Rachel Birnbaum –Co-Investigator

“Access to effective family justice: Improving outcomes for children and parents”

SSHRC Total Amount: $338,840.00 (2014-2019)

The longitudinal research agenda will focus on three key questions: (1) survey family justice professionals (i.e., judges, lawyers and psycho-social professionals) in Ontario and Quebec to explore perceptions of the different programs and interventions being used to promote positive outcomes for children and families; this will both increase knowledge of how professionals make decisions about what services to provide families and help refine questions for the other three projects; (2) a mixed method longitudinal approach to prospectively follow parents and children in Ontario and Quebec through the family justice system to better understand how different parental circumstances and programs, interventions and processes facilitate or impede better parent-child outcomes and gain a better understanding of the different legal and psycho-social interventions and impact on outcomes for families; and (3) provide an analysis of Canadian and international case law that deals with separating families of different types and levels of conflict, to gain a richer understanding of how judges deal with separated families experiencing different levels of conflict and perceive the value of different types of interventions. The goal of these three interlocking research objectives is to help improve access to justice for children and families. 

 Kristin Lozanski - SSRHC Insight Development Grant

Babies beyond Borders: Kinship, Citizenship, & Globalized (Im)Mobilities 

Value of Grant: $58,833

Citizenship is formal recognition by a state that provides its holders with access to resources, such as social programs and mobility. It also bestows recognition—formal and informal—as having a legitimate voice in the state. In this project, I use three scenarios to explore inconsistencies in claims to Canadian citizenship. Specifically, I examine 1) the racially marked children of white Canadian mothers and migrant agricultural workers;

2) “passport babies,” born to “birth tourists” to obtain Canadian citizenship for their child, and perhaps ultimately, parents; and

3) babies born via transnational surrogates to Canadian parents. There has been little research on these scenarios, especially with respect to the ways reproduction and transnational mobilities impact our understandings of kinship and entitlement to citizenship. 
My specific objective is to use empirically and theoretically grounded analyses to determine whether there exist patterned discrepancies in access to, or denial from, Canadian citizenship. In this context, I seek to answer several questions: 
1) How do transnational mobilities challenge our assumptions about reproduction, in terms of citizenship and in terms of kinship? 

2) Which specific forms of family/kinship does Canadian citizenship assume? Do transnational mobilities disturb these forms? 

3) What do these scenarios suggest about who is welcomed by the Canadian state and Canadian society and who is unwelcome? 
This research is particularly timely in light of the priority of the current Conservative government to reconfigure immigration and citizenship policy. The current Minister of Immigration, Citizenship and Multiculturalism is in the midst of reconfiguring Canada’s immigration and citizenship policies to address deficiencies in the current system, ranging from multi-year processing backlogs to the “exploit[ation] of Canada’s generosity” (Yelaja, 2012). These efforts are controversial because they necessarily prioritize some values over others. 

 Erin Norma Hannah -  SSRHC Insight Development Grant

Power, Knowledge and Resistance: The Transformative Potential of IGOs and NGOs in Global Trade Governance 

Co-applicant: James Scott, King’s College, London UK

Value of Grant: $63,942 
Expert knowledge plays a crucial role in global trade. It determines who has a voice, which agendas are prioritized and what ends are (in)conceivable in trade negotiations. The lack of expertise, resources, and technical capacity among developing countries are central factors underlying the negotiation of unfavourable rules that adversely impact on the poor. With the World Trade Organization’s Doha Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations trapped in seemingly endless deadlock and development priorities gutted from the agenda, international trade rules continuously fail to produce welfare gains for the world’s poorest people. This project examines efforts by intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to redress knowledge and power asymmetries in global trade by leveraging their legal and technical trade-related expertise across a range of issue-areas that are 
of primary concern to developing countries. 
This project will address five research questions: 
(i) Does the provision of expertise by NGOs and IGOs to developing countries improve the inclusivity and accountability of global trade governance? 

