In conversation with Daniel Béland: Director of McGill Institute for the Study of Canada

Under Professor Béland’s leadership, the Institute is continuing to lead informed discussions of public policy and political issues at a time when many Canadians are seeking credible sources. On March 21-22, MISC will host a timely event on federalism and politics in Canada.

Daniel Béland officially arrived on campus in January 2019 and has quickly settled into his new roles as Professor in the Department of Political Science and Director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada (MISC).

After an interesting few weeks in Canadian politics, Professor Béland is now known to many more beyond the Roddick Gates. A widely-cited scholar specializing in Canadian and comparative politics, as well as public policy, Professor Béland has so far granted over 70 media interviews on the SNC Lavalin story.

Between settling into life at McGill and many conversations with the press, Professor Béland, together with the MISC team, has hosted a number of successful events. This week, the Institute is set to welcome close to 200 guests at the 24th MISC Annual Conference on Federalism and Canada’s Shifting Political Landscape.

Taking place on March 21-22, the conference will present nine different panels that will discuss several issues facing today's Canadians. Gathering experts from all around the country, the panels will feature former political officials, including three former premiers, as well as academics, civil servants, and people from the private sector. The conference will deal with a number of important issues like immigration, the environment, natural resources, as well as recent and forthcoming provincial elections. One panel will discuss a recent poll about political attitudes in Canada ahead of the next federal elections.

“The panels will touch on some of the recent controversies over different issues such as pipelines, carbon pricing, and even the recent SNC Lavalin affair - issues that will set the table for the forthcoming Federal Elections in Canada,” says Professor Béland.

Open to students and the public, MISC expects a great turnout to the event. As Professor Béland explains, MISC is about bringing people together from different parts of the country and different backgrounds, while also bringing academics and non-academics together.

“Public education, public engagement, public affairs are really key to our institute. We are involved in undergraduate education, research, but we are also involved in public outreach and public education. Our events are attended by a wide range of individuals, not just students, researchers, and professors but also people from outside of academia, from the government, from civil society and informed citizens who care about the past present and the future of Canada,” he says.

About Daniel Béland

Professor Béland’s main appointment is in the Department of Political Science with ties to the Department of Sociology as well as the Max Bell School of Public Policy.

Before joining the McGill community, Professor Béland held the Canada Research Chair in Public Policy (Tier 1) at the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy. He holds a PhD from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Paris), where he returned as a visiting scholar in the spring of 2014. He has been a visiting scholar at Harvard University and the National University of Singapore, a visiting professor at the University of Helsinki and the University of Southern Denmark, and a Fulbright Scholar at The George Washington University and the National Academy of Social Insurance. Before joining the University of Saskatchewan in January 2008, he taught at the University of Calgary.

Professor Béland has published more than 15 books and 130 articles in peer-reviewed journals. He specializes in the fields of Canadian and comparative politics, as well as the study of public policy, including social policy. For more on Daniel Béland, click here

About MISC

Established in 1994 thanks to an innovative agreement between the Bronfman family and McGill University, the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada (MISC) runs an academic program at McGill University, supports an active research environment, and organizes a variety of large-scale, public events on matters of interest to Canadians, including MISC's annual conferences, which attract significant attention from policy-makers, media, and the general public. While the Institute itself is non-partisan, MISC is no stranger to debate and controversy.