Contemporary Political Theory

The Political Science Department at UVic is exceptionally strong in Contemporary Political Theory and the history of political thought.

  • Rita Dhamoon specializes in theories of race-making, anti-colonialism and post-colonialism, feminist theory, identity and difference, and democracy.
  • Avigail Eisenberg has expertise in theories of political pluralism, social diversity, minority rights, and other issues related to contemporary constitutionalism.
  • Simon Glezos engages with several strands in contemporary continental political theory, including new materialisms, post-structuralism, phenomenology, radical democratic traditions, and contemporary marxist and anarchist theories.
  • Mara Marin specializes in feminist theory, social theory, the history of political thought, structural injustice, oppression, domination, legal theory and political obligation.

In addition, A. Claire Cutler has emerged as a major theorist of the international system through her studies of private international law.

Other faculty members, like Oliver Schmidtke have made significant theoretical contributions to the understanding of contemporary political movements and the accommodation of diversity in liberal democracies, and Matt James has been working on a range of important theoretical issues related to reparation and reconciliation.

Outside the Department per se are figures like Jeremy Webber (Law), Colin Macleod (Philosophy), Cindy Holder (Philosophy), and Karena Shaw (Environmental Studies), who also enhance the department’s strength in political theory.

In addition, there is the larger network of the Interdisciplinary Program in Cultural, Social and Political Thought (CSPT) which assures students access to professorial support for many forms of theoretical investigation. Warren Magnusson and Rob Walker were responsible for developing UVic's theory program in the 1980s and 1990s, and took the lead in establishing the interdisciplinary MA program in Contemporary Social and Political Thought (now called Cultural Social and Political Thought).

Students concentrating in Political Theory will be required to take the candidacy examination in Political Theory for which the required seminar is POLI 609. Possible secondary examinations may be taken in International Relations, Comparative Politics, Canadian Politics, Indigenous Governance and CSPT.