(ii) Under what conditions do conflicts arise between IGOs and NGOs (e.g. due to institutional power asymmetries, funding, coherence, trust, accountability and representation) and how do developing countries navigate between them? 

(iii) Why do states choose to create and maintain IGOs for providing trade analysis and expertise given the existence of similar NGOs and existing domestic capacities? (iv) What role have the rising powers played in creating and/or strengthening the provision of trade expertise through IGOs? Has this changed the character of the 
advice these organizations provide?

(v) Can trade related IGOs and NGOs act as transformative actors and open up alternative institutional pathways, modes of thinking and spaces for resistance in global trade governance? Is there a difference between IGOs and NGOs in this regard? 
We will address these questions by comparing the provision of expertise by IGOs and NGOs to developing countries in five areas - dispute settlement, agriculture, NAMA, trade facilitation and global value chains. These are areas of central concern to the world’s poorest countries and constitute major lines of contention at both the WTO and in the negotiation of preferential trade agreements. Conducting analyses in these areas will allow us to compare the provision and impact of expertise 1) by IGOs and NGOs; 2) by NGOs based in the global north and global south; 3) by universal IGOs and those that represent countries in the global north, the global south, and a combination thereof. Moreover, we will compare the provision of expertise by NGOs and IGOs on a range of policy types – positive, regulative rules vs. negative policy space vs. implementation and compliance. These cases will shed light on the varied role and impact of NGOs and IGOs in global trade. 
The proposed research will improve our understanding of the role of expertise and knowledge creation and dissemination in the global economy and fill the paucity of comparative research on the role of IGOs and NGOs in global trade. By developing an innovative and original theoretical framework combining elements of constructivism and neo-Gramscianism to study these dynamics the proposed research will contribute more generally to theorizing about agency in global governance. The research will appeal to scholars and students with an interest in global 
governance, global civil society and trade, as well as to policymakers, national trade negotiators, government departments and the trade policy community. IGO personnel and NGO activists and researchers working on trade policy issues will also be engaged by the findings. 

Erin Hannah, King’s University College at the University of Western Ontario and James Scott, King’s College London, UK - Intergovernmental Organizations in Global Trade Governance: redressing inequalities in expert knowledge

British Academy Research Grant

Total Amount: £9940 or $18 417

A set of Inter-Governmental Organizations (IGOs) has emerged with the remit to provide advice, resources and technical assistance to developing countries with the goal of improving their capacity to participate in global trade governance. Developing countries increasingly rely on expertise provided by IGOs and NGOs to support their interests. However, IGOs’ role as expert knowledge producers in global trade and the tensions that potentially arise between IGOs and NGOs have received little scholarly attention. These organizations are distinct from NGOs (e.g. unlike NGOs they are able to hold observer status on WTO Committees and write member state submissions) and yet they are also, in many ways, distinct from other IGOs (in that they engage in demand driven advocacy through the provision of expertise). We focus on four such IGOs with the aim to understand (i) the role played by such IGOs in global trade governance; (ii) their potential for redressing the inequalities of participation in that governance; (iii) their potential to effect trade policies that work for global development.

Adam Bohnet- Korean Studies Award

Total Amount for Dr. Bohnet’s part of the project-$100,000

The Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and the Korean Studies Promotion Service of the Academy of Korean Studies has granted funding to “Breaking Down the Walls of a Single-Country Focus: A New Global Paradigm for the Study of Chos?n Korea," organized by Dr. Namlin Hur of the University of British Columbia. Dr. Adam Bohnet from the Department of History at King’s has received this funding for his contribution to the project, a monograph tentatively entitled, Foreign Lineages in Late Chos?n Korea and the publication of five articles over the course of the next five years.  The Lab aims to establish a new paradigm for the study of Chos?n Korea’s interactions with its neighbors by exploring the flow of people, ideas, products, and institutions from a comparative and transnational perspective. Specifically, topics which the Lab members will examine include diplomacy, war, trade and piracy, ethnic perceptions, border disputes, diaspora, acculturation, and religious culture. In positioning Chos?n Korea within the global history of East Asian civilizations and beyond, the Lab also pays attention to the origins, practices and legacies of these border-crossing issues that distinguished Chos?n Korea from others. At the same time, the Lab will serve as a hub of education designed to training graduate students working on Chos?n Korea’s transnational issues.

