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Dr. Dominique Clément

Associate Professor, Department of Sociology
Adjunct Professor, Department of History & Classics
Adjunct Professor, Department of Educational Policy Studies
University of Alberta


My scholarship is concerned with social and political change in Canada and the ability of marginalized people to challenge state power as well as the hegemony of law. In particular, I am interested in the impact of rights discourse on social movements. My most recent research projects include a study of human rights law in Canada as well as a project that explores how our rights culture has evolved in recent years. I am also working on projects that deal with state funding for social movements; national security policies and counterterrorism; security and the Olympics; feminism and the history of the women’s movement in Canada; freedom of information policy; and civilian review of police misconduct.

I am the principal investigator for a five-year (2014-19) study that examines the history of state funding for social movements in Canada and how the relationship between the funding and the movements differs across movements, regions, and time periods. Public funding in Canada has enabled the emergence of a thriving social movement sector, but recent changes in government policy have brought the sustainability of social movements to the forefront of public debate. Some organizations have struggled under these conditions, whereas others have thrived because of innovations in leadership, governance, fundraising, and community outreach. This project addresses a broad range of themes, including governance, federalism, social change, state policy, citizenship, gender, Aboriginal and environmental issues, and leadership and innovation in civic engagement. It is the first systematic examination of the breadth of state funding for social movements in Canada, and thus it offers the most comprehensive survey of how the social movement sector has evolved over time. As part of this project, I am writing a history of second-wave feminism in Canada.

Debating my recent project on rights inflation in the media:

Radio-Canada (Alberta): L’inflation des droits s’enracine au Canada?

CBC Radio: The 180 on rights inflation in Canada,


Human Rights in Canada: A History – A 40min video presentation on the history of human rights in Canada [aussi en français]



Published Articles

  Articles   Dominique Clément. “State Funding for Social Movements: Channelling Protest?.” American Behavioural Scie...

Published Books

Forthcoming:  Dominique Clément. Rights Inflation and the Crisis of Canada’s Rights Culture. Wilfrid Laurier University Press (un...


Freedom of Information Policies in Canada: Obstacles to Academic Research (10 minutes)   https://vimeo.com/187380384     Human...

Research Projects

  Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Insight Grant, 2014-19 : State Funding for Social Movements in Canada ($390,000). Killam...


I am committed to the principle that the community should benefit from the expertise of scholars. Currently, I sit on the board of ...


I supervise graduate students who are pursuing degrees in the Departments of Sociology or History & Classics (or a combination ...


  Tracy Johson. “Will pipeline protests get lost amid the noise of the Trump era ?” CBC News, 29 January 2017. Vicki Hal...

Queen’s University (B.A.H.)


University of British Columbia (M.A.)


Memorial University of Newfoundland (PhD)


University of Sydney, Australia (Visiting Scholar)


University of Birmingham, United Kingdom (Postdoctoral Fellow)


University of Victoria, British Columbia (Postdoctoral Fellow)







Human Rights (law and activism)
Social Movements/Social Justice
Women’s History
Law and Society
Labour Studies
International Politics


General Fields

Comparative Research

Historical Sociology

Research Methods

Social Policy