Dr. Justin Leifso

Dr. Justin Leifso
Assistant Professor
Political Science
Office: DTB A342

PhD (2019) Alberta

Area of expertise

Canadian politics; Canadian public policy; Neoliberalism

Fall 2021 term office hours: Thursdays 11 am - 1 pm or by appointment using Calendly Appointment.

Justin Leifso received his PhD and MA from the University of Alberta and his BA (High Honours) from the University of Regina. He grew up on Treaty 4 Territory, in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Before pursuing an academic career, he served as a public servant in Saskatchewan, where he was worked for the Ministry of Health and the Office of the Provincial Auditor. 

He is a scholar and teacher of Canadian politics. His research explores the relationship between broad discursive formations and specific practices. In other words, he studies power, policy and politics in Canada. He has written about the history of bureaucracy in Canada, the emergence of Lean Management in public sector organizations, policy mobility, parties and elections, the role of oil in the political identities of provinces such as Alberta and Saskatchewan, the political dimensions of affect and emotions, and the politics of sport.  

  • Canadian Politics
  • Canadian Public Policy
  • Neoliberalism
  • Federalism
  • Governance in Canada

Dr. Leifso teaches courses on Canadian politics.

Teaching 2021-22

Fall 2021:

Spring 2022:

Refereed Publications:

  • 2021. Justin Leifso. "Moving and Resisting Lean." Canadian Public Administration Forthcoming December 2021
  • 2020. Anya Kuteleva and Justin Leifso. "Contested crude: Multiscalar identities, conflicting discourses, and narratives of oil production in Canada." Energy Research and Social Science . Vol. 70.
  • 2019. Justin Leifso "Saskatchewan, Political Despair, and the Affective Politics of the Rider Nation." Sociology of Sport Vol. 36, No. 1, pp 48-56.

Non-Refereed Publication:

  • John D Whyte and Justin Leifso. 2006. "Coming to the End: Mandatory Retirement in Saskatchewan" in Saskatchewan Institute of Public Policy Briefing Note Issue 15, July 2006.

Conference Papers:

  • Justin Leifso. "The Technical Fix? The Normative and Discursive Foundations of Canadian Public
    Bureaucracy." Presented at the Canadian Political Science Association Annual Conference, Regina
    SK June 2018.
  • Justin Leifso. "Studying Policy Critically." Presented at the University of Alberta Graduate Students Association Annual Conference, Edmonton AB May 2018.
  • Justin Leifso. "Green is the Colour: Brad Wall, the Saskatchewan Roughriders, and the Affective Politics of the 'Rider Nation.'" Presented at the Canadian Political Science Association Annual Conference, Toronto ON May 2017.
  • Justin Leifso. "Lean on Everything: Neoliberalization and the Emergence of Lean Management in North America." Presented at Neoliberalism and its Crises: A Symposium in Honour of Janine Brodie, Edmonton AB May 2017.
  • Marco Adria and Justin Leifso. "The Centre for Public Involvement and the City of Edmonton." Presented at the Participedia International Workshop, Vancouver BC June 2017.
  • Justin Leifso. "Lean-ing In: A Case for Governmentality Approaches to Studying Public Bureaucracy." Presented at the Canadian Political Science Association Annual Conference, Calgary AB May 2016.
  • Justin Leifso. "Lost in Translation: Implementing Lean Management in Saskatchewan's Healthcare System." Presented at Public Administration Theory Network Annual Conference. Vancouver, May 30 2016.
  • Daisy Raphael, Drew Brown, and Justin Leifso. "'Did the Earth Move?': Gender, Sexuality and Nation in Political Cartoons of Canada et La Belle Province." Presented at the Canadian Political Science Association Annual Conference, Ottawa ON May 2015.
  • Justin Leifso, "The New West Partnership and Canadian Regionalism." Presented at the British Association of Canadian Studies 2011 Annual Conference. Birmingham, UK April 2011.
  • Justin Leifso. "Canadian Regionalism and the Territorial Trap." Presented at the Prairie Political Science Association 2010 Annual Conference. Winnipeg, MB October 2010.