Paul Howe


Political Science

Tilley Hall 213

1 506 458 7495

Other titles

Acting Department Chair

At a time when many citizens are disenchanted with the political process yet uncertain as to the remedies required, a critical task for educators is to help students become informed and engaged citizens. The politics of democratic engagement represents both a substantive research interest and a pedagogical objective that informs my classroom teaching. It means encouraging students to develop independent judgement and to engage in critical reflection that is both rigorous and constructive. Empowering younger Canadians through such means is one important way of extending and deepening our democracy. —P. H.

Research interests

  • Democratic disengagement
  • The politics of nationalism
  • Public opinion research

Paul Howe is co-editor of two books that address strengths and shortcomings of different facets of the Canadian political system: Judicial Power and Canadian Democracy (2001) and Strengthening Canadian Democracy (2005). Canadian democracy continues to be the principal focus of his current research, which concentrates on identifying causes of declining political participation (in elections and other areas of political life) as well as potential solutions to the problem.

His research projects in this area have been wide-ranging, including the evaluation of an “e-consultation” initiative in Saint John, studies of political knowledge and its effects on voter turnout (with a particular focus on younger generations) and a collaborative study on social capital in New Brunswick.

His most recent book, Citizens Adrift: The Democratic Disengagement of Young Canadians (UBC Press, 2010), was awarded the 2011 Donald Smiley Prize by the Canadian Political Science Association for the best English-language book in Canadian politics and government.

Teaching areas

  • Comparative Politics
  • Canadian Politics
  • Quebec Politics
  • Research Methods


  • Citizens Adrift: The Democratic Disengagement of Young Canadians (UBC Press, 2010)
  • “Nationalist Idealization and the State,” National Identities, Vol.7 (1), March 2005
  • Co-editor (with Richard Johnston and André Blais), Strengthening Canadian Democracy (Montreal: Institute for Research on Public Policy, 2005)
  • “Calling All Citizens: The Challenges of Public Consultation,” Canadian Public Administration, vol. 47, no. 1 (Spring 2004) (with Keith Culver)
  • Electoral Participation and the Knowledge Deficit,” Electoral Insight, Vol. 5, no. 2 (July 2003)
  • “Where Have all the Voters Gone?” Inroads: The Canadian Journal of Opinion (Winter/Spring 2003), no. 12
  • Co-editor (with Peter Russell), Judicial Power and Canadian Democracy (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2001)

Paul Howe was raised in Toronto. He did his graduate studies at the London School of Economics and at the University of British Columbia. Before coming to UNB in 2001, he was a Research Director at the Institute for Research on Public Policy in Montreal.