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Jamie Lawson

Associate professor

Political Science

Office: DTB A346 250-721-7496
PhD (2001) York
Area of expertise:
Canadian politics, political economy, environmental politics

Office hours

Spring 2024 office hours: Mondays and Thursdays 11 a.m.-noon or by appointment.


  • Canadian politics and political economy
  • environmental and natural-resource politics
  • historical geography of resource policy conflict

About Dr. Lawson

James (Jamie) Lawson received his BA from Trent University and his MA from Dalhousie University. Before beginning his MA, he served as a Parliamentary Intern in Ottawa. His PhD is from York University (Toronto).

From 2000-02, he held a research position on forest certification programs at Auburn University’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences at Auburn, Alabama. Since 2002, he has taught at Memorial University of Newfoundland (St. John’s) and at the University of Victoria where he is now an associate professor.

His research interests have centred on the political economy and ecology of contemporary forest politics and conflict and on the application of theories of social space and time to the understanding of natural resource policy and politics. His current research interests include:

  • policy reform in the area of First Nations’ economic and decision-making rights in the forest (including "Aboriginal forest tenures" and resource governance)
  • workplace health and safety for fallers and allied occupations in the forest industry
  • the re-theorization of long-distance trade in natural resources (variously understood in terms of staples or global commodity chains).

Other interests include the politics of forest certification programmes and other instances of non-state governance; the use of critical geography and the historical method in politics and political economy; Canadian public policy; federalism and interest intermediation.


Dr. Lawson teaches courses on Canadian politics and environmental politics.

Teaching 2023-24

Fall 2023:

Spring 2024:

Previous courses taught:
  • POLI 201: Canadian Institutions of Government
  • POLI 233: Contemporary Political Problems
  • POLI 306: Introduction to Marxism
  • POLI 357: Canadian Environmental Policy 
  • POLI 365: BC Political Economy
  • POLI 366: Canadian Political Economy
  • POLI 458/533: Topics in Environmental Politics
  • POLI 516/616: Graduate Field Seminar in Canadian Politics


Peer-reviewed articles

  • Lawson, James (Jamie). "Mounting Turbulence in Neoliberal Globalization: Political Economy, Populist Discourse, and Policy in Alberta, Canada." Social Sciences Vol. 11, Part 5 (2022): 221-251.
  • Lawson, James (Jamie). "Canada as Churkendoose: A Response to Paul Kellogg, Escape from the Staple TrapSocialist Studies/Études socialistes 12.1 (Spring): 147-154
  • Lawson, James (Jamie). "Tendential Autonomy and Conflict Containment in Non-State Governance Mechanisms: An Example from a Forest Certification Program," Law and Policy Vol. 33, Part 3: 391-426. 2011.
  • Lawson, James (Jamie). "Chronotope, Story, and Historical Geography: Mikhail Bakhtin and the Space-Time of Narratives," Antipode Vol. 43, Part 2: 384-412., 2011.
  • Lawson, James (Jamie) "'Everywhere in chains': Work, commodity chain analysis, and the subversion of accountability," Work Organisation, Labour, and Globalisation Vol. 5, Part 1 (Summer 2011): 40-57. 2011.
  • Lawson, James (Jamie). "Explaining Workplace Injuries among BC Loggers: Cultures of Risk and Desperation," BC Studies Vol. 164 (2009/10): 51-74, 2010
  • Lawson, James (Jamie). "Power, Political Economy, and Supply Chains: Staples as Media of Power," International Journal of Green Economics Vol. 3, Part 1 (2009): 28-47, 2009.
  • Lawson, James (Jamie) and Feng Xu. "Emergency Health Policy and SARS in Canada and China: A Foucauldian Approach," Governance Vol 20 Part 2 (April), pp. 209-232. (Equal share with Xu) 2007.
  • Cashore, Benjamin, Graeme Auld, James (Jamie) Lawson, Deanna Newsom. "The Future of Non-State Authority on Canadian Staples Industries: Assessing the Emergence of Forest Certification," Policy and Society Vol. 26 Part 1: 71-92. (Contribution: primary contributor to Maritime case study, share in re-editing.)
    (Reprinted in Howlett, Michael and Keith Brownsey. Canada's Resource Economy in Transition: The Past, Present, and Future of Canadian Staples Industries. Toronto: Emond Montgomery, 2008.) 2007.
  • Cashore, Benjamin and James (Jamie) Lawson. "Comparing Forest Certification Experiences in the US Northeast and the Canadian Maritimes." Orono, MA: CAPP [Canadian-American Public Policy, University of Maine (Orono)], 2003.
  • "Ecological Imperialism in the Economy and Ecology of the New Zealand Maori, 1769-1840." International Insights 6.2 (1990): pp. 55-70.

