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van der Linden Clifton, Adjunct Professor

Biography

Cliff’s academic interests centre on the implications of digital technology for both the practice and study of politics. His research explores the relationships between digital technologies and patterns of democratic participation as well as how emergent technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, social media, and cryptocurrency are reconstituting the ideas and norms of the contemporary political order. He is also actively engaged in the application of new, technologically-enabled methods—such as the use of Big Data and machine learning—to the study of political behaviour and public opinion. His publications have appeared in peer-reviewed journals including Political Analysis, the International Journal of Forecasting, and the Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties.

Cliff received his doctoral training in political science from the University of Toronto, where he served as chair of the G7 Research Group at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, and editor-in-chief of the Journal of International Law and International Relations, a peer-reviewed journal published by the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. He was also a junior fellow at Massey College and is the recipient of a doctoral fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the Beattie fellowship from the Trudeau Centre for Peace, Conflict and Justice, the Sedra Distinguished Graduate Award, the Clarkson Laureateship for Public Service, and the Action Canada public policy fellowship. Cliff has also been a visiting scholar at the Free University Amsterdam, the European University Institute, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

A former software developer and journalist, Cliff has founded and led numerous companies—from non-profit organizations to Silicon Valley-incubated, venture-backed technology start-ups. He is presently the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Vox Pop Labs, a social enterprise best known for producing Vote Compass, a voter engagement and education application that has drawn tens of millions of users. Vote Compass has been run in more than a dozen countries worldwide in partnership with media organizations including the Canadian and Australian Broadcasting Corporations, The Wall Street Journal, Vox Media, Grupo Globo, Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland, Sky News UK, France24, and Television New Zealand.

Cliff was named Entrepreneur of the Year in 2017 by the Toronto Region Board of Trade and was also named one of Toronto’s Top 12 Young Innovators of 2012 by Post City Magazine. He was the recipient of McMaster University’s Arch Young Alumni Award in 2015.

Cliff has advised various governments on matters related to digital technology and public opinion research. He is also a regular media contributor on issues pertaining to elections and public policy.

 

Education

B.A., (Honours, Economics and Political Science, minor in Business), McMaster University, 2004

M.A., (Journalism), Western University, 2005

Ph.D., (Political Science), University of Toronto, 2018

 

Teaching

Courses (2018-2019)

Graduate

  • POLSCI 780 Selected Political Problems: Politics of Technology

This course examines the relationships between technological and political change, with a particular emphasis on digital technologies and their role in the transformation of the contemporary practice of politics. The aim of the course is to better understand the ways in which technology both influences and is influenced by politics. It explores how social responses to technological change both conform to and challenge various theories of politics.

 

 

Research

Supervision

Cliff is interested in supervising graduate students pursuing research in the following areas:
• Psephology
• Public Opinion
• Political Behaviour
• Political Communication
• Artificial Intelligence
• Computational Social Science
• International Relations Theory

Journal Articles

Dufresne, Yannick, Justin Savoie, Mickael Temporão, and Clifton van der Linden. “Crowdsourcing the vote: new horizons in citizen forecasting.” International Journal of Forecasting, Forthcoming.

Temporão, Mickael, Corentin Vande Kerckhove, Clifton van der Linden, Yannick Dufresne, and Julien M. Hendrickx. “Ideological scaling of social media users: a dynamic lexicon approach.” Political Analysis, Forthcoming.

Glas, Aarie, Clifton van der Linden, Matthew Hoffmann, and Robert Denemark. “Understanding multilateral treaty-making as constitutive practice.” Journal of Global Security Studies 3, no. 3 (2018): 339-357. https://doi.org/10.1093/jogss/ogy014

Osborne, Danny, Yannick Dufresne, Gregory Eady, Jennifer Lees-Marshment, and Clifton van der Linden. “Is the Personal Always Political? Education and Political Knowledge Strengthen the Relationship Between Openness and Conservatism.” Journal of Individual Differences 38 (2017): 133-143. https://doi.org/10.1027/1614-0001/a000230.

van der Linden, Clifton, and Yannick Dufresne. “The curse of dimensionality in Voting Advice Applications: reliability and validity in algorithm design.” Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties 27, no. 1 (2017): 9-30. https://doi.org/10.1080/17457289.2016.1268144

van der Linden, Clifton, and Jack Vowles. “(De)coding elections: the implications of Voting Advice Applications.” Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties 27, no. 1 (2017): 2-8. https://doi.org/10.1080/17457289.2016.1269773

Osborne, Danny, Jennifer Lees-Marshment, and Clifton van der Linden. “National identity and the flag change referendum: Examining the latent profiles underlying New Zealanders’ flag change support.” New Zealand Sociology 31, no. 7 (2016): 19-47. https://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=560850879097417;res=IELFSC

