Current Political Science PhD Students

Jean-François Bélanger

My doctoral work focuses on the politics of nuclear proliferation and why some states seemingly allowed by the international community to develop nuclear weapons while others face harsh rebuttals for their nuclear ambitions.  Specifically, my dissertation examines the role of the development by proliferating states of a reputation for restraint and their reduced chances of being pre-emptively attacked, and hence eventually becoming nuclear powers.

Research Interests: Nuclear (non) proliferation, nuclear strategy, Deterrence Theory/Coercive Diplomacy, qualitative/mixed method analysis, religion and politics

E-mail: jean-francois.belanger2 [at]

Aengus Bridgman

Research Interests: Aengus is broadly interested in civic engagement, non-electoral forms of democracy, political psychology, local government and the policy development process. His current research focuses on examining how 'engagement exercises' are being applied and used by civic administrations and administrators to nudge, constrain, enrich, or even replace traditional representative democracy decision-making processes.

E-mail: aengus.bridgman [at]

Matthew Castle

Research Interests: My doctoral project examines the international political economy of trade agreements. I focus in particular on how countries craft international economic rules in the context of free trade agreements, and the lasting role that these rules play in shaping the evolution of the global trade regime writ large.


Personal site:



E-mail: matthew.castle [at]

Rose Chabot

Bachelor in International Studies, Université de Montréal

Research interests: Rose is interested in issues of citizenship and state-society relations in peripheral areas from the perspective of comparative politics. Her current research focuses on the effects of transnational and cross-border networks on political participation in Latin America.

Email: rose.chabot [at]


Costin Ciobanu

Master's Degree in Political and Social Communication, University Paris 1 (Panthéon - Sorbonne); B.A. in Philosophy, University of Bucharest

Research interests: Public Opinion and Political Preferences; Voting Behavior; Election Forecasting Models; Economic Voting; Issue Voting; Political Communication; Political Parties; Central and Eastern European Politics.

E-mail: costin.ciobanu [at]

Megan Cudmore

Research Interests: I am interested in decision-making on the Supreme Court of Canada. Particularly, analyzing judges as members of a community, using sociological frameworks and role theory to study judicial behaviour and conduct both on and off the bench.


E-mail: megan.cudmore [at]

Michel Fournier-Simard

MA in Comparative Political Sociology, Sciences Po École doctorale - Paris; BA in Political Science & History, University of Ottawa

Research Interests:

Michel est spécialisé en sociologie de la police et en relations entre corps policiers et groupes minoritaires. Membre du Réseau d’études latino-américaines de Montréal, Michel s’intéresse aux réformes policières dans les Caraïbes et en Amérique centrale.

Michel studies police sociology, police relationship with vulnerable groups, and the politics behind changes in policing. A member of the Latin American Studies Network of Montreal (RÉLAM), Michel specializes in Caribbean and Central American police reforms.


E-mail: michel.fournier-simard [at]

Holly Garnett

Research Interests: My research examines how electoral integrity can be strengthened throughout the electoral cycle, including the role of election management bodies, voter registration, civic literacy, convenience voting measures, and election technologies. While my research is cross-national, I am particularly interested in Canada and the United States.


E-mail: holly.garnett [at]

Arc Zhen Han

B.Sc. in Computer Engineering, 1997-2001, from University of Electronic Science and Technology, Chengdu, China; B.A. in International Relations, 2007-2010, from University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada; M.A. in Political Science, 2010-2012, from University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

Research Interests: My dissertation tries to explore the micro-foundation of commercial peace. To what extent can international economic interactions change the behavior of individuals, and under what conditions states become more peaceful through trade? I also write on Chinese foreign policies, corruption and development in East Asia and South East Asian countries.

E-mail: zhen.han2 [at]

Akanit Horatanakun

MPA in Economic and Political Development, Columbia University; B.A. in Political Science, Chulalongkorn University

Research Interests

Comparative Politics and Southeast Asian Politics, Human Rights, Transnational Social Movements.




Email address: akanit.horatanakun [at]

Olivier Jacques

MA Political Science, Université de Montréal; BA International Studies, Université de Montréal.

Research Interests:

My dissertation focus on the political economy of fiscal choices in developed economies. I conceive budgets as a trilemma between taxes, investment in the future and current consumption. I verify if governments have a short-term bias and prioritize lower taxes and higher curent consumption over long-term investment. I investigate the conditions incentivizing governments to choose future-oriented investment and the partisan preferences regarding taxes, social consumption and investment. Finally, my dissertation analyze the distributional consequence of fiscal choices within Canadian provinces. 

My other projects include research on Canadian politics, notably on interprovincial social policy differences, the Canadian welfare state and its relationship with tax policies. Also, I do cross national research on the impact of welfare states' design and income redistribution.


E-mail: olivier.jacques [at]

Virginie Lasnier

Research Interests: Social movements, mass protests, civil society, and pro-regime movements in (semi-) authoritarian countries. In particular, my dissertation examines demobilization processes after social movements in the post-Soviet region. 


