Relevant Degree Programs
Complete these steps before you reach out to a faculty member!
- Familiarize yourself with program requirements. You want to learn as much as possible from the information available to you before you reach out to a faculty member. Be sure to visit the graduate degree program listing and program-specific websites.
- Check whether the program requires you to seek commitment from a supervisor prior to submitting an application. For some programs this is an essential step while others match successful applicants with faculty members within the first year of study. This is either indicated in the program profile under "Requirements" or on the program website.
- Identify specific faculty members who are conducting research in your specific area of interest.
- Establish that your research interests align with the faculty member’s research interests.
- Read up on the faculty members in the program and the research being conducted in the department.
- Familiarize yourself with their work, read their recent publications and past theses/dissertations that they supervised. Be certain that their research is indeed what you are hoping to study.
- Compose an error-free and grammatically correct email addressed to your specifically targeted faculty member, and remember to use their correct titles.
- Do not send non-specific, mass emails to everyone in the department hoping for a match.
- Address the faculty members by name. Your contact should be genuine rather than generic.
- Include a brief outline of your academic background, why you are interested in working with the faculty member, and what experience you could bring to the department. The supervision enquiry form guides you with targeted questions. Ensure to craft compelling answers to these questions.
- Highlight your achievements and why you are a top student. Faculty members receive dozens of requests from prospective students and you may have less than 30 seconds to pique someone’s interest.
- Demonstrate that you are familiar with their research:
- Convey the specific ways you are a good fit for the program.
- Convey the specific ways the program/lab/faculty member is a good fit for the research you are interested in/already conducting.
- Be enthusiastic, but don’t overdo it.
G+PS regularly provides virtual sessions that focus on admission requirements and procedures and tips how to improve your application.
Graduate Student Supervision
Doctoral Student Supervision (Jan 2008 - Nov 2019)
This study uses the China case to revisit some of the central assumptions of the literature on citizenship, showing how citizens and states are formed in and through the local places where citizenship is practiced. It suggests that the location of the political and of citizens have been an understudied aspect of citizenship orders, not just in relation to the growing impact of global and transnational forces, but also in sub-state entities.Through fine-grained examination of the daily interactions between citizens and state agents, this study shows how citizenship in China is embedded in local relationships of belonging, participation and entitlement anchored in institutions that organize people in workplaces, urban neighborhoods and rural villages. Based on 10 months of ethnographic fieldwork in four communities in Tianjin, China, the study examines how two such institutions, the villager and residents committees, act as a nexus for participation and formal rights, while also providing social welfare to the needy. The practices of these institutions bind citizens to the state through a face-to-face politics that acts both as a mechanism of control and a channel for claims-making and pressure from below, a mode of rule I call “socialized governance.” Both enabling and constraining, this exists in tension with bureaucratic-rational forms of governance, such as the current Chinese leadership’s objective of “ruling in accordance with law.” While the frameworks for citizenship are set at the national level, its local, cellular character means great variation among places in both form and practice. My model of local citizenship helps explain patterns of economic and social inequality and of contentious politics in contemporary China. While the unsettling of the congruence between the national and citizenship has been widely noted, this study points to how local, national and global institutionalized dimensions of citizenship have consistently been mediated through or exercised in sub-state entities. The narrative of the nation-state has so dominated the literature on citizenship that it has generally made invisible the actual techniques and processes through which citizenship orders are made, re-made and contested. As a unitary state with a strong national project, the China case provides intriguing material for rethinking how the local shapes citizenship.
Master's Student Supervision (2010 - 2018)
Small states are in a unique position, where they cannot hope to meet their foreign policy and security objectives through hard power. Rather, small states must balance against large neighbors via more subtle and nuanced ways. Through a critique of soft power, the author presents a new analytical framework for understanding small power and new criteria for defining “smallness” in today’s international system. Small power attempts to explain small state foreign policy decision-making and the role that “attractiveness” plays in their relations with larger states. One potential source of small power- democratic governance- is explored through a detailed look at the Mongolian model of democratization as a foreign policy tool in its “third neighbor policy”. Successful democratic transitions in small states can attract more security-related, economic, and institutional support from leading democratic countries than their small size might initially suggest.
How does adoption of information communication technology (ICT) alter the balance of power between state and society in Asia? There is no question that these tools – the Internet, mobile phones, and social media – are transforming the political communications landscape across the region. Since political science views power as zero-sum, a central question is how its distribution is altered between digitally-strengthened states and digitally-empowered societal actors. On the one hand, societal actors are empowered through increased information access and dissemination, as well as decreased costs of mobilization and organization. At the same time, the state's digital capacity is greatly enhanced through increased information collection, monitoring, and control. This study hypothesizes that adoption of ICT in Asian states empowers societal actors over time enhancing non-electoral democratic processes subject to regime legitimacy and the digital state capacity governments build and apply. It first develops a theory for how ICT empowers both societal actors and states before testing this across Asian states through a quantitative analysis. The results suggest that Asian state policy determines whether and how ICT empowers societal actors and net political change. It then develops this policy concept through the lens of digital state capacity - how states control and manage digital information. Finally it conducts a qualitative analysis for China on the interaction of ICT adoption, regime legitimacy, and digital state capacity policy to determine net political change. The results demonstrate that while ICT adoption has strengthened the Chinese state through digital state capacity this has come at the loss of state control over a range of political issues. For these issues, the net result in China has been empowered-societal actors and enhanced transparency and accountability.
My thesis briefly discusses decision-making basic theory, in particular the deliberation method, and applies it to decision-making in the mining sector when making investment agreements between government and the private sector. However, decisions could be examined and applied in every industry sector. For instance, the mining sector includes many different decision making methods such as cost benefit analysis and socio-economic, environmental and health impact assessments. Every analysis and impact assessment requires different stakeholder participants and analysts from different sciences. This can sometimes make decisions more complicated. My thesis analyzes the planned Oyu Tolgoi (OT) copper and gold project in Mongolia using the Multi Account Evaluation method, which includes financial, economical, social and environmental analysis. It also briefly discusses social and environmental impacts from the Mongolian government point of view and whether this project will have a positive or negative influence on Mongolian economic and social development. My thesis also shows the current Mongolian decision-making situation and its problems.
- Canada’s foreign policy and bureaucratic (un)responsiveness: public diplomacy in the digital domain (2018)
Canadian Foreign Policy Journal, , 1--21