Lees-Marshment, Jennifer, Yannick Dufresne, Gregory Eady, Danny Osborne, Clifton van der Linden, and Jack Vowles. “Vote Compass in the 2014 New Zealand election: Hearing the voice of New Zealand voters.” Political Science 67, no. 2 (2015): 94-124. https://doi.org/10.1177/0032318715609076

van der Linden, Clifton. “Secession: final frontier for international law or site of realpolitik revival?” Journal of International Law and International Relations 5, no. 2 (2009): 1-10. http://jilir.org/docs/issues/volume_5-2/5-2_1_VAN_DER_LINDEN_FINAL.pdf

Book Chapters


Lees-Marshment, Jennifer, Edward Elder, Lisa Chant, Danny Osborne, Justin Savoie, and Clifton van der Linden, “Vote Compass NZ 2017: Marketing Insights into Public Views on Policy and Leaders.” In Political Marketing and Management in the 2017 New Zealand Election, ed. Jennifer Lees-Marshment (New York: Springer International Publishing, 2018), 7-22. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-94298-8

Eady, Gregory, and Clifton van der Linden. “Better together? Poll aggregation and Canadian election forecasting.” In Canadian Election Analysis: Communication, Strategy, and Democracy, eds. Thierry Giasson and Alex Marland (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2015), 110-113. https://www.ubcpress.ca/asset/1712/election-analysis2015-final-v3-web-copy.pdf

Dufresne, Yannick, and Clifton van der Linden. “Digital technology and civic engagement: the case of Vote Compass.” In Canadian Election Analysis: Communication, Strategy, and Democracy, eds. Thierry Giasson and Alex Marland (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2015), 114-116. https://www.ubcpress.ca/asset/1712/election-analysis2015-final-v3-web-copy.pdf

Edited Volumes

Vowles, Jack and Clifton van der Linden. “The implications of Voting Advice Applications.” Special issue of the Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties 27, no 1 (2017). https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/fbep20/27/1?nav=tocList

Telfer, Candice and Clifton van der Linden. “Borders and Boundaries: Secession in the 21st century.” Special issue of the Journal of International Law and International Relations 5, no. 2 (Winter 2010). http://www.jilir.org/volume-5-issue-2/

Puetter, Uwe, Candice Telfer, Clifton van der Linden, and Antje Wiener. “Contested norms in International Law and International Relations.” Special issue of the Journal of International Law and International Relations 5, no. 1 (Spring 2009). http://www.jilir.org/volume-5-issue-1/

Reports

van der Linden, Clifton. MyDemocracy.ca Final Report. Ottawa: Privy Council Office, Government of Canada, 2017. http://epe.lac-bac.gc.ca/003/008/099/003008-disclaimer.html?orig=/100/200/301/pwgsc-tpsgc/por-ef/privy_council/2017/047-16-e/report.pdf

Boudreault, Félix-Antoine, James Haga, Benjamin Paylor, Annie Sabourin, Samira
Thomas, and Clifton van der Linden. Future Tense: Adapting Canadian education systems for the 21st century. Vancouver: Action Canada, 2013. http://www.actioncanada.ca/project/future-tense-adapting-canadian-education-systems-21st-century/

Popular press

van der Linden, Clifton. “Horwath taps those weary of Wynne, fearful of Ford.” CBC News, May 29, 2018. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/vote-compass-horwath-taps-those-weary-of-wynne-fearful-of-ford-1.4682106

van der Linden, Clifton. “Why the Vote Compass methodology holds up.” The Drum, June 9, 2016. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-10/van-der-linden-why-the-vote-compass-methodology-holds-up/7498692

van der Linden, Clifton. “Albertans predict PC majority despite polls giving edge to NDP.” CBC News, May 2, 2015. http://www.cbc.ca/news/elections/alberta-votes/albertans-predict-pc-majority-despite-polls-giving-edge-to-ndp-1.3058572

van der Linden, Clifton. “Holding MPs to account is now considered mischief?” The Drum, January 21, 2015. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-01-21/van-der-linden-holding-mps-to-account-is-now-considered-mischief/6030946

van der Linden, Clifton. “Vote Compass users rate leaders on trust.” CBC News, May 30, 2014. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-votes-2014/ontario-election-2014-vote-compass-users-rate-leaders-on-trust-1.2658733

van der Linden, Clifton. “Quebec’s tuition summit sidesteps a generational crisis.” The Globe and Mail, February 25, 2013. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/quebecs-tuition-summit-sidesteps-a-generational-crisis/article9025477/

van der Linden, Clifton. “Can science solve our biggest problems?” Policy Options, December 1, 2012. http://policyoptions.irpp.org/magazines/talking-science/van-der-linden/

Loewen, Peter John, Clifton van der Linden, Yannick Dufresne, and Gregory Eady. “In the end, the election was about issues.” Inroads: The Canadian Journal of Opinion 30 (Winter/Spring 2012): 60-67. http://inroadsjournal.ca/in-the-end-the-election-was-about-issues/

van der Linden, Clifton, and Kelly Hinton. “Voter turnout: thinking outside the (ballot) box.” The Mark News, December 14, 2011. https://www.samaracanada.com/docs/default-source/trioro-dropbox/voter-turnout_van-der-linden-and-hinton_the-mark-news.pdf