Carleton University is adding to its roster of Canada Research Chairs (CRC) with Political Science Prof. Erin Tolley, the new CRC (Tier II) in Gender, Race, and Inclusive Politics.

“The study of societal issues such as race and gender has never been more important,” said Rafik Goubran, vice-president (Research and International).

“Adding Prof. Tolley’s research to our existing expertise in this area will advance knowledge and understanding of current trends and identify ways to improve our political processes that will benefit society as a whole.”

Prof. Erin Tolley

Prof. Erin Tolley

Tolley’s research will generate new knowledge on the representation of race and gender in Canadian politics. Collaboratively, she will develop new ways to track diversity among electoral candidates, undertake a significant project on the measurement of race in political science research, and examine institutional structures that support or suppress representation.

“Elected bodies, universities and workplaces have all been largely designed by and for the most powerful members of society,” said Tolley. “At the time of their creation, the most powerful members of society were generally propertied white men.

“Although some changes have been made, these have been made at the margins. There have not been large changes to remake these institutions. People want to look at some of the success stories, and believe there has been significant progress, but the archetypal elected official remains a white, able-bodied, middle-aged, heterosexual, white man.”

Tolley will develop research-driven responses to political inequality. In addition to these research outputs, Tolley will develop infrastructure to identify and support a new and more diverse generation of social scientists.

With the addition of Tolley, Carleton holds 30 CRC positions focused on diverse fields of research, including Indigenous culture, developmental neuroscience, photonics, particle physics and digital media.

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