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Coleman William, Distinguished University Professor Emeritus | Fellow Royal Society of Canada | Founding Director of the IGHC

William Coleman

Distinguished University Professor Emeritus | Fellow Royal Society of Canada | Founding Director of the IGHC

Emeritus Faculty
Department of Political Science

Honourary Lifetime Members
Institute on Globalization & the Human Condition


William D. Coleman holds the Center for International Governance Chair in Globalization and Public Policy at the Balsillie School of International Affairs.  He is the Director of the Ph.D in Global Governance Program and the M.A. program in Global Governance.  He is Professor of Political Science at the University of Waterloo.  He was the Founding Director of the Institute on Globalization and the Human Condition at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.  He has the privilege of being a faculty member in the Department of Political Science at McMaster for 32 years.

Born in Nelson, British Columbia, he received his B.A. from Carleton University and his M.A. and Ph.D from The University of Chicago.

He has been the Project Director of the Globalization and Autonomy Series of books that is being published by the University of British Columbia Press, where he is editor or co-editor of eight books.  More recently, working with Professor Alina Sajed, they published "Fifty Key Thinkers on Globalization" with Routledge.  In addition to these books, he has written articles dealing with Quebec politics, business government relations, changes in agricultural policy, the making of financial services policy, indigenous peoples, global governance, and globalization that have been published in journals in Canada, the United States, China and Europe. 

Research and Supervision

Currently, I am directing a collaborative research project on "Globalization and Autonomy". Within this area, I am working personally on the impacts of globalization on agriculture, with a particular focus on agricultural biotechnology. I wish to learn more about how one studies public policy in areas of policy that are globalizing rapidly.

To these ends, I founded and continue to be associated with the Institute on Globalization and the Human Condition at McMaster University. In this area, I am interested in learning more about the phenomenon of globalization and what impact it has on individuals and communities. I have a particular interest in the effect of globalization on democratic political processes. To what extent does globalization impede such practices? Does globalization provide any new opportunities for democratic politics? In this same area, I have an additional interest in the impact of globalization on indigenous peoples in Canada and elsewhere.

I would be pleased to supervise doctoral or M.A. students wishing to work in any of these areas.


Globalization 710


Articles (past eight years) 

William D. Coleman and Sarah Wayland, “The Origins of Global Civil Society and Non-Territorial Governance: Some Empirical Reflections”, Global Governance, Vol. 12, No. 3 (2006), 241-262.

Vandna Bhatia and William D. Coleman, "Ideas and Discourse: Reform and Resistance in the Canadian and German Health Systems", Canadian Journal of Political Science, Vol. 36, No. 4 (2003), pp. 715-739.

William D. Coleman and Tim A. Mau, "French-English relations in business interest associations," Canadian Public Administration, Vol. 45, No. 4 (Winter), 2003, pp. 490-511.

William Coleman and Melissa Gabler, "Agricultural Biotechnology and Regime Formation: A Constructivist Assessment of the Prospects." International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 46 (2002), pp. 481-506.

*William D. Coleman and Christine Chiasson, "State power, transformative capacity and adapting to globalization: an analysis of French agricultural policy, 1960-2000, European Journal of Public Policy, Vol. 9, No. 2 (2002), pp. 168-185.

*"Agricultural Policy Reform and Policy Convergence: An Actor-Centred Institutionalist Approach," Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice, Vol. 3, pp. 219-241, 2001 "The Project on Trends: An Introduction," Canadian Public Policy, Vol. 26, Special Issue 2 (2000), 1-12.

*William D. Coleman and Tony Porter, "International Institutions, Globalization and Democracy: Assessing the Challenges." Global Society, Vol. 14, No. 3 (2000), pp. 377-398.

*Éric Montpetit and W.D. Coleman, "Policy Communities and Policy Divergence: Agro-environmental Policy in Québec and Ontario," Canadian Journal of Political Science, Vol. XXXII, No. 4 (1999), pp. 691-714.

*W.D. Coleman and Anthony Perl, "Internationalized Policy Environments and Policy Network Analysis." Political Studies, Vol. XLVII, No. 4 (1999), pp. 691-709.

*W.D. Coleman and Stefan Tangermann, "The 1992 CAP Reform, the Uruguay Round and the Commission: Conceptualizing Linked Policy Games." Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol. 37, No. 3 (1999), pp. 385-405.


W.D. Coleman, Wyn Grant and Timothy Josling, Agriculture in the New Global Economy (Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2004), pp. x, 201.

William Coleman, Business and Politics: A Study in Collective Action. Montreal: McGill Queen's University Press, 1988, pp. xvi, 336.

