Nova Scotia was featured in an article and op-ed in the Halifax Examiner!

Dr. Erin Crandall, along with Dr. Andrea Lawlor (King's University College, Western University), have published the article, "The Canadian Charter’s Notwithstanding Clause as an Institutionalized Mechanism of Court Curbing" in American Review of Canadian Studies.

The Department of Politics is excited to share that Dr. Alex Marland will be joining Acadia as the inaugural Jarislowsky Chair in Trust and Political Leadership! The chair is intended to enhance the education of current and future leaders in government, politics and the public service. Dr. Marland's appointment begins in July 2023 and students will begin to see new program opportunities beginning fall 2023.

Drs. Rachel Brickner and Andrew Biro, along with Acadia Psychology professor, Dr. Joe Hayes, have published a piece in The Conversation about their current research project on communications and Canadian university faculty associations. See "Why labour strife at universities should concern us all".

Dr. Erin Crandall has published an article, “Amendment by Stealth of Provincial Constitutions in Canada” in the Manitoba Law Journal. [Open Access]

Dr. Erin Crandall has published an article, "A Reflection of Canadian Society? An Analysis of Federal Appointments to Provincial Superior Courts by the Liberal Government of Justin Trudeau" in the Dalhousie Law Journal. [Open Access]

Dr. Geoffrey Whitehall has published an article, "‘When They Fight Back’: A cinematic archive of animal resistance and world wars" in a special edition of the Review of International Studies.



BA Honours student, Robin Lauzon, has been awarded a Scotia Scholars Award from ResearchNS (learn more HERE), and an Acadia Honours Summer Research Award  for her research project, "Nova Scotia’s New Telehealth Programs: Mental Health Policy and Rural Nova Scotians."

Dr. Jeffrey Sachs is a consultant with PEN America's Free Expression and Education Program, where he provides research and analysis on Educational Gag Orders. Sometimes known as "anti-Critical Race Theory" bills, these are legislative efforts to regulate whether and how educators in the United States can talk about racism, sexism, LGBTQ+ identities, and American history. In February, he appeared on NPR's Fresh Air to discuss the topic.

Graduate student Breandan Flynn successfully defended his MA thesis, "Reconceptualizing the Notwithstanding Clause: Using Section 33 as a Tool for Moderation and Deliberation" on January 19, 2022.

Dr. Andrew Biro has been awarded the Acadia Faculty of Arts Award for Excellence in Service. Dr. Biro has served in many leadership positions in the department, university, and larger academic community. This award recognizes his significant contributions to the Faculty of Arts.  

Dr. Rachel Brickner, with colleagues in Acadia's Department of Sociology, has co-authored the article, "When work came home: Formation of feeling rules in the context of a pandemic," in the journal Emotion, Space and Society.

Dr. Erin Crandall has authored the chapter "Reform and Rulings at the Supreme Court of Canada: The Harper Conservatives and Federalism," which is featured in the edited volume Open Federalism Revisited: Regional and Federal Dynamics in the Harper Era (University of Toronto Press).

Dr. Jeffrey Sachs has authored the chapter "Faculty Free Speech in Canada: Trends, Risks, and Possible Futures," which is featured in the edited volume Dilemmas of Free Expression (University of Toronto Press).

Dr. Erin Crandall has co-authored the chapter "Freedom of Expression in an Age of Disinformation: Charter Considerations for Regulating Political Speech in Canadian Elections" which is featured in the edited volume Dilemmas of Free Expression (University of Toronto Press).

Debra Toney, Politics student, is the 2021 recipient of the Nova Scotia Council of the Federation Literacy Award. Learn more about about Debra and her outstanding achievements, HERE.

Dr. Cynthia Alexander has been awarded two grants from Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL Canada), totalling $150,820. The grants will support experiential learning projects for students in Dr. Alexander’s courses and will be done in partnership with community members, including the Glooscap First Nation. One of these projects is the upcoming Truth before Reconciliation Mawio’mi, which will be held from September 30 to October 4. These grants will help Dr. Alexander continue her work building innovative pedagogical opportunities for Acadia students and meaningful relations with community partners.

Dr. Geoffrey Whitehall has been awarded a SSHRC Institutional Grant for his research project, "Resistance to Indifference".

Dr. Erin Crandall has been awarded a SSHRC Insight Development Grant to study public support of the Supreme Court of Canada. Learn more about this research project, HERE.



Politics Major student Max Gustafson is the 2021 winner of the Larry Collins Prize. The Larry Collins Prize is awarded annually by the Atlantic Provinces Political Science Association for the best undergraduate essay written by a student attending a university in Atlantic Canada.  

