Meet Andrea Lawlor, Associate Professor for Political Science and the Master of Public Policy in Digital Society

A headshot of Andrea LawlorOn July 1st, the Faculty of Social Sciences welcomed a new cohort of faculty members, including Andrea Lawlor, who will join the Department of Political Science and the Master of Public Policy in Digital Society as a professor.


We caught up with Andrea to talk about her academic and professional journey, her main research interests, what excites her about this position, and what she does outside of work.


Tell us about your academic and professional journey so far.

I’m joining McMaster after nine years as an Assistant and Associate Professor in the Politics and International Relations department at King’s University College at Western. At King’s, my teaching focus was on domestic law and public policy, with a particular focus on constitutional law. Seeing the overwhelming interest that students have in studying the law, I founded the Law and Public Policy undergraduate certificate, which gave students the opportunity to develop their passion for learning about our democratic system. In addition to my teaching and research, I occasionally work in the area of program monitoring and evaluation in global development contexts. Most recently, I helped with the methodological design and implementation for an evaluation of an educational program in Mali.


What excites you most about this position?

I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work both in the Department of Political Science and in the Master in Public Policy in Digital Society program. To me, it’s the perfect blend of fostering students’ engagement with civic participation at the undergraduate level and deepening that passion and promoting skill development at the professional level. McMaster also provides a supportive space to engage in experiential learning at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and I’m excited to continue to build on the many types of experiential activities that I’ve been employing in the classroom over the past decade in my classrooms.


What are your main research interests?

I work at the intersection of law and public policy. Sometimes this takes the shape of projects that look at public opinion toward policy change, while at other times, I look more concretely at the effects of changes in certain pieces of legislation and how that influences policy outcomes. I work in a wide variety of policy fields including immigration policy, election law, and even midwifery (which makes McMaster a perfect place to be)! My current grant funding covers a wide range of projects, including Canada’s application of behavioral public policy, public attitudes toward the courts, political parties’ views on immigration policy and political polarization.


Outside of academia, what do you like to do?

I love spending time with my family, and I am happiest when working in my garden or walking my dog, Hunter (who is a very good boy).