Department of Political Science

Dr. Alexandra Dobrowolsky

Dr. Alexandra Dobrowolsky

Professor, Political Science Department
BA (U. of Toronto/Queen's), MA (Dalhousie), PhD (Carleton)

Office: McNally North 405
Phone: (902) 420-5895

Alexandra Dobrowolsky
holds the rank of Professor of Political Science. She completed her PhD at Carleton University in 1996, and then a Postdoctoral fellowship at Dalhousie University in 1997. She worked as an Assistant Professor in Political Science at York University from 1997-2000. She joined the Saint Mary's University Political Science Department in 2000. Her research, writing and teaching deal with the theories and practices of representation, mobilization, citizenship, and democratic governance. Her recent work explored changing citizenship regimes in relation to social policy, as well as to security and immigration in Canada and Britain. She is currently examining the impact of the devolution of Canadian Immigration Policy on equality and multiculturalism.

Teaching Focus

Canadian Politics and policy; Comparative Politics and policy; Women and Politics and policy; constitutionalism and constitutional mobilization; political parties, social movements and democratic change

Significant Career Contributions

Received Saint Mary’s University Student Association (SMUSA) University-wide Teaching Award. (Awarded at the Charter Day Ceremonial Dinner, March 25, 2017)

Received Educational Excellence Award (2014) from the Saint Mary's University Student Association (SMUSA) at the Charter Day Ceremonial Dinner, March 29, 2014.

Published The Politics of Pragmatism: Women, Representation and Constitutionalism in Canada. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2000. 320 pp.
Organized panels and workshops at national and international conferences (Canadian Political Science Association; American Political Science Association; Metropolis).

Served on the Samuel Beer Prize Committee of the British Politics Group, American Political Science Association. Acted as Chair of the Jill Vickers Prize Committee for the Canadian Political Science Association (CPSA).

Acted as Section Head for the CPSA for the Law, Public Policy and Public Administration Section , and more recently, for the Women, Gender and Politics Section.

Recent Publications

Books and Major Reports

Expanding the Vision: Why Nova Scotia Should  Look Beyond Econocentric Immigration Policy. Halifax: Centre for Policy Alternatives- Nova Scotia.  2014. Co-written with H. Ramos.

Final Report. Gender, Migration and Diversity/ Immigrant Women Domain, Atlantic Metropolis Centre. Co-authored with E. Tastsoglou and M. Jose Yax-Fraser, 56 pp.

Editor. Women and Public Policy in Canada. Neoliberalism and After? Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2009.

Security and Immigration, Changes and Challenges: Immigrant and Ethnic Communities in Atlantic Canada Presumed Guilty. Ottawa: Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Status of Women Canada, Canadian Heritage, 2007. Co-written with D. Crocker, E. Keeble, and E. Tastsoglou.

Editor. Women, Migration and Citizenship: Making Local, National and Transnational Connections. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006. Co-edited by E. Tastsoglou. 258 pp.

Editor. Women Making Constitutions: New Politics and Comparative Perspectives. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003. Co-edited by V. Hart. 277 pp.


“Nuancing Neoliberalism: Lessons Learned from a Failed Immigration Experiment.” Journal of International Migration and Integration Vol. 14 (2) pp.197-218 (e-version first published in 2012).

“Redrawing Security, Politics, Law and Rights: Reflections on the Post 9/11 Decade.” Review of Constitutional Studies. Guest edited special issue. [co-edited with M. Doucet], 165 pp.

“Introduction: Redrawing Security, Politics, Law and Rights: Reflections on the Post 9/11 Decade.” Special Issue of the Review of Constitutional Studies. [co-authored with Marc Doucet], pp.129-137

"The Intended and Unintended Effects of a New Immigration Strategy: Insights from Nova Scotia's Provincial Nominee Program." Studies in Political Economy 87 (Spring 2011). 109-142.

"Ruth Lister: Citizenship in Theory and in Practice.” Women's Studies Quarterly 38: 1& 2 (Spring/Summer 2010). 295-301.

"Interrogating 'Invisibilization' and 'Instrumentalization': Women and Current Citizenship Trends in Canada". Citizenships Studies 12:4 (November 2008). 465-475.

"(In)Security and Citizenship: Security, Im/migration and Shrinking Citizenship Regimes." Theoretical Inquiries in Law 8:2 (July 2007). 628-661.

"Agency, Actors and Change in a Child-Focused Future: 'Path Dependency Problematised'." Commonwealth and Comparative Politics 43:1 (2004). Co-written with D. Saint-Martin. 1-23.

