David McGrane - Political Scientist


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 was 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 also analyzed the NDP under the leadership of Thomas Mulcair as it adjusted to its new role as the Official Opposition, grappled with the task of representing three-quarters of Quebec’s ridings, and fought the 2015 federal election. The primary result of the project was a book entitled The New NDP: Moderation, Modernization, and Political Marketing published by University of British Columbia Press. 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. Applied Political Theory and Canadian Politics, co-edited by David McGrane and Neil Hibbert and published by University of Toronto Press, provided 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.

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, Back to Blakeney: The Revitalization of the Democratic State explores the challenges facing democracy in Canada and reviews the legacy that Blakeney left Canadian politics. 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. It was published by University of Regina Press in 2019.