Adam Bohnet-The Academy of Korean Studies

Total Amount for Dr. Bohnet’s part of the project $51,000

This three year project “Works of Late Chos?n Dynasty Korea” is under the direction of Dr. George L. Kallander, Syracuse University. Dr. Bohnet’s contribution will be an annotated translation of the Chibong yus?l (The Topical Discourses of Chibong)  by Yi Sugwang (1563-1628). This project introduces to English-language readers Korea’s early modern era through the translation and annotation of important texts from the seventeenth to the early nineteenth centuries.  The four texts selected from the list of 100 Korean Classics reflect the complex and vibrant nature of early modern Korean society.  This period was a time of realignment of Korean identity in the aftermath of the Manchu conquests of Northeast Asia, followed by economic, social, bureaucratic, and artistic developments over two centuries of growth and steady change.  These annotated translations, and the scholarly studies that will accompany them, will give the English-language world access to historical and artistic developments in Korea during this important era, long before the country became known to the West.  

Cathy Chovaz  - Autism Centre of Excellence Award

Total Amount: $5000  (http://www.autism.uwo.ca/research.html)

Our project holds significant value for autism. We believe that the clinical utility of our device may be beneficial for individuals with ASD, as well as their families, teachers, and caregivers. Extreme disruptive behaviours from unknown triggers potentially put all involved individuals at physical risk. The child with ASD who engages in physical outbursts is often required to wear protective headgear and pads to minimize unintentional injury. The parents and siblings may be unintentional targets while trying to contain the outburst. Teachers, educational assistants and classmates may also be at physical risk while in the immediate area of disruptive behaviours. We believe that the child with ASD engaging in disruptive behaviours frequently misses out on valuable instructional or therapeutic time. In addition, the actual disruptive outburst is also often followed by a period of time to allow the child to calm or regroup prior to resuming teaching or therapy. In some situations, these amounts of time may significant detract from and/or sabotage the goals of classroom or therapy programs. If our proposed sophisticated electronic system is successful, we envision that the benefits are two fold. Firstly, there will be a significant clinical benefit through the reduction of undesirable behaviours during school, family and therapy time. Secondly, our electronic system may potentially fill a current gap in our understanding of the effects of unknown environmental stimuli as related to the perceptual hyper or hypo sensitivities of individuals with ASD.

Rachel Birnbaum -  Parenting of children with neurodevelopmental disorders

Total Amount: $780,000.00


Canadian Institute of Health Research awarded the Patenting Matters Team lead by DR. Peter Rosenbaum as PI, $780,000.00. The research focuses on parenting of children with neurodevelopmental disorders. There are four projects that are ongoing and Dr. Birnbaum is the team leader on the policy project to examine federal, provincial, and territorial policies related to income support, respite or alternative care, and case management.  The objectives of the 4 projects are to: 1) compare the parenting of children with NDD to that of parents of children without NDD; 2) examine ‘parenting-in-context’, how social (e.g., policies, neighbourhood), family (e.g., marital satisfaction, interparental discord, family function, and social support), parent (e.g., caregiver age, gender, education, income, physical and mental health) and child factors (e.g., age, gender, birth order, function) are associated with parenting; 3) examine the bi-directional relationship between parenting and child well-being; 4) explore new ways of conceptualizing parenting and its relationship to the social and family environment that have not yet been considered; and 5) situate the findings in the context of existing policies and practices for the purpose of making recommendations. The results of these projects will inform policy, program planning, and practice in sectors such as child welfare, health, rehabilitation and social services.