E-mail: virginie.lasnier [at]

Martin McCallum

PhD in Political Science (McGill); MA in Theory & Criticism (University of Western Ontario); BA in Political Science and Contemporary Studies (University of King's College)

Martin McCallum is a political theorist specializing in Rousseauian political theory with research interests in rhetoric, emotion and politics, critical race theory, and the history of political thought. 

Email: martin.mccallum [at]


Denver McNeney

Research Interests: My research is broadly focused in two area: political behaviour and media communications. My political behaviour research uses partisanship and political awareness as moderating variables to better understand how citizens interact with political phenomena in Canada, the US, and the UK. My media interests revolve around understanding media polarization and tone through automated content analysis. I also have a substantive interest in time series and panel methodology.


E-Mail: denver.mcneney [at]

Tereza Monkova

Research interests: Ancient Greek political philosophy; critical theory; feminist theory; textual hermeneutics

E-mail: tereza.monkova [at]

Zarlasht Muhammad Razeq

MA in International Development, University of Ottawa; MA in International Affairs, Carleton University; BA in International Economics

Research Interests: Comparative Politics and International Relations.  Zarlasht’s areas of research are the political economy of international development, MNCs, and regime theories. Her PhD project, which focuses on the state-multinationals’ cooperation in international development, is supported by Joseph Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship.

E-mail: zarlasht.muhammadrazeq [at]

Pechsiree Pechvijitra

B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Public Policy from the University of California at Berkeley

Research Interests: My research focuses on the effects of public policy and partisanship on voters’ decisions in Thailand. More generally, I am interested in the factors that shape voters’ attitudes about democracy and governance in developing democracies in Southeast Asia.


E-mail: pechsiree.pechvijitra [at]

Colin Scott

MA Applied Social Psychology (University of Guelph), MA Political Science (Memorial University of Newfoundland)

Research interests: My research interests broadly align with three themes: My primary interests focus on the political psychology of intercultural relations. In this regard, my doctoral research examines the roles of acculturation, intercultural contact and threat, and social identities on prejudice, discrimination and immigrant integration in multinational societies. Second, I partner with non-profit organizations and social service providers to conduct applied community-based research on social issues. Finally, I have a strong methodological interest in cross-cultural research methods and the application of social cognitive measures to the study of political behaviour and cognition. My research draws on experimental and non-experimental methods to explore these issues in the context of Canadian and Latin American politics.

Open Science

E-mail: colin.scott2 [at]

Mohamed Sesay

Research Interests: My research examines the complex interactions between global and local norms of justice, peacebuilding, and reconstruction within the context of societies emerging from armed conflicts. I am currently a post-doctoral fellow with the Research Group on Global Justice of the Yan P. Lin Center for the Study of Freedom and Global Orders in the Ancient and Modern Worlds.


E-mail: mohamed.sesay [at]

Bilal Shakir

Research Interests: Comparative politics and International Relations. Bilal is interested in understanding and evaluating modes and mechanisms of policy formulation in democratizing societies. Broadly speaking, he is interested in studying the linkage between the structure of domestic political infrastructure and democratic performance. Particularly, Bilal is interested in the usefulness of actively creating ‘democratic facades’ as a means of retaining autocratic power in democratizing societies. 

E-mail: bilal.shakir [at]

Erik Underwood

Erik Underwood is currently pursuing his PhD degree in Political Science at McGill University under the supervision of T.V. Paul. Previously, he completed his masters at McGill and his undergraduate education at the University of Toronto. He specializes in international relations, with his main research interest being status relations in international politics. His research interests generally fall in the area of international relations theory, specifically security theory, and include balance of power theory, rising powers, middle powers, and nationalism. He is currently working on examining the role of nationalism in status competition, as well as the ways in which power can be used to alter the rules and norms of status competition.

E-mail: erik.underwood [at]


Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Political Science, University of Delhi (Lady Shri Ram College for Women), 2010; Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding Post Graduate Diploma, University of Delhi, (Lady Shri Ram College for Women), 2011; Certificate Course in Human Rights, Indira Gandhi National Open University, 2011; Master of Arts in Political Science, Jawaharlal Nehru University, 2012; Master of Philosophy in Political Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, 2014

Research Interests: Normative Political Theory with those who struggle, Comparative qualitative research on gender in India intersected with contemporary political theory on agency, Democratic Theory with special emphasis on Habermas' 'Discourse Ethics' and alternatives to deliberative democracy such as agonistic politics, Feminist, Race and Postcolonial Theory, Critical Theory, Biopolitics, Foucault and Foucauldian Methods, Marxism and Marxist scholarship, State and Constitutional Theory,

E-mail: vertika.vertika [at]

Hiba Zerrougui

Research interests: Comparative clientelism, state-building, and contentious politics in authoritarian regimes. My dissertation examines state capacity building strategies in neopatrimonial regimes and relates them to contentious dynamics. I employ a mixed methods research design and focus on Middle East and North African politics.


E-mailhiba.zerrougui [at]