Research Spotlight: Dr. Erin Crandall

Research Spotlight aims to shed light on the diverse research culture of Acadia University by celebrating the work and interests of our researchers. Each profile features six questions: five about research, one just for fun. Learn about what’s happening across campus and get to know the faces you see every day.

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Dr. Erin Crandall

Department of Politics

Faculty of Arts

In terms of research, what are you working on right now?

I’m working on a paper that I’ll be co-presenting with Andrea Lawlor (King’s University College, Western University) at the European Consortium for Political Research General Conference. It looks at social media tools, like Twitter and YouTube, as a potential regulation challenge to electoral Integrity. Our study considers Canada and the United Kingdom, which both place strict spending limits on third parties. Third parties are persons or groups, other than a political candidate, registered political party, or constituency association, who participate in elections.

These spending limits are intended to create a relatively level playing field by making sure well-financed third parties don’t dominate election advertising. Low and no cost advertising tools, like social media, have the potential to disrupt electoral regulations that equate money for speech, and thus may present a challenge to electoral integrity. We’ll be looking at how third parties in Canada and the UK used Twitter in recent elections to see if social media is actually disrupting their current regulatory models.

How does that fit with your broader research interests? 

This paper is part of a larger project, supported by a SSHRC Insight Development Grant, that looks at how regulations in Canada and the UK may act to inhibit or facilitate electoral participation.

What most motivates you to do research?

Most of my research connects in one way or another to Canadian politics. Even as a kid, I was excited about politics, especially what was going on around me. Happily, given that Canadian politics is now a big part of my job, this excitement has never gone away. I genuinely believe that politics matters and has the potential to bring about change. This is something that motivates both my research and teaching.

What tips do you give students when they embark on a new research project?

Good question! One of the amazing things about Politics students at Acadia is that they’re ready to take on the world. It’s important to follow this passion, but for a research project, it’s also necessary to make it manageable. Consequently, I think one of my most frequent tips is to narrow your research question.

Do you have any forthcoming publications, events, or talks we should look out for?

In fall 2017, I’ll be participating in a conference hosted by Boston College Law School about rewriting the Canadian constitution. My paper will be assessing Canada’s constitutional amending formula through the practice of informal reform and asking whether we need to reform Canada’s constitutional amending formula.

I’m also really excited about an article I recently co-published in the Canadian Journal of Political Science, “The Politics of Judicial Appointment: Do Party Connections Impede the Appointment of Women to Canada's Federally Appointed Courts?” Judicial appointment systems are another major focus of my research.

Tell me, what are you reading, watching, or listening to for fun these days?

Studying politics can be really rewarding, but there are days when it can also be pretty depleting. When a little escape is needed, I’ve always loved and relied on television. Right now, one of my favourite shows is Bob’s Burgers. It’s funny, sweet, and really smart.

Contact Dr. Erin Crandall
Office: BAC 214
Phone: (902) 585-1239

Research Spotlight is an initiative of the Research & Graduate Studies office. If you would like to suggest someone to be featured in this series, or if you would like to be featured yourself, please contact Deborah Hemming, Research & Innovation Coordinator:

You can also download the form below, fill in your responses, and return it to Deborah by email.


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