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.
  • Arthur Kroker is a leading leading futurist with an interest in a wide range of issues related to the ethics and politics of information technology and biotechnology, critical feminist theory, politics of the body, and digital media. He was a Canada Research Chair in Culture, Technology and Theory from 2003-17) and was editor of CTheory and CTheory Multimedia, co-editor of CTheory (www.ctheory.net). He was a founding editor of the Canadian Journal of Social and Political Theory and Director of UVic's Pacific Centre for Technology and Culture
  • Warren Magnusson is one of the few political theorists with an abiding interest in local government and a leading Canadian analyst of the urban and the local as political phenomena.
  • Mara Marin specializes in feminist theory, social theory, the history of political thought, structural injustice, oppression, domination, legal theory and political obligation.
  • James Tully is one of the four Trudeau Foundation Fellows and a leading historian of 17th and 18th century political thought. He is a former advisor to the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, and a world-renowned political philosopher.
  • R.B.J. (Rob) Walker is the long-time editor of Alternatives: Global, Local, Political and one of the world's best known critical theorists of international relations and world politics.

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.

Colin Bennett's work on surveillance also intersects with some of the themes in contemporary political theory, as well as with the research interests of the new Pacific Centre for Technology and Culture. In fact, there is a strong theoretical dimension to the work of all the faculty in UVic's Political Science Department.

Outside the Department per se are figures like Jeremy Webber (Law), R. Michael M'Gonigle, (Law), Gerald (Taiaiake) Alfred, (Indigenous Governance), 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 '80s and '90s, 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.