Dr. Geoffrey Whitehall has been appointed a visiting fellow at the University of Victoria's Cultural, Social & Political Thought Program.

Dr. Cynthia Alexander is one of this year's recipients of the Acadia Students' Union Teaching Recognition Award.

Politics Honours student Rory Anness has been awarded an Honours Summer Research Award (HSRA) from Acadia's Office of Research and Graduate Studies. His thesis will investigate how media frames were used differently in French and English news coverage of the October Crisis



Politics major Nick Mason has been awarded the Louise Morse Warne Scholarship for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Erin Crandall has co-authored a chapter on party fundraisers in the edited volume, Inside the Campaign: Managing Elections in Canada (UBC Press, 2020). In this volume, practitioners and political scientists collaborate to present real-world insights about the 2019 Canadian federal election that demystify over a dozen occupations, including campaign chairs, fundraisers, advertisers, platform designers, communication personnel, election administrators, political staff, journalists, and pollsters.

Politics Honours student Lara Hartman has been awarded an Honours Summer Research Award for Summer 2020 in support of her thesis that will focus on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in British Columbia.

Politics Honours student Ailish Bergin has been awarded an Honours Summer Research Award for Summer 2020 in support of her thesis that will focus on the public policy issues surrounding PEI’s Confederation bridge toll.

Politics Honours student Olivia McCarthy has been awarded an Honours Summer Research Award for Summer 2020 in support of her thesis tentatively titled "The Conflict among Law, Politics, and Science within Environmental Law."

Erin Crandall’s co-edited volume What’s Trending in Canadian Politics: Understanding Transformations in Power, Media, and The Public Sphere (UBC 2019) was recognized on The Hill Times’ list of 100 best non-fiction Canadian books in 2019.  

The Department of Politics is hosting the annual Atlantic Provinces Political Science Association (APPSA) on October 18-20. The conference will bring together close to one hundred scholars of politics from across Canada and internationally. In addition to a diverse and engaging line-up of panels, two special academic events are planned.

  • In conjunction with the H.T. Reid Lecture Series, Dr. Shiri Pasternak will be giving the conference’s keynote talk on Friday at 7pm, entitled “Assimilation or Segregation? A Talk on the Status of Indigenous Economic Rights in Canada”. Dr. Pasternak is the author of the award-winning book Grounded Authority: the Algonquins of Barriere Lake Against the State and the Research Director for the Yellowhead Institute, a First Nations-led think tank based in the Faculty of Arts at Ryerson University.
  • A public Roundtable on Anti-Black Racism in the Academy will take place on Saturday from 12:45-2:00. The importance and urgency of a discussion about this issue was highlighted by the experience of Shelby McPhee at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences in June. Mr. McPhee, who is a graduate student at Acadia, was subject to racial profiling and implicit bias on the part of another conference attendee. Mr. McPhee will be joined on this roundtable by Dr. Claudine Bonner (Acadia University and Black Canadian Studies Association), Sawyer Carnegie (Saint Mary’s University and Black Canadian Studies Association), and Dr. Tracy-Ann Johnson-Myers (University of the West Indies).

Erin Crandall has published the co-edited volume, What’s Trending in Canadian Politics? Understanding Transformations in Power, Media, and the Public Sphere with UBC Press. Crandall also contributed a co-authored chapter to the volume entitled, “Covering the Court: News Media Framing of Physician-Assisted Dying from Rodriguez to Carter”.

Andrew Biro’s article, “Reading a Water Menu: Bottled Water and the Cultivation of Taste” was published in the Journal of Consumer Culture (vol 19, no 2).



Andrew Biro presented a paper, co-authored with Alice Cohen (ENVS/ESST), on “Organizing Resources: The Case of Canadian Water” at the annual meeting of the Western Political Science Association in San Diego, CA.

Erin Crandall will be receiving the recently established Faculty of Arts awards for teaching, service, and scholarship.

Andrew Biro and Alice Cohen were awarded a University Research Fund (Article 25.55) grant for their project, “Organizing Resources.” Biro and Cohen are collaborating to write a book (under contract with University of Toronto Press) that uses recent insights from critical geography and environmental political theory to explore environmental politics and the construction of nature in Canada. The funds will be used to hire a student assistant and to present preliminary results at the Western Political Science Association conference in April 2019.



Politics Alumni

Learn about some of the great things our Politics alumni are up to now. CLICK HERE.