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Hans-Dieter Klingemann

Distinguished German scholar comes to SFU

June 12, 2008

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The Canada Council for the Arts (CCA) has given this year’s John G. Diefenbaker Award to Hans-Dieter Klingemann, a political science professor at the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin and Freie Universität Berlin, to further his research at SFU on political representation and political identity.

The world-renowned German scholar will spend a year at SFU, from August 2008 to July 2009, working with the political science department on two research projects. The first project will examine the role of left-right orientation in political representation across nations, building on Klingemann’s earlier research into how ordinary citizens understand "left" and "right" politics and place political parties along the left-right continuum. It will also examine how political parties position themselves on the left-right spectrum in their electoral campaigns.

The second project on political identity will compare and contrast the Canadian experience as a politically diverse and inclusive community in a multicultural setting with the European challenges of identity and democratic legitimacy. Klingemann believes Canada’s experience can provide valuable insight for developing a political community in a culturally diverse society.

Klingemann’s visit "is certain to bring tremendous value to our department and the whole Canadian political and social science community," says SFU political science chair David Laycock. "It is hard for us to imagine a more deserving or prestigious candidate."

Klingemann is one of the world’s most influential political scientists, having made major international contributions to the study of comparative political behaviour, party politics and political ideologies. He has authored 13 books, more than 150 articles and book chapters and edited 22 scholarly volumes. He has been a principal investigator on over 20 major research grants.

Established in 1991 in memory of former Prime Minister John G. Diefenbaker, the annual award enables a German scholar to spend up to 12 months in Canada pursuing research in the social sciences and humanities.
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