Arjun Tremblay

Associate Professor
PhD (University of Toronto); MA (Concordia University); BA (Concordia University)

Office: CL 219
Phone: (306) 585-4077
Fax: (306) 585-4815

Current classes
Fall 2023 - PSCI 220 (Comparing Political Systems), PSCI 425 (Topics in Comparative Politics)

Research interests

  • the recognition and accommodation of polyethnic (immigrant-based) diversity.
  • the obstacles to and the opportunities for multinational federalism;
  • intra-community diversity and minorities within minorities;
  • inter-community diversity and responses to global challenges.

My scholarship focuses on exploring the near and longer-term prospects of the politics of diversity in and across liberal democracies.  While the conditions may once have been propitious for the development of policies and institutions that recognize, accommodate, and empower cultural, religious, and linguistic minorities this no longer seems to be the case. The electoral success of right-wing populists and the growth of mono-cultural movements continues to undercut the promise of pluralistic inclusion and the common response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been to shut borders to immigration, thus shutting off a key source for population diversity.  It is within this context that my research sets out to explain why diversity-oriented policies and institutions sometime decline and sometimes survive and to also explore how these policies and institutions can be designed (or re-designed) to withstand the challenges of the 21st century.  

From a disciplinary standpoint, my scholarship situates itself within two emerging traditions in Political Science: the empirical turn in the study of the politics of diversity (which complements a longstanding normative tradition by identifying the causes of the ebb and flow of diversity-related institutions and public policies) and the comparative turn in Canadian Political science (which employs the Canadian case in the development, refinement, and testing of causal explanations). 

Methodologically, most of my scholarship employs a puzzle-based research design that brings to light contradictions between theoretical expectations and empirical observations with an eye to identifying key missing links in causal explanations.  I have applied this research design to identify inter alia the institutional factors that explain why some multiculturalism policies survive under governments of the political right and the institutional, electoral, and economic barriers that stifle the realization of multinational federalism despite a broad-based consensus that this is the political arrangement which most deeply diverse countries should adopt. 

In exploring the politics of diversity’s near and longer-term prospects, my research falls into four interconnected avenues.  My main avenue of research is studying the recognition and accommodation of polyethnic (immigrant-based) diversity.  In addition, I am also engaged in three collaborative research avenues: studying the obstacles to and the opportunities for multinational federalism; studying intra-community diversity and minorities within minorities; and studying inter-community diversity and responses to global challenges.


Select Publications:

  • Tremblay, Arjun Diversity in Decline? The Rise of the Political Right and the Fate of Multiculturalism. Palgrave Macmillan; London. Palgrave Politics of Identity and Citizenship Series.
  • Gagnon, Alain G. and Arjun Tremblay (editors) 2020. Federalism and National Diversity in the 21st Century. Palgrave Macmillan; London. Palgrave Federalism and Internal Conflict Series
  • Tremblay, Arjun “Multiculturalism has a past, but does it have a future?” Review of Constitutional Studies, 25(1), 103-116.
  • Tremblay, Arjun “Are there ‘sources of resilience’ when the separation of powers breaks down?” Constitutional Forum 30(4): 25-36.
  • Gagnon, Alain-G. and Arjun Tremblay “Federalism and Diversity: A New Research Agenda” In A Research Agenda for Federalism Studies, edited by John Kincaid. Edward Elgar: 129-139.
  • Tremblay, Arjun “Multiculturalism: Public Philosophy and Public Policy” in Political Ideologies and Worldviews: An Introduction, Valérie Vézina (ed.). Minneapolis, MN: Open Textbook Library British Columbia Kwantlen Polytechnic University: 123-141.