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Alain-G. Gagnon

  • Fellow 2010
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Professor of political science
Université du Québec à Montréal

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.