Meet Dr. Erin Hannah
Meet Dr. Erin Hannah
Associate Dean of Research
Dr. Erin Hannah is an internationally renowned expert on global political economy, known widely for her path-breaking research on gender and trade. She began her career at King’s in 2008 and was named Full Professor of Politics and International Relations (formerly Political Science) in 2023.
In July 2023, Dr. Hannah was appointed to the position of Associate Dean of Research (ADR), in which she will help solidify the University’s reputation as a place of academic and research excellence with global reach and local impact.
The position of Associate Dean of Research is new to King’s. Can you tell us about the role?
As the Associate Dean of Research, I will help develop the University’s research agenda, establish research infrastructure and support, promote equity, diversity, inclusion and decolonization in research practices, foster interdisciplinary collaborations, and position King’s as a leading research center with a strong commitment to justice, community orientation, and transformative liberal arts education.
What are some of your goals in terms of research at King’s?
I will help establish a holistic understanding of research that is inclusive of a wide variety of research traditions, including Indigenous ways of knowing as a pathway toward reconciliation.
Alongside more traditional research practices, I will help champion community-based engagement, public intellectual work, knowledge mobilization beyond the university, disseminating ideas about pedagogical innovations, and building external partnerships, including with local First Nations.
Our distinct value proposition is centred on our commitment to social justice, ethical action and community engagement. These golden threads link our world-class research to the high-quality liberal arts education we deliver in our classrooms, and I see my role as central to fostering these connections, ensuring that our students not only receive an outstanding education but also develop a deep sense of responsibility and purpose that prepares them to make meaningful contributions to society.
What impresses you about the research being done at King’s?
King’s faculty are amazing! Their research is world-class, impactful for many communities and serves important social goals.
What really impresses me is the widely shared commitment to social justice, advocacy for equity-deserving groups, and the empowerment of marginalized communities. Dedication to ethical action is evident in community engagement initiatives - many involving King’s students and alumni - where King’s researchers collaborate with different communities to co-create knowledge and drive positive change.
Something that sets King’s apart from other universities is the involvement of undergraduate students and alumni in most research projects. These training and capacity-building opportunities are unrivalled elsewhere and contribute to skills-based development, capacity building and the development of future leaders and change-makers.
Our faculty bring their research into the classroom in a myriad of ways. Unique experiential learning opportunities, community-based engagement, and active learning, for example, are often connected to, and made possible by, the many networks in which King’s researchers are embedded.
It is also notable that King’s punches WAY above its weight in terms of external grant capture. Over the past five years, King’s researchers have secured over $8 million in external grant funding, and this number continues to grow year over year.
More than half of current, externally funded research projects at King’s are led by our talented women researchers. That is notable in itself, but it is especially significant following the COVID-19 pandemic - a time when the burdens on women in every segment of society were multiplied as they bore the brunt of amplified caregiving responsibilities. Considering the challenges posed by the pandemic and its aftermath, the rapid and upward trend in external research activity by women researchers at King’s is truly remarkable. I am impressed by their unwavering commitment to research.
Tell us about your research.
My research and teaching interests include global political economy, gender and trade, sustainable development, global governance, global civil society, the role of expert knowledge in global trade, and innovative pedagogy. My research is geared to correcting long-standing inequities based on gender, race, class, and other intersectional identity characteristics.
I am the new editor of the best-selling textbook worldwide in my field (Global Political Economy 7th Edition, Oxford University Press, 2024), taking over from John Ravenhill. Consistent with my commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and decolonization (EDID), this edition has been thoroughly updated to account for new contemporary developments and integrates diverse contributors, non-Western views, and themes such as colonialism, gender and race.
I have held several major national and international research grants to investigate the conditions under which trade can act as a lever for progressive social change, gender equality, and sustainable development. Working at the intersection of economic policy and human rights, I routinely advise governments and international organizations on developing equitable and inclusive trade policy and minimizing the adverse impacts of trade policy on vulnerable communities, including women, racialized people, 2SLGBTQIA+, Indigenous people, and those living with disabilities. For example, I am an expert member of the World Trade Organization’s Gender Research Hub, Global Affairs Canada’s Gender and Trade Advisory Group and the GBA+ Sub-Committee.
Currently, I hold a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Grant with Silke Trommer and Adrienne Roberts at the University of Manchester to examine gender mainstreaming in global trade governance and its implications for redressing inequality, exclusion, and disempowerment in the global economy.
What is one of your favourite books or publications by a colleague?
There are so many brilliant books published by my colleagues at King’s, but at the moment, my favourite is No, No, Bad Dog, a debut novel by Dr. Cathy Chovaz, Full Professor in Psychology at King’s. The book is a testament to her three decades of clinical psychology expertise on mental health and deafness, brilliantly woven into the captivating story of Mary, a young girl born into a predominantly deaf family who is navigating the complexities of being ‘different.’ Complexities of identity, marginalization and familial bonds are explored in this beautiful book. Indeed, Dr. Chovaz tells this story with profound depth and sensitivity, challenging readers to reimagine life as we know it. The novel is available for purchase from major book retailers.
For more on Dr. Erin Hannah’s research and expertise, visit erinhannah.ca.