World of Ideas

Publication by Office of the Vice-Dean of Research

Welcome to our World of Ideas

This page is an invitation for you to come discover the exciting new work undertaken by our researchers. An initiative of the Office of the Vice-Dean of Research, this project aims to shed light on some of the fascinating contributions made by our Faculty on a broad range of issues: from International Studies, Justice and Society, Francophonie and Public Policy, to Health and Well-being, among others.

In a world characterized by ever increasing complexity, research in the social sciences is well-positioned to help us make sense of our society's intricate dynamics.

Faculty researchers (professors, fellows and graduate students) are all welcome to contact the Office of the Vice-Dean of Research ( should they wish to contribute an article to the World of Ideas website which addresses current or soon-to be published research.

Jobs for development

A sequel to the World Bank’s World Development Report 2013: Jobs, Gordon Betcherman's new publication illustrates the challenges and solutions of job creation in different country settings.

Author: Gordon Betcherman, School of International Development and Global Studies

Mobilizing Metaphor

The publication Mobilizing Metaphor illustrates how artistic and unconventional forms of activism, including art, are reshaping disability activism in Canada.

Author: Michael Orsini, School of Political Studies

Man flu, more than a myth

A study on mice by uOttawa’s psychology professor Nafissa Ismail suggests that man flu is real.

Author: Nafissa Ismail, School of Psychology

High school success linked to student safety

Professor Côté-Lussier's recent study suggests that high schoolers who feel less safe at school have decreased learning potential, and more socioemotional problems. The study, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, calls for renewed attention to students’ feelings of safety.

Author: Caroline Côté-Lussier, Department of Criminology

What Counts as Policy Failure - And Why It Matters

Jacqueline Best argues that the 1990s changes in  International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and donor policies, towards what some have called the 'Post-Washington Consensus,' were driven by an erosion of expert authority and an increasing preoccupation with policy failure. In her book, Governing Failure, Professor Best considers the implications of this shift, asking if it is a positive change and whether it is sustainable. 

Author: Jacqueline Best, School of Political Studies

Unpacking relationships across Social Capital, Social Inclusion and Diversity

Canada has undergone unprecedented demographic, social and economic change over the last half century. Ravi Pendakur comments on the issues related to the impact of diversity on social capital and inclusion.

Author: Ravi Pendakur, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs

Healing Roots - Anthropology in Life and Medicine

Learn more about Julie Laplante's new book titled Healing Roots - Anthropology in Life and Medicine

Author: Julie Laplante, School of Sociological and Anthropological Studies

Revolutionary Grandmothers and Radical Engineers: Venezuela's Technical Water Committees

Caracas’ water system is one of the most complex in the world. Given the city’s mountainous topography and the dense peri-urban barrios that climb its hillsides, providing universal access to water and sanitation is no easy feat.

Authors: Rebecca McMillan and Susan Spronk, School of International Development and Global Studies

Costly Democracy

This book argues that intrusive peacebuiliding missions are associated with less democratic outcome. Poor conditions such as a highly desctrutive war or low levels of development appear to also accentuate this negative relationship.

Author: Christoph Zürcher, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs

What will you be Doing Tomorrow? The Power of Episodic Thinking in Young Children

Researchers have determined that our ability to think about the future is intimately connected with our ability to remember the past. In other words, if we could not imagine ourselves in the future, we would lack the necessary frame of reference to guide our current decisions and plans.

Author: Cristina Atance, School of Psychology

Travel to Access Abortion Services in Canada

Abortions need not to be illegal in order to be inaccessible to many women. This is what concludes Dr. Christabelle Sethna after completing a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council funded research on the access to abortion services. Aboriginal women, younger women, poorer women, women from rural areas and women from Atlantic Canada are most likely to have to travel for abortions services.

Author: Christabelle Sethna, Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies / Faculty of Health Sciences

Why Canada's Immigration Policy is Unfair to Temporary Foreign Workers

The federal government has long permitted migrant workers into the country on a temporary basis in order to fill short term gaps in specific sectors of the labour market. The two most important examples are seasonal agricultural workers and live-in caregivers, both of whom fill temporary labour shortages for specific employers. The number of these migrants has not changed much, but the government also permits the entry of temporary workers through what is called the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

Author: Delphine Nakache, School of International Development and Global Studies

Business and Government Need to Appreciate the Open-ended Nature of Scientific Evidence

Aquaculture— the farming of ocean and fresh waters—is one of Canada's newest industries, and has the potential to increase food supply from the oceans. However, critics charge that it poses risks to human health, local communities, and the environment.

Author: Nathan Young, School of Sociological and Anthropological Studies

Comment mesure-t-on la plutonomie?

(in French) This article was written following the Occupy Wall Street events which took place after the economic crisis of 2007-2009. Makdissi and Yazbeck attempt to theorize plutonomy, an economy where income is increasingly redirected into the hands of a small minority. 

Authors: Paul Makdissi and Myra Yazbeck, Department of Economics

Regards critiques sur la maternité dans divers contextes sociaux

(in French) Our society often idealises motherhood. The authors question this view as well as the stereotype of the "good" mother and the unrealistic demands placed on women, while providing avenues for health and social workers.

Author: Simon Lapierre, School of Social Work

Est-il progressif de maintenir des frais de scolarité peu élevés pour l'éducation postsecondaire?

(in French) In this text, Paul Makdissi, attempts to answer the question: is maintaining low tuition fees regressive, in other word, does it increase inequalities in Quebec? Using statistical models, professor Makdissi demonstrates that the Robin Hood argument put forth by the supporters of increased tuition fees does not reflect the reality of Quebec.

Author: Paul Makdissi, Department of Economics

Corps suspect, corps deviant

(in French) Bringing together many disciplines in Humanities and Social Sciences, but particularly Criminology, this collective work takes a look at multiple social constructions of the deviant body, and on the female body in particular, revealing the interaction between dominant discourses and practices on the body.

Author: Sylvie Frigon, Department of Criminology

Le Canadien de Montréal. Une légende repensée.

(in French) This book studies the phenomenon that is the Canadiens de Montréal. Written for the sport's fan as well as the academic, it argues that popular cultural objects provide fodder for the researcher interested in collective behavior.

Author: Nicolas Moreau, School of Social Work

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