William Coleman, The Independence Movement in Quebec, 1945 1980. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1984, pp. xii, 274. (Reprinted 1986, 1988, 1995)

Financial Services, Globalization, and Domestic Policy Change: A Comparison of North America and the European Union (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1996), pp. xvi, 297.

Michael M. Atkinson and William Coleman, The State, Business, and Industrial Change in Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1989, pp. xii, 236.

Books, edited

William D. Coleman and Nancy Johnson, eds. Globalization and Autonomy Online Compendium. 2006.

Editor, The Project on Trends, Canadian Public Policy, Vol. 26, Special Issue 2 (2000).

William Coleman and Geoffrey R.D. Underhill, eds. Regionalism and Global Economic Integration: Europe, Asia and the Americas. London: Routledge, 1998, pp. x, 253.

William Coleman and Grace Skogstad, eds. Policy Communities and Policy Making in Canada: A Structural Approach (Toronto: Copp Clark Pitman, 1990), pp. xiv, 338.

William Coleman and Henry Jacek, eds. Regionalism, Business Interests and Public Policy. (London: Sage Publications, 1989) pp. x, 236.

Chapters in Books (past five years)

(with Austina J. Reed) "Legalities, Transnationalism, and the Global Organic Movement" in Law and Legalisation in Transnational Relations, edited by Christian Bruetsch and Dirk Lehmkuhl. London: Routledge, 2007, pp. 101-120.

"Ulrich Beck" in William Coleman and Nancy Johnson, eds. Globalization and Autonomy Online Compendium

"Codex Alimentarius Commission" in William Coleman and Nancy Johnson, eds. Globalization and Autonomy Online Compendium,

"General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade" in William Coleman and Nancy Johnson, eds. Globalization and Autonomy Online Compendium,

"Genetically Modified Organism" in William Coleman and Nancy Johnson, eds. Globalization and Autonomy Online Compendium,

"Global public policy, associative orders and business interest associations" in Wolfgang Streeck, Jürgen Grote, Volker Schneider, and Jesse Visser, eds. Governing Interests: Business Associations Facing Internationalization. London: Routledge, 2006, pp. 199-218.

“Globality and Transnational Policy-Making in Agriculture: Complexity, Contradiction, and Conflict” in Edgar Grande and Louis W. Pauly, eds. Complex Sovereignty: Reconstituting Political Authority in the Twenty-First Century ( Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005), pp. 93-119

'Globalization, Regionalization and Democracy' in Axel Hülsemeyer, ed. Globalization in the Twenty-First Century: Convergence or Divergence? London: Palgrave, 2003, pp. 101-118.

"Governing Global Finance: Financial derivatives, liberal states and transformative capacity" in Linda Weiss, ed. States in the Global Economy: Bringing Domestic Institutions Back In. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003, pp. 271-292.

W.D. Coleman and Tony Porter, 'Playin' Along: Canada and Global Finance,' in Wallace Clement and Leah Vosko, eds. Changing Canada: Political Economy as Transformation. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2003), pp. 241-264.

"The Politics of Globalization," in Rand Dyck, ed., Studying Politics: An Introduction to Political Science (Toronto: Nelson Canada, 2002), pp. 389-405.

"Policy Networks", in N.J. Smelser and Paul B. Baltes, eds International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences. xford: Pergamon, 2002, pp. 11608-11613.

"Federalism and Financial Services," in Herman Bakvis and Grace Skogstad, eds. Canadian Federalism: Performance, Effectiveness, and Legitimacy. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2002, pp. 178-96.

Chapters in Books (not peer reviewed) (past five years)

"Globalization and Development" in Ahmed Shafiqul Huque and Habib Zafarullah, eds. International Development Governance. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press/Taylor&Francis, 2005, pp. 75-90.

"Globalization and Co-operatives" in Brett Fairbairn and Nora Russell, eds. Co-operative Membership and Globalization: New Directions in Research and Practice. Saskatoon: Center for the Study of Co-operatives, University of Saskatchewan, pp. 3-17.

"Small States, Globalisation and Handing down of Culture" pp. 213-221 in Jean-Paul Baillargeon, ed.,Handing Down of Culture, Small Societies and Globalisation. Toronto: Grubstreet Books, 2004.

"Petites sociétés, mondialisation et transmission de la culture " in Jean-Paul Baillargeon, ed., Transmission de la culture, petites sociétés, mondialisation. Québec : Les Presses de l'Université Laval, 2002, pp. 263-272.

"Globalisation and the Future of Associational Governance," in Justin Greenwood, ed. The Effectiveness of EU Business Associations. Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2002, 209-22.

Other publications

"Self-Directed Problem-Based Learning in Mainstream Undergraduate Couses," PBL Insight, Vol. 2, No. 3 (1999), pp. 3, 9-10.