Dr. Alexandra Dobrowolsky

Dr. Alexandra Dobrowolsky

Dr. Alexandra Dobrowolsky

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

Office: McNally North 405
Email: adobrowolsky@smu.ca
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; Comparative Politics; Women, Gender and Politics ; Political Parties, Social Movements and Democratic Change; Public Policy; UK Politics

Significant Career Contributions

Saint Mary’s University Student Association (SMUSA) Faculty of Arts Excellence in Teaching Award. (Awarded at the Charter Day Ceremonial Dinner, March 25, 2017)

Saint Mary's University President's Award for research Excellence (Awarded at the Fall Convocation Oct 16 2015) 

Saint Mary's University Student Association (SMUSA) . Educational Excellence Award (Awarded 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 Search Committee for Canadian Political Sciences Association (CPSA); 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 Edited Collections

Editor. "Finding Feminisms Special Issue” Canadian Journal of Political Science (July) 50:2  [Guest edited  Special issue co-edited with F. MacDonald, T. Raney, C. Collier and P. Dufour].

Editor. The Warmth of the Welcome: Is Atlantic Canada a Home Away from Home for Immigrants?  Sydney: UCB Press  2015 [co-edited with. E. Tastsoglou and B. Cottrell], 290 pp.

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

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

Editor. “Redrawing Security, Politics, Law and Rights: Reflections on the Post 9/11 Decade.” Review of Constitutional Studies. 2012 Guest edited special issue. [co-edited with M. Doucet], 165 pp.

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


“Bad versus Big: State Imaginaries of Immigration and Citizenship.” Studies in Political Economy  (2017)98(2) pp. 197-222.

 “Gender and Care Relationships in Transnational Families: Implications for Citizenship and Belonging.” Canadian Ethnic Studies  (2017) 49 (3) [co-written with E. Tastsoglou] pp. 113-134 

 “Contouring Gender and Intergenerational Care Relationships in Transnational Families.” Migration und Soziale Arbeit 2 (2017) [co-written with E. Tastsoglou] pp.140-150.

 “Gender versus Culture Debates and Débâcles: Feminisms, Interculturalism and the Québec Charter of Values.Canadian Journal of Political Science (June 2017) 50:2, pp.515-533..

“Finding Feminisms in Canadian Political Science Scholarship: Diversity and Resistance in an Era of Global Uncertainty.” Canadian Journal of Political Science (June 2017) 50:2  [co-written with F. MacDonald, T. Raney, C. Collier and P. Dufour], pp. 403-410.

 “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).

“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 (2012) 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.

Book Sections

“Weapons of Mass Distraction?: Migration, Multiculturalism and Citizenship in Two Contrasting Election Campaigns,” in Mireille Paquet,  Nora Nagels and Aude Claire Fouro eds., Citizenship as a Regime: Canadian and International Perspectives, Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2018. pp 186-207

“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, 2013. pp 79-100.

"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. pp.263-291

"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, pp. 267-285.

“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.

"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.


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.

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

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.

Recent Conference Papers

March 2018  A. Dobrowolsky.  Commentator/Discussant. Review of Status of Women Canada’s Research Plan.  Lord Elgin Hotel, Ottawa, ON, March 22-23, 2018 (invited).

October 2017  A. Dobrowolsky, T. Findlay and A. Mandrona. “Power, Privilege, and Policymaking: Reflections on “Changing Public Engagement from the Ground Up.” Atlantic Provinces Political   

Studies Association Meeting, University of Moncton, Moncton, NB, October 13-15, 2017.

June 2017  A. Dobrowolsky, “Big versus Bad: Precarious Im/migration and Citizenship Imaginaries and  Realities,” Canadian Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Ryerson University, Toronto,ON, May 31-June 2, 2017.

May 2017   A. Dobrowolsky, “Re-Patriating Immigration: Present Day Puzzles and Problems for Neoliberalism.”  Conference in Honour of Janine Brodie, Edmonton, AB,  May 4-5, 2017 (invited).

March 2017  A. Dobrowolsky, “Imagined and Re-Imagined Communities: Canada’s Contested Citizenship Past, Present and Future. “  Visions for Canada 2042 Conference.  Carleton University, Ottawa, ON, May 1-3, 2017 (invited).  

June 2016 A. Dobrowolsky, “Reflections on BREXIT” Dalhousie University, June 21, 2016. Halifax, NS (invited).

June 2016 A. Dobrowolsky, “Weapons of Mass Distraction.” Canadian Political Science Association Annual Meeting, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, June 1-3, 2016.

May 2016 A. Dobrowolsky, “Migration, Multiculturalism and Citizenship: Canada/ UK Contrasts and Comparisons.”  European Community Studies Association of Canada (ECSA-C) 11th Biennial Conference. May 9-11, 2016. Lord Nelson Hotel. Halifax, NS.

Awards & Distinctions

Co applicant SSHRC partnership development grant 2016-2018

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).

Contact us

Faculty of Arts
Department of Political Science
Mailing address:
Saint Mary's University
923 Robie Street
Halifax, NS B3H 3C3