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 Queen's University, Carleton University and McGill University. He is the founding director of the Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire sur la diversité au Québec (CRIDAQ) as well as the director of the Groupe de recherche sur les sociétés plurinationales (GRSP) and the newly established Centre d’analyse politique – Constitution et Fédéralisme (CAPCF).
An internationally renowned researcher and political scientist, Alain-G. Gagnon actively contributes to the debate on the organization and future of both small nations and minority nations. His work spans different fields of analysis, from regional development to the sociology of intellectuals, political economy and questions of federalism and nationalism. His engagement is demonstrated in both his passion for teaching young researchers and his participation in public debate. His work has also profoundly influenced researchers on federalism in Belgium, Spain, the United Kingdom and Canada.
Alain-G. Gagnon pioneered the comparative study of smaller societies and minority nations, a fast-growing field, and has become one of the most influential experts on these issues. The collective work he co-directed with James Tully at Cambridge University Press, 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.
He just completed his most important intellectual project consisting of three volumes: The Case for Multinational Federalism: Beyond the All-Encompassing Nation (Routledge, 2010, Josep Maria Vilaseca i Marcet Book Award, Generalitat de Catalunya), Minority Nations in the Age of Uncertainty: New Paths to National Emancipation and Empowerment (UTP, 2014 – Finalist to the Smiley Book Award, Canadian Political Science Association), and The Legitimacy Clash (forthcoming UTP). These books give shape to what is now depicted as the Quebec school of federalism.
Translated in 20 languages, his work has earned him several honors, including the Governor General's International Award for Canadian Studies (2016), the Ordre de la Pléiade - Ordre de la Francophonie et du dialogue des cultures (2018), and the Order of Canada (Officer) in 2019. In 2020, the American Political Science Association granted him the Mildred A. Schwartz Lifetime Academic Achievement. After serving as President of the Academy of Social Sciences of the Royal Society of Canada from 2017 to 2019, he has just been confirmed as President of the RSC from 2022 to 2025.