Total Amount: $112,585.00

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council awarded Dr. Saini (PI), Dr. Birnbaum, Professor Bala and Dr. Cyr in 2011 – 2013 for their interdisciplinary work on: Understanding positive parenting after separation: Differential responses for low and high conflict parents. This important study will help learn more about parenting and parent-child relationships post separation.


Total Amount: $135,000.00

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council awarded Dr. Birnbaum (PI), Professor Bala, Dr. Jaffe, Dr. McCleary and Dr. Cyr in 2008 -2012 for their work on differentiating different levels and types of conflict in separated families.  This important study allowed the team to focus on developing a reliable and valid instrument to measure different levels of conflict in separated families. The team also focused on children’s participation in family decision-making post separation.

Paul Werstine - New Variorum Edition of Shakespeare


Total Amount: $164, 664

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council has awarded Paul Werstine a large five-year grant for the New Variorum Edition of Shakespeare, of which he is general editor and for which he is editing Romeo and Juliet. The grant is from SSHRC's Insight program and is for $164, 664. The New Variorum Shakespeare Edition collects and presents with all possible economy and coherence what has been written by the various commentators on each of Shakespeare’s plays and poems from the earliest notice of them to the present. Each volume of the edition is published as both a book and an electronic text. Preparation of volumes is usually a career-long task. After working for sixteen years on the New Variorum Romeo and Juliet , among other editorial and textual projects, and after serving for ten years as a member of the Modern Language Association's Committee on the New Variorum Shakespeare, Werstine was appointed a general editor in 1997, sharing the duties with Richard Knowles of the University of Wisconsin. The core of each volume contains a text of the play  or poem (based very closely on its early printed form[s]), subtended on each page by a record of the readings printed in all significant subsequent editions, and also subtended by all original commentary explaining or interpreting the lines.  This core is followed by a number of appendices providing in the form of excerpts, paraphrases, and summaries all discussion of the play’s textual problems, date, sources, criticism, and history of production on the stage.  While such a book format indicates that these volumes are designed for use primarily, although not exclusively, by scholars, the research conducted by Variorum editors has always found its way to much broader audiences because it forms a basis for more popular editions (like Werstine and Barbara A. Mowat's Folger editions) designed to be accessible to all readers.

Antonio Calcagno - Toward a Phenomenological Understanding of the Mind’s Experience and Construction of the Social-Political World


Total Amount: $42,000

My project focuses on developing a coherent phenomenological theory that can account for structures and states of mind that accompany and inform social and political realities. There are three stages to this project.  First, drawing from the work of Edith Stein, Gerda Walther, and John Searle, all pioneers in this field of study, I will establish that there are distinct mental structures and states that accompany socio-political realities, including lived-experiences of community, lived-experiences of the state, and lived-experiences of societies. Here, the structure of ego- and we-consciousness will be investigated to show that such mental structures exist. Second, I shall examine the mind’s role in experiencing, understanding and constructing social and political realities. Following Searle, Husserl and Reinach, I will demonstrate how language assists us by analyzing such phenomena as promises, contracts, declarations, laws and principles. Third, and expanding my second goal, my unique contribution will focus on how phenomenological theories of affectivity (e.g., sensation, psychic causality and contagion, emotion) and will (e.g., motivations, leanings, strivings and position-takings) have to be included in a fuller description of the mind’s role in experiencing and constructing social and political realities.

Ian Rae - Mapping Stratford Culture


Total Amount: $51,465

Ian Rae is the principal investigator in the Mapping Stratford Culture project, which is supported by a $51,465 Insight Development Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada as well as contributions from the Stratford-Perth Archives and the City of Stratford.  With co-investigator Sandra Smeltzer of the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at Western University, Rae will produce a history of cultural production in Stratford, Ontario, from the Second World War to the present.  Researchers will map these developments along six parallel timelines to track the development of theater, literature, music, visual arts, cuisine, and film/television in Stratford with the aim of showing how the city fosters a creative cluster of mutually supportive cultural producers.  These timelines will be digitized, complemented by pop-up windows of textual explanation, and enhanced with images and hyperlinks to video and other relevant content.  As part of the project, Rae also intends to produce an anthology of Stratford literature that will survey the city’s contributions to Canadian literature.

