My research objective is to create institutions that are more reflective and representative of Canadian society. I have two main goals: first, to develop research-driven responses to political inequality, racism and misogyny, and second, to train and support a new, more diverse generation of social scientists.

My work is multi-method, and I use content analysis, interviews, experiments, and survey data as my primary methods. I am particularly drawn toward research that requires the construction and analysis of original datasets. Whether it is sifting through thousands of media articles, conducting more than 100 elite interviews, compiling comprehensive data on more than 4,000 electoral candidates, or coding the gender and ethnicity of thousands of political donors, I love work that presents data that is fresh but time-consuming to collect and which involves student researchers in the creation of new knowledge.

My book, Framed: Media and the Coverage of Race in Canadian Politics, received the 2017 Donald Smiley Prize, which recognizes the best book published in Canadian government and politics. I am the co-editor of six additional books, including the most recent, Women, Power, and Political RepresentationPeer-reviewed articles appear in Electoral StudiesPolitics & GenderJournal of Ethnic and Migration StudiesCanadian Journal of Political Science, and other outlets.

I have been lucky to work with excellent collaborators on a number of projects, including several funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council. At present, my research is supported by the Canada Research Chairs program.

My research occurs in four main streams:

Political representation

This research focuses on the political representation of race and gender, primarily in Canada. This work is institutionally oriented and traces patterns of inclusion and exclusion.

Race and gender in elections

This stream examines the impact of race and gender on elections and explores issues related to vote choice, political participation and electoral behaviour.

Media coverage

In this stream, I answer questions about how the media cover issues related to race, immigration, and multiculturalism.

Diversity in political science

The fourth stream looks at diversity in political science, with a focus on how questions related to gender, race, and Indigeneity are taught and communicated.

I have a number of projects in progress. These include:

  • Analyzing gendered assessments of mayoral candidates in Canadian cities
  • Charting how race, gender and intersectionality affect the recruitment of electoral candidates
  • Researching the links between race, gender and online harassment of electoral candidates
  • Examining how negative group-based rhetoric influences the attitudes and participation of racialized and ethnic minority voters
  • Cataloguing the representation of Indigenous peoples in political science textbooks

New research

How diverse is Canadian politics?

Introducing a new dataset on the demographics of more than 4,500 federal election candidates

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Gender and donations in Canadian elections

We examine more than 1 million donations to Canadian parties and federal candidates over a 25-year period

Photo credit: Guillaume Levasseur, Le Devoir

The election of Valérie Plante

Did gender matter in the election of Montreal's first woman mayor? Mireille Paquet and I say yes and no

Ethnicity and political donations

An in-depth analysis of donations during the 2015 Canadian election shows evidence of co-ethnic affinity and a high rate of contributions from South Asian Canadians

Race and candidate recruitment

Does who you know matter? This study shows that racialized candidates are most likely to emerge in districts with racialized local party presidents.

Do women do better in municipal politics?

Conventional wisdom suggests local politics will be more open to women, but my research suggests that's not the case.