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Kate  Puddister  - University of Guelph . Guelph, ON, CA

Kate Puddister

Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science | University of Guelph

Guelph, ON, CANADA

Research interests: law and politics, Canadian politics and criminal justice policy.



I recently completed a PhD in Political Science at McGill University. I have also completed a MA in Criminology and Criminal Justice Policy at the University of Guelph and BA honours in Criminal Justice and Public Policy also at the University of Guelph.

My doctoral dissertation undertook a comprehensive analysis of the Canadian reference power under the direction of Dr. Christopher Manfredi. This work seeks to understand how political actors rely on the courts to deal with divisive matters and how judicial review can be part of political strategy. This work is the subject of my book "Seeking the Courts Advice" which is currently under advance contract with UBC Press. I am also interested in a variety of topics that relate to judicial politics and Canadian constitutionalism.

My other work looks at criminal justice policy. I have completed a study on the RCMP's Mr. Big undercover investigative technique as a case study in police accountability and independence. I have now begun work on sentencing policy in Canada, with a focus on mandatory minimum sentences, section 12 of the Charter, and penal law.

Industry Expertise (4)

Government Administration


Law Enforcement

Public Policy

Areas of Expertise (7)

Canadian Politics

Law and Politics

Judicial Politics

Constitutional Politics

Criminal Justice Policy

Policing Policy

Sentencing Policy

Education (3)

McGill University: Ph.D., Political Science 2015

Dissertation: Inviting Judicial Review: A Comprehensive Analysis of Canadian Reference Cases

University of Guelph: M.A., Criminology and Criminal Justice Policy 2010

Thesis: The RCMP's Mr Big: An Independence and Accountability Case Study

University of Guelph: B.A. H., Criminal Justice and Public Policy 2008

Articles (6)

With or Without You: The Conservatives and Quebec

University of Toronto Press

Chapter in: The Blueprint: Conservative Parties and Their Impact on Canadian Politics, edited by Joanna Everitt and JP Lewis.

The Most Radical Amendment of All: the Power to Secede and the Secession Reference

University of Toronto Press

chapter in: "Constitutional Amendment in Canada," edited by Emmett Macfarlane.

Judicialization of (Past) Politics: The Cameron Inquiry and the Green Commission

McGill-Queens University Press

with James B. Kelly, in: "First Among Unequals: The Premier, Politics and Policy in Newfoundland and Labrador," edited by Alex Marland and Mathew Kerby

The RCMP’s ‘Mr. Big’ Undercover Investigation Technique: A Case Study of Police Independence, Accountability and Oversight

Canadian Journal of Public Administration

with Troy Riddell.

If Michael Brown Was Shot in Canada

Metro News


special contribution to Metro News.

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Who's in Charge of Mr. Big?

National Post


Op-ed., with Troy Riddell