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| Copyright Dominique Clément / Clément Consulting

Dr. Dominique Clément

Professor, Department of Sociology
Royal Society of Canada (CNSAS)

Adjunct Professor, Sociology and Social Anthropology, Dalhousie University
Adjunct Professor, Department of Educational Policy Studies, University of Alberta

Twitter @ HistoryOfRights
Facebook: HistoryOfRights

My scholarship is primarily concerned with the study of human rights and social movements. My current research focus is a comparative study of equality laws (i.e. discrimination) around the world. I am also leading a major research study on the impact of public funding for Canada’s nonprofit sector with a particular focus on Indigenous peoples, immigration, environment, human rights, and gender.

As an historical sociologist, I am actively engaged in both the humanities and social sciences (including digital humanities). I am also among a small number of bilingual scholars in Canada who routinely conducts research and participates in meetings in French and English. I have been an invited speaker or visiting scholar in Australia, Belgium, China, Ireland, France, Germany, New Zealand, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. My training includes degrees and fellowships from British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Ontario as well as Australia and the United Kingdom. My previous work includes research on human rights law and activism; state funding for Canada’s nonprofit sector; immigration policy; national security policies and counterterrorism; security and the Olympics; feminism and the women’s movement; freedom of information policy; and civilian review of police misconduct. I have published in American, Australian, British, Canadian, and Chinese journals

In general, my scholarship is concerned with social and political change and the ability of marginalized people to challenge state power as well as the hegemony of law. My scholarship puts human rights and social movements into dialogue with each other, asking how the one influences the other in the formation of legal systems. Another focus of my work is on the socio-historical production of the idea of human rights in local contexts. This includes a critical analysis of the increasing reliance in many societies around the world on the language of “rights” to frame social problems. This research complements my recent work on public funding for nonprofit organizations. I led a national research team to explore how new technologies can facilitate research. One of my major accomplishments was to repurpose software originally designed for small businesses to facilitate collaboration in data collection among a large and dispersed research team. The focus of our data collection was the environmental, human rights, immigration, Indigenous peoples, and women’s nonprofit sectors. Civil society organizations have often been essential to the creation and enforcement of human rights law. My team collected data on public funding for nonprofit organizations to demonstrate that the state can play an essential role in maintaining a vibrant civil society that, in turn, contributes to shaping and enforcing equality laws. Our work produced several innovations in digitization and data collection including a public database at statefunding.ca.

My recent books include studies on human rights law as well as a sociology of human rights. The link below to the presentations page includes videos of recent presentations on my research.

Introduction: Research

(1 minute) 

Dragging the Liberal Arts into the Twentieth Century (21st Pending)

(7 minutes)



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


The following presentations are samples of my recent work.     Historical Sociology and Human Rights (9 minutes) ...

Published Articles

  Articles   Dominique Clément, “Sex Discrimination in Canadian Law: From Equal Citizenship to Hu...

Published Books

Books and edited collections  

Research Projects

  Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Insight Development Grant, 2020-22: Immigrant and Refugee Settlement in...


I supervise graduate students who are interested in human rights, social movements, the nonprofit sector, social policy, social justice,...

Queen’s University (B.A.H.)


University of British Columbia (M.A.)


Memorial University of Newfoundland (PhD)


University of Birmingham, United Kingdom (Postdoctoral Fellow)


University of Victoria, British Columbia (Postdoctoral Fellow)







Human Rights
Social Movements/Social Justice
Public Policy
Law and Society
Nonprofit Sector
National Security


General Fields

Comparative International Studies

Historical Sociology

Social Science Methods

Digital Humanities

Beijing Normal University (China)


KU Leven University (Belgium)


NUI Galway (Ireland)


University of Birmingham (United Kingdom)


University of Sydney (Australia)