Debra Thompson

Photograph of Debra ThompsonDr. Debra Thompson is the Canada Research Chair in Racial Inequality and Democratic Societies at McGill University. She is a leading scholar of the comparative politics of race, with teaching and research interests that focus on the dynamics of racial inequality in democratic societies. Dr. Thompson’s award-winning book, The Schematic State: Race, Transnationalism, and the Politics of the Census (Cambridge University Press, 2016) is a study of the political development of racial classifications on the national censuses of the United States, Canada, and Great Britain. The book maps the changing nature of the census from an instrument historically used to manage and control racialized populations to its contemporary purpose as an important source of statistical information, employed for egalitarian ends. Her research has also appeared journals such as in the Canadian Journal of Political Science, South Atlantic Quarterly, Social and Legal Studies, and Ethnic and Racial Studies, among others. Dr. Thompson previously taught at the University of Oregon and Northwestern University, and held a SSHRC postdoctoral fellowship with the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University in 2010-2011.

Course offered:

Complexity Seminar: Race, Inequality, and Public Policy


PhD, Political Science, University of Toronto (2010)


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