I have been in the Political Science department at Gonzaga University since January 1990. I received my doctoral degree from the University of Toronto, in 1993. My doctoral work focused on political thought and my dissertation examined the categories of Christian disciple and of secular citizen. My teaching work, however, has built upon graduate sub-field studies in political economy, development, comparative government, and institutions.
History was my first interest in college studies, and remains an abiding, important attraction. Students of political science should learn well the import of William Faulkner’s remark: “The past is never dead. It's not even past.” Gonzaga University is fortunate to have a very fine History department.
Dante’s “Divine Comedy” is for me a staggering, stunning masterpiece, to be read many times over throughout one’s life. Johann Sebastian Bach’s music is singularly towering and attending a live performance on piano, in Spokane, of The Goldberg Variations is the most rewarding concert I have so far experienced. In college I had two majors, political science and philosophy. I read philosophy, especially in the summers, lately Charles Taylor of McGill University. Gonzaga University has a quite strong Philosophy department. Amartya Sen is my “favourite” economist, and in general the study of economics is always important. Thomas Piketty, Sir Angus Deaton, and Robert J. Gordon are among the other economists from whom I have learned. I happily recommend the GU Economics department. Theology studies have been quite valuable for me, and among theologians I have gained most from reading the late Karl Rahner, S.J., and Johann Baptist Metz.
It seems right to me to say that theology and history, literature, and music, philosophy and economics are significant parts of my biography. In the case of Bach, the induction into this world was at the hands of Glenn Gould, via my father, in the mid-1950s. If one studies politics, one brings along one’s own baggage, and there is good fortune in have really good baggage. Most of humanity’s problems today are self-made, are not inevitable, can be managed and remedied, and should summon from us, via political and governing processes, individual and collective efforts. Institutions of government matter. Studying the variety of state institutions and policies in America makes clear that good government depends, in part, on effective institutions. Comparing America with the parliamentary democracies suggests again that policy outcomes are made in executive, legislative, and judicial institutions, and the design and operation of these is of critical importance. Poverty and environmental degradation are not inevitable; rather, these are outcomes of policies and political institutions which can be, and should be, different. Daunting though global warming is and will be, the studying politics and governments should make clear both the obstacles we have made for ourselves, and the hope which should pull us forward.
Publications and Reviews
Review of So Vast and Various: Interpreting Canada’s Regions in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, edited by John Warkentin, Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2010. Published in the American Review of Canadian Studies.
Review of Writing in Dust: Reading the Prairie Environmentally, by Jenny Kerber, Waterloo, Ontario: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2010. Published in the American Review of Canadian Studies.
Review of William D. Layman’s two recent books:
Native River: The Columbia Remembered. 2002. Pullman, WA: Washington State University Press.
River of Memory: The Everlasting Columbia. 2006. Wenatchee, WA & Seattle, WA: Wenatchee Valley Museum & Cultural Center in association with the University of Washington Press. In Columbia: The Magazine of Northwest History. Winter 2007-08, p. 47.
“Globalization, Jurisdiction, and Welfare in the Pacific Northwest”, in Lothar Hönnighausen, Anke Ortlepp, James Peacock, and Niklaus Steiner, eds.. 2005. Regionalism in the Age of Globalism, vol. 2, Forms of Regionalism, pages 175-194. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press.
Review of Maureen G. Reed. 2003. Taking Stands: Gender and the Sustainability of Rural Communities. Vancouver, B.C.: University of British Columbia Press. In the American Review of Canadian Studies, June 2004.
Christian Ethics and Political Economy in North America: A Critical Analysis, by P. Travis Kroeker. (Montréal and Kingston, McGill-Queen's University Press, 1995), in Canadian Journal of Political Science, 38/3 (September 1995), 589-590.
The Shaping of American Liberalism: The Debates Over Ratification, Nullification, and Slavery, by David F. Ericson. (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1993), in Canadian Journal of Political Science, 37/4 (December 1994), 841-2.
Fire at Eden's Gate: Tom McCall & the Oregon Story. By Brent Walth. Portland: Oregon Historical Press, 1994. 564 pp., in Columbia: The magazine of Northwest history, Spring 1997, 46-47.
Rosellini: Immigrants: Son and Progressive Governor. By Payton Smith. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1997, 271 pp., in Columbia: The magazine of Northwest history, Winter 1997-98, 44.
Honor In the House: Speaker Tom Foley, in Columbia: The magazine of Northwest History, Spring 2000, Washington State Historical Society, page 44.
“These Parts Are Intirely Unknown” Knowledge of Our Landscapes in the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia”, at the Borderblur: In and Out of Place in B.C. and the Pacific Northwest. Bellingham: Center for Canadian-American Studies, Western Washington University Press, 2003.
Pre-Publication Review and Assessment
Evaluation of 1284-3857-1-RV CPSR 2march2016, a manuscript, “Opposition Role Conflict And The Failure To Criticize: The Case Of Heavy Oil Upgraders In Saskatchewan”, submitted to the Canadian Political Science Review, 1 December 2015.
Evaluation of a manuscript “Trade Barriers to the Public Good: The NAFTA and AIT Cases Concerning MMT”, by Alex C. Michalos, for the University of British Columbia Press, June 2005.
Evaluation of manuscript no. 95 - 35, "Religious and Democratic Politics", submitted on 28 September 1995 to Prof. Richard Vernon, co-editor, Canadian Journal of Political Science.
Michael Treleaven. Social Policy and Regionalism in the Pacific Northwest, in New Scholars - New Visions in Canadian Studies, 2/1 (Summer 1997 -- publication delayed to 1998). Seattle: Canadian Studies Centre, The Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, the University of Washington, 3-21.