David McGrane - Political Scientist

Research

Dr. McGrane’s current research centers on the federal NDP, political marketing, political theory, and Allan Blakeney.

Canadian Social Democracy Study/Étude sur la social-démocratie au Canada

The electoral success of the federal New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP) during the leadership of Jack Layton was stunning. In the 2011, the NDP scored a historic breakthrough as it formed Official Opposition for the first time and won a large majority of seats in Quebec where it had only ever won one seat in a federal election. The objective of this SSHRC-funded study is to explain the electoral success of the NDP under Layton’s leadership, with a particular focus on its unanticipated surge of popularity in Quebec. The project will also analyze the NDP under the leadership of Thomas Mulcair as it adjusts to its new role as the Official Opposition, grapples with the task of representing three-quarters of Quebec’s ridings, and prepares for the next federal election. The result of the project will be a book-length manuscript to be submitted to University of British Columbia Press and the creation of a network of academics studying the federal NDP. See www.canadiansocialdemocracy or www.socialdemocratieaucanada.ca for more information.

Applying Political Theory to Canadian Politics

While a number of academics across Canada are currently producing research that could be considered ‘political theory’, there are very few edited collections that seek to bring this type of work together into a single book. Applying Political Theory to Canadian Politics, co-edited by David McGrane and Neil Hibbert, provides a forum for scholars to engage with the broad international debates of political theory from a uniquely Canadian perspective. The premise of the collection is that the Canadian experience has something distinctive and special to offer contemporary debates in political theory on such issues as ideology, equality, democracy, nationalism, citizenship, multiculturalism, and justice.  The collection of twenty original essays currently under peer review with University of Toronto Press.

Allan Blakeney and the Challenges Facing Canadian Democracy

As a politician, public administrator, lawyer, and professor, Allan Blakeney cared passionately about improving Canadian democracy in all of its aspects. Edited by Dr. McGrane, John Whyte, Roy Romanow, and Russ Isinger, this collection explores the challenges facing democracy in Canada and review the strengths and weaknesses of contemporary democratic practices. This collection seeks to promote debate and reflection on such elements of democracy as ensuring social justice through the welfare state and governmental intervention in the economy; legal structures that guarantee effective protection of human rights; maintaining the integrity of voting; the practice of federalism and its effect onminority political communities; and the encouragement of excellence in public administration. The collection will soon be submitted to University of Regina Press for peer review.