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Research in Progress Seminars (RIPS)

Winter 2014


Thursday, February 6th -- 2.30 p.m. - 4.00 p.m., KTH-732
Dr. Dustin Garrick, Assistant Professor and Philomathia Chair of Water Policy, McMaster

Policy responses to the global water crisis: a comparison of three public policy paradigms.

The World Economic Forum identified water crises as the third highest concern for global leaders in its 2014 risks survey -- the third consecutive year for water to be among the top five. This reflects the growing perception of a 'global water crisis' interconnected with climate, demographic, and economic change.  This talk compares three prominent features of policy responses to water stress and climate extremes: water markets, environmental federalism, and water security.  Two studies are used to examine the evolution and impacts of these trends.  First, an interdisciplinary policy evaluation of water allocation reform in Western North America and Australia illustrates theory and evidence about factors associated with sustainable water management.  Second, a newly launched global study of institutional pathways to water security and economic development highlights the opportunities for and limits of comparative water policy research across diverse contexts.  The findings from this research guide a long-term agenda to understand the drivers of the global water crisis and identify the most effective water policy responses in different geographic and political economic settings.


Thursday March 6th -- 2.30 p.m. - 4.00 p.m., KTH-732
Dr. Nicole Goodman, Assistant Professor, Political Science, McMaster

Internet voting, one part of the e-Democracy pie: Impacts in Canada and Europe.

The proliferation of digital and mobile technologies is having dramatic impacts on our society - the ways in which we connect, communicate, and take part politically. Internet voting is one of the primary policy changes governments are entertaining to keep up with technological change in other areas of society, to make electroal processes more accessible and attempt to improve falling rates of voter turnout.  This talk examines the impacts of Internet voting in a comparative context, but with a special focus on Canada given that it is the world leader in online voting at the local level.  It explores why jurisdictions adopt online voting, who makes use of it, its potential to improve electoral participation (especially among young people), and the best practices we can learn from Canadian muncipalities for the deployment of Internet voting programmes at other levels of government in Canada or in other jurisdictions.  This research is part of a project to understand the impacts of Internet voting in Canada.  It will be expanded in the coming year to include important comparative research possibilities.


Thursday March 20th -- 2.30 p.m. - 4.00 p.m., KTH-732
Dr. John Hobson, Professor Politics and International Relations, University of Sheffield and visiting Harry Lyman Hooker Fellow

From Eurocentric International Relations/Political Economy to Non-Eurocentric Intercivilizational Relations/Political Economy.

John Hobson gained his Ph.D. from the LSE (1991) and is now Professor of Politics and International Relations at the University of Sheffield.  His main research interest concerns the area of inter-civilisational relations and everyday political economy in the context of globalisation, past and present.  His work is principally involved in carrying forward the critique of Eurocentrism in World History/Historical Sociology, and International Relations.  He is the author of eight books, including The Eurocentric Conception of World Politics: Western International Theory, 1760-2010 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012) and The Eastern Origins of Western Civilisation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004).


Thursday April 3rd -- 2.30 p.m. - 4.00 p.m., KTH-732
Dr. Ritu Mathur, Banting Postdoctoral Fellow, Political Science, McMaster

Civilization Consciousness and the Problem of Weapons.

Samuel Huntington cite weapons proliferation as an 'intercivilizational issue' that positions the 'West and the Rest' in confrontation with each other.  This paper suggests that rhetorical observations that castigate the other as 'rogue', 'barbarian' vis-a-vis the 'civilized' have gained global currency among academics, politicians and policy makers in the everyday discourses on arms control and diasarmament.  The violence of these civilizational practices has scarcely been questioned within the field of arms control and diasarmament.  It is imperative that the reiteration and circulation of this violence premised on civilizational pracitices for centuries should now be questioned.  This paper is therefore an attempt to undertake a contrapuntal analyses of the emerging body of literature on civilizational discourses and the postcolonial critique of Eurocentric practices of discrimination in the context of weapons.  It then undertakes an empirical analyses of developments within the field of arms control and disarmament.  This helps demonstrate how the duality of the West and the Rest has been deliberately constituted and reinforced with respect to weapons.  An investigation of the possibilities and limits of this duality can help advance or constrain the agenda of arms control and disarmament.



Fall 2013

Thursday, October 10th -- 2:30 - 4:00 p.m., KTH 732
Roundtable on Turkey:  Views from the Gezi Park protests, summer 2013

The Department of Political Science invites you to a roundtable discussion of the ongoing protests in Turkey.  Berkay Ayhan, Koray Mutlu, and Armagan Teke (PhD candidates in Political Science at McMaster) each participated in the Gezi Park demonstrations this past summer.  They will provide background on Turkish politics, share their experiences as participants in the demonstrations, and discuss the implications of these protests in the context of broader issues of democratization, political economy and foreign policy of Turkey. 

Thursday, September 19th -- 2:30 - 4:00 p.m.,  KTH 732
"Strong Constitutions:  Why Monopolies of Power Are Better Thank Checks and Balances"
Maxwell Cameron, Director of the Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions,
Department of Political Science, University of British Columbia


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