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Lois Harder

Professor & dean, Faculty of Social Sciences

Political Science

Office: BEC 468
PhD (1997) York
Area of expertise:
Citizenship law, social policy, regulation of intimate life


  • citizenship law
  • social policy
  • regulation of intimate life

About Dr. Harder

Lois Harder is dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and professor of political science. Her research concerns citizenship law, social policy and the regulation of intimate life.

She has recently published Canadian Club: Birthright Citizenship and Belonging with the University of Toronto Press (2022), and has a forthcoming co-edited volume entitled Neoliberal Contentions: Diagnosing the Present also with the University of Toronto Press (2023).

Dr. Harder has served as principal of the Peter Lougheed Leadership College, department chair and associate dean research, all at the University of Alberta. She has held visiting professorships at the British Library and the University of Kent Centre for Law, Gender and Sexuality. She also held a Fulbright Fellowship at the University of Hawaii.

Together with her former student Michelle Thomarat, Lois was awarded the Jill Vicker’s Prize from the Canadian Political Science Association for their paper “Parentage Law in Canada: The Numbers Game of Standing and Status.” This work appears in the International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family 26.1(April 2012): 62-87.

Recent publications include “How Queer?! Canadian Approaches to recognizing families in the law” Whatever: A Transdisciplinary Journal of Queer Theories and Studies 4 (2021): 303-328; “‘Maternity Tourism’: Civic Integration and Jus Soli Citizenship in Canada” Revue Europeenne des Migrations Internationales 36.4 (2020): 35-54; and Margot Challborn and Lois Harder, “Sex and the Genuine Marriage: Consummation and Conjugality in Canadian Citizenship” Citizenship Studies 23.5 (2019): 407-423.

Dr. Harder is open to supervising graduate students interested in socio-legal research concerning citizenship, parentage, gender identity and intimate relationships as well as social policy.