Dr. Luke Flanagan: About Me

I am an early career academic with a particular interest in Canadian politics and history. I have recently completed a PhD at the Centre of Canadian Studies, University of Edinburgh. My thesis addresses the question of a political union of Canada’s three Maritime provinces – Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island – between 1960 and 1980. This type of union is frequently referred to as a ‘Maritime Union.’ The abstract of my thesis can be viewed here. Although primarily a political scientist, my work to date, both empirically and theoretically, has a considerable historical grounding. Broadly speaking my work has sought to understand the basis of political decision-making within a longitudinal paradigm and the endurance and/or change of political institutions over time. I have presented my work at a number of internal and external forums. I am currently working with a leading academic publisher in Canada on a book proposal based on my thesis.

During my time at Edinburgh, I taught on the ‘Canadian Studies 1A and 1B’ courses within the Centre of Canadian Studies as both a Tutor and Senior Tutor. I also devised and delivered two lectures on the historical and political developments of Canada’s two island provinces, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador. I also taught on the ‘Scotland: Society and Politics’ course within the Department of Sociology. During this time I was also employed for a short time as a Researcher to a Member of the Scottish Parliament. My time in Scotland reawakened my interest in questions of separatism and independence. I am interested in the process and strategy by which existing territorial entities may seek to separate from a host state. For my undergraduate dissertation I investigated the legality, practicality and amicability of Quebec’s independence from Canada.

Between September and December 2013 I was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Memorial University of Newfoundland. I taught three courses: Issues in Canadian PoliticsFederalism in Canada, and Introduction to Canadian Politics. Some of my future research priorities can be found here. Please see my CV for a fuller outline of my past experience.

I am conducting this project out of both personal interest and as a side-project as I pursue an academic career. Having grown up in Bexhill, I am curious by the presence of Canadian soldiers in the town during the two world wars, particularly the First World War. I am interested to learn the role these men fulfilled whilst in the town during the ‘Great War’ and the legacy that they left behind. From a more academic point a view, I would like to understand and contribute to the debates about how the Canadian Training School and Trench Warfare School in Bexhill shaped the Canada’s constitutional development at a time when it was not yet fifty years old and a Dominion of Britain.

The first academic paper from this project entitled “Canadians in Bexhill-on-Sea during the First World War: A Reflection of Canadian Nationhood?” will be published in the British Journal of Canadian Studies in September 2014. A second paper entitled “Canadians in Bexhill-on-Sea during the First World War:  A Maple Leaf Empire?” is currently being revised having been presented at the Institute of the Americas, University College London in July 2014. Since June 2014, I have been a contributing writer to the Bexhillian Magazine, a free local magazine distributed to households across the town. My articles relate mostly to the Canadians in Bexhill and how they connect to broader themes about the town and its history. These articles can be viewed online by clicking here:

Any enquiries about the project can be directed to canadiansinbexhill@gmail.com or on Twitter @cdnsinbexhill. I can also be contacted by telephone on 07973 913 128.

Please Note: This is an independent research project not affiliated with any institution. All work and comment is my own and reflects my personal opinion and not that of an institution I may be connected to now or in the future.

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