"The Chrétien Legacy and Women: Changing Policy Priorities with Little Cause for Celebration." Review of Constitutional Studies 9:1&2 (2004). 71-198.

"Shifting Representations of Citizenship: Canadian Politics of 'Women' and 'Children' ." Social Politics 11:2 (2004). Co-written with J. Jenson.154-180.

"Rhetoric versus Reality: The Discourse of the Child and New Labour's Social Investment State." Studies in Political Economy 69 (2002). 43-73.

"Crossing Boundaries: Exploring and Mapping Women's Constitutional Interventions in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland." Social Politics 9 (Summer/Autumn 2002). 293-340.

"Social Investment: The Discourse and the Dimensions of Change." Modernizing the Welfare State: The Blair Legacy. Ed. Martin Powell. Bristol: Policy Press 2008. 125-142.


Book Sections

“Weapons of Mass Distraction: Migration, Multiculturalism and Citizenship in Two Contrasting Election Campaigns,” in Aude Claire Fourot, Nora Nagels and Mireille Paquet eds., Citizenship as a Regime: Canadian and International Perspectives, Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press (forthcoming).

“Why Networks Matter and How They Work? The Role of Social Networks in Attracting and Retaining Immigrants,” in Glenda Tibe Bonifacio and Julie L. Drolet eds., Canadian Perspectives on Immigration in Small Cities, Switzerland: Springer, 2017. pp. 141-169.

“That Was Then and This is Now: The Sad but True Story of a Shrinking Equality Opportunity Structure,” in L. Harder and S. Patten (eds.) The Patriation Negotiations, Vancouver: UBC Press, 2015. pp. 290-311.

“At Home, Down East? Immigration, Integration and Belonging in Atlantic Canada,” in E. Tastsoglou, A. Dobrowolsky and B. Cottrell (eds.) The Warmth of the Welcome: Is Atlantic Canada a Home Away from Home for Immigrants? Sydney: UCB Press, 2015. Co-authored with E. Tastsoglou and B. Cottrell, pp. 1-36.

“Choices, Calculations and Commitments that Help to Create a Home Away from Home,” in E. Tastsoglou, A. Dobrowolsky and B. Cottrell (eds.) The Warmth of the Welcome: Is Atlantic Canada a Home Away from Home for Immigrants? Sydney: UCB Press, 2015 in review. Co-authored with C. Bryan and P. Gardiner Barber. pp. 60-79.

“The Women’s Movement in Flux: Feminism and Framing, Passion and Politics,” in Miriam Smith (ed.) Group Politics and Social Movements in Canada, 2nd edition (Toronto: University of Toronto Press); substantially revised for 2nd edition.

“Not the Usual Story and Not the Usual Suspects: Women and Economic Migration,” in Rachel Brickner (ed.) Migration, Globalization and the State (Houndmills: Palgrave).

"Continuity and Change in Immigration Policy: Canada, Atlantic Canada and the Future of Citizenship." Shaping an Agenda for Atlantic Canada. John G. Reid & Donald J. Savoie eds. Black Point: Fernwood, 2011. Co-authored with Evangelia Tastsoglou.

"Women and Politics in Canada: More Image Than Substance.” Women and Politics Around the World: A Comparative History and Survey. Joyce Gelb and Marian Lief Palley eds. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2009.

“Neo-liberalism and After?” Women and Public Policy in Canada: Neoliberalism and After? Alexandra Dobrowolsky ed. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2009.

“Charter Champions: Equality Backsliding, the Charter and the Courts.” Women and Public Policy in Canada: Neoliberalism and After? Alexandra Dobrowolsky ed. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2009.

“Security, Insecurity and Human Rights: Contextualizing Post 9/11.” Anti-Terrorism: Security and Insecurity after 9/11. Sandra Rollings Magnussen ed. Halifax: Fernwood, 2009. Co-authored with Marc Doucet and Sandra Rollings Magnussen.

“Émergence d'un référential global sous tension: l'investissement social au Canada.” Politiques publiques et démocratie. Olivier Giraud and Philippe Warin eds., (Paris: Editions la decouverte, 2008. Co-authored with Pascal Dufour, Jane Jenson, Denis Saint-Martin, Deena White.

“Social Investment: the Discourse and the Dimensions of Change.” Modernising the Welfare State: The Blair legacy. Martin Powell ed. (Bristol: The Policy Press, 2008. Co-authored with Ruth Lister.

