Co-op student in an office discussing work with co-worker

Expand your learning with co-op

Combine your academic studies with paid, relevant work experience and put what you are learning into practice. Paula Rasmussen (right) is working on the BC Environment and Climate Change Strategy.

Co-operative education
Student standing outside of the UVic Library

Discover your edge in political science

Political science at UVic offers a range of options that let you study what you're most passionate about, like Cate White, an honours student studying alternative political and legal theories.

Undergraduate studies
two alumni on a beach

Careers in political science

Alumni like Robin Gagne (right) are making an impact. Robin is a community planning advisor combining his political science education with his passion for the environment.

Co-op student's work makes a difference

A vibrant community of graduate students

Originally from Iran, PhD candidate Mehdi Hashemi appreciates the welcoming and diverse environment he’s found at UVic. Our graduate students are examining critical issues having an impact around the world.

Graduate studies
Researcher at a podium in a classroom

Study what you're passionate about

Professors like Dr. Matt James teach courses that address topics including Indigenous politics, minority rights and identity, migration and refugee movements, human security and international law.

Our programs
Protest march

Power of social movements

Social movements and youth politics have an impact. Our research looks at these topics through different lenses: mass media, multiculturalism, indigenous nationalisms and gender.

Our research

Territory acknowledgment
We acknowledge and respect the lək̓ʷəŋən peoples on whose traditional territory the university stands, and the Songhees, Esquimalt and WSÁNEĆ peoples whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.

Critical thinking in action

Political science is the study of power, authority and governance in human affairs. We examine the social, economic, cultural, historical, geographical and other forces that generate conflicts in and between societies.

Do you want to understand how decisions are made at different levels of government? Are you curious about how social justice issues affect you and the world?

Join us and learn how to evaluate different points of view and think critically about the world around you.

Find your Edge in UVic's Department of Political Science

Canadian Political Science Association Reconciliation Statement on Inaugural National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.


Anti-racism statement

16 June 2020

The Department of Political Science stands in solidarity with BlackLivesMatter and those working to confront racism and colonialism in our communities. While the immediate impetus to publicly express our solidarity is the murder of George Floyd and the mobilization of Black communities against anti Black police violence in the United States, we acknowledge and oppose systemic racism and colonialism in Canada and globally, which manifests in economic, political, and social structures, including policing. The killing of Chantal Moore and the death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet show that these issues of anti Black racism as well as anti-Indigenous racism are similarly urgent in Canada. In Canada, while systemic racism targets Black peoples and Indigenous peoples differently, police violence disproportionately affects these two communities. We acknowledge that Canada's history of Black slavery, ongoing Indigenous dispossession, racial profiling, racist and sexist immigration policies, violence against Indigenous women and girls, and exploitation of racialized labour are among the injustices that form the foundations of the over-policing and under-protection of marginalized communities in this country today.

We also acknowledge that Canadian political science has failed to adequately study or understand the role of racialization and colonization in the making of power and privilege in this country. We are grateful for the leadership of Indigenous scholars and scholars of colour who have been working on these issues. If you are interested in reading some of this critical scholarship on "race" and the Canadian political science discipline, please see:

Canadian Journal of Political Science "Is Race Political?"

Canadian Journal of Political Science "Defining Narratives of Identity in Canadian Polticial Science: Accounting for the Absence of Race"

I know that individually, many members of our department have been thinking about how they can best work toward supporting anti-racism initiatives. As a collective, our department commits to critical and thoughtful engagement with these important issues by faculty, staff, and students. We also recognize that there is more work to be done in confronting systemic racism and colonialism as we live, work, and play on the traditional lands of the Lekwungen speaking peoples. Our department will support and participate in the university's anti-racism workshops for faculty members, and will continue our efforts to diversify and decolonize our curriculum. Our department is committed to serious and meaningful engagement; including exploring how we can improve our research, teaching, and student support structures to combat systemic racism, including anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racisms.

Learn more about our research on racism and police violence

Michelle Bonner

Marlea Clarke

  • Clarke, M. (2018). Supporting the 'elite' transition in South Africa: Policing in a violent, neoliberal democracy. In Michelle D. Bonner, Guillermina Seri, Mary Rose Kubal and Michael Kempa (Eds.), Police Abuse in Contemporary Democracies. Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan.

Rita Dhamoon

  • "Relational Othering: Critiquing Dominance, Critiquing the Margins," Politics, Groups and Identities, 2019 DOI: 10.1080/21565503.2019.1691023.
  • "Racism as a Workload and Bargaining Issue." 2020. Socialist Studies 14: 1, n.p.
  • "A Feminist Approach to Decolonizing Anti-Racism: Rethinking Transnationalism, Intersectionality, and Settler Colonialism." 2015. Feral Feminisms, issue 4, 20-37.
  • "Metaphoric Representations of Women of Colour in the Academy: Teaching Race, Disrupting Power." 2014. Co-authored with Adrienne Chan, Rita Kaur Dhamoon, Lisa Moy. borderlands e-journal 13: 2.
  • "Unsettling settler colonialism: The discourse and politics of settlers, and solidarity with Indigenous nations." 2014. Co-authored with Corey Snelgrove, Rita Kaur Dhamoon, Jeff Corntassel. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society, 3(2): 1-32.
  • "Exclusion & Regulated Inclusion: The Case of the Sikh Kirpan in Canada." Sikh Formations (9:1, May 2013: 7-28).
  • "Dangerous (Internal) Foreigners and Nation-Building: The Case of Canada," co-authored with Yasmeen Abu-Laban. International Political Science Review. (30: 2, March 2009).
  • "Itinerant Subjects of Empire: Unmooring the Komagata Maru," with Davina Bhandar. In Charting Imperial Itineraries, 1914-2014: Unmooring the Komagata Maru. Co-edited by Rita Kaur Dhamoon, Renisa Mawani, Davina Bhandar, and Satwinder Bains (UBC Press 2019).

Matt James

Mara Marin

Oliver Schmidtke

  • Nohl, A., Schittenhelm, K., Schmidtke, O., and Weiss, A. Work in Transition. Cultural Capital and Highly Skilled Migrants' Passages into the Labour Market. University of Toronto Press (in particular chapter ‘6 Symbolic Struggles over Cultural Capital: Racial Discrimination and Symbolic Exclusion’; pp. 157-202)
  • Schmidtke, O. "Towards a cosmopolitan and inclusive European identity? Negotiating immigrants' inclusion and exclusion in the new Europe". In: Salvatore, A., Schmidtke, O. and Trenz, H.J. (eds.) . Rethinking the Public Sphere Through Transnationalizing Processes: Europe and Beyond. New York: Palgrave, 2013, pp. 132-155.

Rob Walker

  • Randolph B. Persaud and R.B.J. Walker, Editors, "Race, Decoloniality and International Relations," Special Issue of Alternatives: Global, Local, Political, 40:2, May 2015.
  • Randolph B. Persaud and R.B.J. Walker, Editors, "Race in International Relations," Special Issue of Alternatives: Global, Local, Political, 26:4, Oct- Dec 2001.