Alain-G. Gagnon

Current affiliation:
Université du Québec à Montréal: Chaire de recherche du Canada en études québécoises et canadiennes

An internationally renowned researcher and political scientist, Gagnon actively contributes to the debate on the organization and future of western societies.

Professor Gagnon has pioneered comparative studies of plurinational societies in federal or federalizing settings and is a leading expert and recognized authority on the attendant issues that have arisen in different countries. His research on Canada, Belgium, Spain and Great Britain has shed new light on important aspects of the historical trajectory of Quebec and Canada. His work has been received with interest in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. At home, he has helped build bridges with First Nations communities and between Canada’s two main linguistic communities. 

Research project

Minority Nations in the Age of Uncertainty: New Paths to National Emancipation and Empowerment

Alain-G. Gagnon is a full professor of political science at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and has held the Canada Research Chair in Quebec and Canadian Studies since 2003. From 1982 to 2003, he taught at the universities of Queen's, Carleton and McGill. He is the founding director of the Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire sur la diversité au Québec (CRIDAQ) and the director of the Groupe de recherche sur les sociétés plurinationales (GRSP).

An internationally renowned researcher and political scientist, Alain-G. Gagnon actively contributes to the debate on the organization and future of western societies. His work spans different fields of analysis, from regional development to the sociology of intellectuals, political economy and the questions of federalism and nationalism. His engagement is demonstrated in both his teaching of young researchers and his participation in public debate. His work has profoundly influenced researchers on federalism in Belgium, Spain, the United Kingdom and Canada.

Alain-G. Gagnon pioneered the comparative study of small nations and plurinational societies, a fast-growing field today, and has become one of the most influential experts on these issues. The collective work he co-directed with James Tully,Multinational Democracies, has become a must-read for political scientists. It assesses the capacity of different multinational states to combine justice and stability in the management of national and cultural diversity. His work on the multination, and in particular his book titled The Case for Multinational Federalism: Beyond The All-Encompassing Nation, earned him the Josep Maria Vilaseca i Marcet award from the Generalitat de Catalonia in 2007. Recently he directed a major work on Canadian federalism which gave shape to what can be called the Quebec school of federalism. The book entitled Le fédéralisme canadien contemporain has been released by University of Toronto Press under the title of Contemporary Canadian Federalism and is now also available in Catalan and Spanish, and a German version is in the works. With his colleague Michael Burgess, from Kent University (Canterbury, England), he has just published Federal Democracies, which is destined to become a critical element in the study of comparative federalism. Alain-G. Gagnon received the Santander Award of Excellence in Research from the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid in 2010. He was appointed a member of the Royal Society of Canada in 2008.

  • July 25, 2018
    On July 12, 2018, Alain-G. Gagnon, 2010 Foundation fellow, received the insignia of the Ordre de la Pléiade (French only) from the President of the National Assembly of Quebec and President of the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie, Jacques Chagnon.
  • March 12, 2018
    Congratulations to 2010 Foundation fellow Alain-G. Gagnon, who will head the Centre d’analyse politique sur la constitution et le fédéralisme (CAP-CF) (information in French only) created on 12 March 2018 at Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). The first of its kind in Canada, the creation of the CAP-CF is part of Gagnon's third term (2017-2024) as Canada Research Chair in Quebec and Canadian Studies.