"The Women's Movement in Flux: Feminism and Framing, Passion and Politics." Group Politics and Social Movements in Canada. Ed. Miriam Smith. Peterborough: Broadview Press, 2008. 159-180.

"Constitutions and Charters of Rights." Canadian Politics: Democracy and Dissent. Eds. Joan Grace and Byron Sheldrick. Toronto: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2006.

"Crossing Boundaries and Making Connections." Women, Migration and Citizenship: Making Local, National and Transnational Connections. Co-written with E. Tastsoglou.

"Social Exclusion and Changes to Citizenship: Women and Children, Minorities and Migrants in Britain." Women, Migration and Citizenship: Making Local, National and Transnational Connections.

"Social Learning, Third Way Politics, and Welfare State Redesign." New Institutionalism: Theory and Analysis. Ed. André Lecours. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005. Co-written with D. Saint-Martin. 245-275.

"Social Investment Perspectives and Practices: A Decade in British Politics." Social Policy Review 17. Eds. Martin Powell et al. Bristol: The Policy Press, 2005. Co-authored with J. Jenson. 203-230.

"Of Cairns and Cages: Identity, Democracy and Alan Cairns." Insiders and Outsiders : Alan Cairns and the Reshaping of Canadian Citizenship. Eds. Gerald Kernerman and Philip Resnick. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2005. Co-authored with R. Devlin. 297-315.

"Political Parties: Teletubby Politics, the Third Way and Democratic Challenges/ers." Canadian Politics in the 21st Century. Eds. Michael S. Whittington and Glen Williams. Scarborough: Nelson, 2004.

"Shifting 'States'. States, Strategies and Identities: Women's Constitutional Organizing Across Time and Space." Women's Movements Facing the Reconfigured State. Eds. Karen Beckwith, Lee Ann Banaszak and Dieter Rucht. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003. 114-140.



"Workshop Report." Women and Migration: Pre-Conference Workshop, 11th International Metropolis Conference, Lisbon, Portugal. Canada: Status of Women Canada, 2007. 1-18.

Recent Conference Papers

“Deconstructing the Gender vs Culture Debate: Intercuturalism, Quebec Feminisms and the Charter of Values.” Canadian Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Brock University, St. Catharines, ON, May 27-29,

“From Acclaim to Calamity? Multi-Level Migration, Multiculturalism and Equality, Competing Contentions” invited to deliver Bell Lecture in Parliamentary Democracy, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON February 25, 2014.         

“Reversals and Revelations: Recasting Multiculturalism and Equality in Canada.” Paper prepared for First International Conference on Public Policy, Grenoble, France, June 25-28, 2013.

“Gender Dialogues and Disruptions: Interrupting the Patriarchal Monologue in Northern Ireland?” Public lecture prepared for Continuing Education, Saint Mary’s University, Irish Certificate Program.  Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax, NS, April 17, 2013.

“Reversals and Revelations: Reformulating the Gender v. Culture Question.” Presentation for National Metropolis Conference, Ottawa, ON, March 14-15, 2013.

“Current Policy Challenges facing Atlantic Canada.”  Presentation for the National Round Table, Canadian Priorities Agenda, organized by the Institute for Research on Public Policy (IRPP) at the Marriot Hotel, Halifax, NS, November 28, 2012 (invited).

Awards & Distinctions

Collaborator, “Pathways to Prosperity: New policy directions and innovative local practices for newcomer attraction and integration” Principal Investigator, Vicki Esses, University of Western Ontario, SSHRC Grant. 2012.

Co-Principal Investigator Atlantic Metropolis Project Grant (2010).

Co-Principal Investigator Atlantic Metropolis Pilot Project (2008).

SSHRC Grant Co-Applicant: "Immigration and the Metropolis" (2007).

Jill Vicker's Prize, Canadian Political Science Association (2006).

Small Grant, Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, Saint Mary's University (2005-2006).

Travel Grant, Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, Saint Mary's University (2005).

Best Policy Paper Award, awarded by the Centre for the Study of Public Policy (Memorial University) at the Atlantic Provinces Political Studies Association Meetings (2003).

Canadian Heritage Grant: Gender, Security, Immigration, Citizenship (2003–2005).

Status of Women Canada: Gender, Security, Immigration, Citizenship (2003–2005).

SSHRC Strategic Grant: Social Cohesion (2000–2003).

Saint Mary's New Faculty Start-Up Grant (2001).

Nomination for the Dean's Award for Research Excellence, at York University (2000).