Robert Ventresca - The Political Life of Pope Pius XII: 1878-1958


Total Amount: $40,000

This project approaches the diplomatic, political and intellectual life of Pope Pius XII (Eugenio Pacelli) as the prism through which to study the evolution of papal thought and diplomacy in the 20th century.  It is axiomatic to say that a good biography is also the history of an era.  As an adroit diplomat, then as Vatican Secretary of State (1930-1939), and finally as Pope Pius XII (1939-1958), Eugenio Pacelli had a direct role in the central events that defined European history and world Catholicism in the 20th Century.  Accordingly, my research addresses a number of themes that are of particular interest to scholars of modern European history, and the history of Catholicism.  These include:

  • The history of church-state relations in 19th and 20th centuries
  • The theory and practice of Vatican diplomacy in the modern era
  • The Catholic Church in the age of authoritarianism
  • The Vatican and the Holocaust
  • Jewish-Catholic relations
  • The intellectual and political history of the modern papacy
  • The Cold War and Vatican anti-Communism

Drawing upon a wide range of archival sources, including recently-released documentation at the Vatican Secret Archives, my research program spans three years and covers five distinguishable phases of Pacelli’s career, from his early adulthood in late 19th century Italy, to the years of his long and eventful pontificate that spanned the Second World War and the early Cold War.  My research proposes to read the career of Pope Pius XII with a new hermeneutic key, one that provides a comprehensive explanatory framework in order to arrive at a fuller explanation of why Pius XII said and did what he did as a leading figure of Vatican diplomacy in the 20th century.  

Sean Mattys -  SPARK! - a public outreach initiative designed for high school students which aims to disseminate ongoing research and innovation on behalf of the Social Justice and Peace Studies Department of King’s University College.


Total Amount: $52,260

SPARK! is a ‘creative stew’ of sparks, or areas of study, which include filmmaking, historical empathy, music production, cooking, dance, and creative writing—the leitmotif which runs through each of these ‘sparks’ is an examination of the concept of social justice.   Each of these ‘sparks’ are nourished by a wide range of locally based workshop presenters, as well as faculty members and students of King’s University College, who are subsequently willing to become youth mentors and advisors throughout the school year.  The goal of SPARK! is to serve as an incubator of creativity which  helps nurture emerging community activist and leaders in southwestern Ontario. In the words of Dante, “a mighty flame followeth a tiny spark.”

Stephanie Bangarth - F. Andrew Brewin: Standing on Guard, 1907-1983


Total Amount: $24,000

This project will use the life and career of F. Andrew Brewin (1907-1983), a Canadian lawyer, politician, and activist, to study a variety of socio-political events that are important to twentieth-century Canadian history.  This critical analytical biography will provide a significant means to examine the role of individual activism contributing to some fundamental changes in Canadian society.  It will also present information that has received little attention from historians, in particular the early social and co-operative housing movement in late 1960s and early 1970s, the role of the NDP in mid-century Canadian politics, and Canada and the focus on Africa as an object of humanitarian concern.  This is a significant and timely project in light of current debates about humanitarian aid, refugee policy, the role of activists in current Canadian politics, and the future of the social democratic movement in the twenty-first century.  In linking the past with the present, this study demonstrates the importance of individual activism and will add to an understanding of the process and foundations of civic engagement.  In particular, Brewin’s career and commitment to principle offers us a portal through which to study his beliefs, both religious and political, which in turn will illuminate the philosophical underpinnings of some of Canada’s early and mid-twentieth century political, economic, religious, and social reform movements.  This research has been featured in a number of academic conferences and in four forthcoming chapters in edited collections.  A manuscript appealing to both academic and non-academic audiences is in preparation under the title, My Brother's Keeper: F. Andrew Brewin and the Making of Modern Canada.