Shaping Democracy: Boundary Commissions, Parties, and Citizens

My primarily current research project examines Canada's Federal Boundary Commissions, focusing on the 2022 redistricting (redistribution) exercise. I am particularly interested what participants and testimony in the public hearings held by the Commissions can tell us about conceptions of political community in Canada.

Representing Diversity: Riding Associations, Minority Candidates and Minority Constituencies in Canada

My prior SSHRC-funded project (2013-2018) examined the impact of election district demography on the selection of minority and women candidates for the Canadian Parliament by riding associations and parties. See, for example:

Medeiros, Mike, Benjamin Forest, and Chris Erl (2019) “Where Women Stand: Parliamentary Candidate Selection in Canada” Politics, Groups, and Identities 7(2): 389-400: doi.org/10.1080/21565503.2018.1557056


Rethinking Minority Representation

A second, related project (with co-investigator Mike Medeiros, Political Science, University of Montreal) explored options for increasing the political representation of minority groups. We examine various options, including the creation of non-contiguous ridings. This work was funded by SSHRC and the Centre for the Study of Democratic Citizenship. Some publications from this project are:

Forest, Benjamin and Mike Medeiros (forthcoming/2020) “Contiguity, Constituencies and the Political Representation of Minorities” EPC: Politics and Space: doi.org/10.1177/2399654420972401

Forest, Benjamin (2019) “Reforming the US Senate: Original intent and representational inequality” Guest editorial (reviewed). Political Geography: doi.org/10.1016/j.polgeo.2019.04.003


The Post-Communist Monuments Project

Along with McGill political scientist Juliet Johnson, I conduct research on national identity in post-Communist states by examining the political struggles over Soviet- and post-Soviet-era monuments and memorials. The project includes a database with information on monuments and memorials from 1989 to 2010 in twenty-six post-Communist states, as well as studies of individual sites and countries. This work has received funding from SSHRC, the Ford Foundation, and the Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College.

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