Chapters in peer-reviewed books

  • Lawson, James (Jamie). "Lines of Work, Corridors of Power: Extraction, Obstruction, and Counter-Obstruction Along Fossil Fuel Production Networks." In Regime of Obstruction: How Corporate Power Blocks Energy Democracy, edited by William K. Carroll, 61-90. Athabasca, AB: Athabasca University Press. 2021.
  • Lansdowne, Helen and James (Jamie) Lawson. “Southeast Asian Workers in a Just-in-Time Pandemic”. COVID-19 in Asia: Law and Policy Contexts, edited by Victor V. Ramraj. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2020.
  • Lawson, James (Jamie). "Colonialism, Indigenous Struggles, and the Ontario State" Divided Province: Ontario Politics in an Age of Neoliberalism. 420-460. Montréal/Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2019.
  • Lawson, James (Jamie). "The Coexistence of Umran and the Improvement Epic of Settler Societies," Towards the Dignity of Difference: Neither "End of History" nor "Clash of Civilisations", Mojtaba Mahdavi and Andrew Knight, eds. 513-540. Farnham, Surrey, UK: Ashgate, 2012.
  • Lawson, James (Jamie) and Benjamin W. Cashore. "Firm Choices on Sustainable Forestry Forest Certification: The Case of JD Irving, Ltd," Forest Policy for Private Forestry: Global and Regional Challenges, L. Teeter, B. Cashore, and D. Zhang, eds. Wallingford, UK: CABI Publishing, 2003.
  • Lawson, James (Jamie). "Space, Strategy, and Surprise: Thinking about Temagami Ten Years after the Blockades," Blockades and Resistance: Studies in Actions of Peace and the Temagami Blockades of 1988-89, Bruce W. Hodgins, Ute Lischke, David T. McNab, eds. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier Press, 2003.
  • Lawson, James (Jamie), Marcelo Levi, L. Anders Sandberg. "'Perpetual Revenues and the Delights of the Primitive': Change, Continuity, and Forest Policy Regimes in Ontario," Canadian Forest Policy: Adapting to Change, Michael Howlett, ed. Toronto: UofT Press, 2001.
  • "Nastawgan or Not? First Nations Land Management in Temagami and Algonquin Park," Sustainability--The Challenge: People, Power, and the Environment, L. Anders Sandberg, Sverker Sörlin, eds. Montreal: Black Rose Books, 1998. pp. 189-201.

Book reviews

  • Lawson, James (Jamie). Review, The Resistance Dilemma: Place-Based Movements and the Climate Crisis, George Hoberg, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2021, pp. 388. Canadian Journal of Political Science 55 (2): 510-512. 2022
  • Lawson, James (Jamie). Review: William J. Buxton, Michael R. Cheney, and Paul Heyer, eds. Harold Innis Reflects: Memoir and WWI Writings/Correspondence. Lanham, md: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016. Canadian Historical Review 98.4 (December 2017): 818-819. 
  • Lawson, James (Jamie). Bryan M. Evans and Charles W. Smith, Editors, Transforming Provincial Politics: The Political Economy of Canada’s Provinces and Territories in the Neoliberal Era (Toronto, ON: UofT Press, 2015) BC Studies No. 192 Winter 2016/17.

Other articles & contributions to edited books

  • Lawson, James (Jamie). “Review: William J. Buxton, Michael R. Cheney, and Paul Heyer, eds. Harold Innis Reflects: Memoir and WWI Writings/ Correspondence. Lanham, md: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016.” Canadian Historical Review 98.4 (December 2017): 818-819.
  • Opinion article on Enbridge Northern Gateway published as "A Risky Game of Economic ChickenVancouver Sun July 30, 2012. (Linked to Calgary Herald website and 
  • "Kashechewan and the Legacy of Colonialism," Relay (Jan/Feb 2006): 6-8. Accessible at: Last accessed June 30, 2006.
  • Lawson, James (Jamie) , Benjamin Cashore. "Research Note: The Application of the Theory of Social Autopoiesis to the Problem of Non-State Sanctioned, Market-Driven (NSMD) Governance" Auburn University Forest Policy Center, Internal Working Paper Series #120, June 2001. Accessible at Forestry Research Center.
  • "Nunavut." Canadian Annual Review, 1999. Toronto: UofT Press, 2005.
  • "The Yukon and Northwest Territories," Canadian Annual Review, 1998. Toronto: UofT Press, 2005.
  • "The Yukon and Northwest Territories," Canadian Annual Review, 1997. Toronto: UofT Press, 2003.
  • "The Yukon and Northwest Territories," Canadian Annual Review, 1996. Toronto: UofT Press, 2002.
  • "The Yukon and Northwest Territories," Canadian Annual Review, 1995. Toronto: UofT Press, 2001.
  • "The Yukon and Northwest Territories," Canadian Annual Review, 1994. Toronto: UofT Press, 2000.
  • "The Yukon and Northwest Territories," Canadian Annual Review, 1993. Toronto: UofT Press, 1999.
  • "The Yukon and Northwest Territories," Canadian Annual Review, 1992. Toronto: UofT Press, 1999.
  • "The Yukon and Northwest Territories," Canadian Annual Review, 1991. Toronto: UofT Press, 1998.
  • "The Yukon and Northwest Territories," Canadian Annual Review, 1990. Toronto: UofT Press, 1997.
  • "The Yukon and Northwest Territories," Canadian Annual Review, 1989. Toronto: UofT Press, 1995.
  • "The Canada-US Softwood Lumber Dispute: A Study of US Trade Law," Canada and the Global Political Economy. Athabaska: Athabaska University Library. (This article also appeared in an edited anthology Canada and the Global Economy, Volume 2. Daniel Drache, ed. Athabaska: Athabaska University Press, 1994.).


  • Navarro, Pablo, Barbara Neis, James (Jamie) Lawson, Joshua Pike. Statistical report on forestry and forestry-related WHSCC claims, 1990-2002. Newfoundland and Labrador Forestry Occupational Health and Safety Project, Coasts under Stress, Memorial University of Newfoundland, 2004.