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Patrick Smith is a Professor and Past Chair of the department and current Director of the Institute of Governance Studies. His research interests include public policy and administration, local and metropolitan governance, global cities, political parties and elections, electoral reform, local democracy, Canadian and BC Government/Politics, federalism and constitutional reform. He is currently engaged in research on comparative urban and regional/metropolitan governance, subnational (city/province-state) global policy making, Cascadia, aboriginal policy, political parties, voters and recent Canadian elections: federal, provincial, and local.
He is the co-author of The Vision and The Game: Making the Canadian Constitution (Detselig 1987); The Almanac of Canadian Politics (Broadview 1991) on the 1988 Canadian General Election; The Almanac of Canadian Politics (Oxford 1995, 2nd edition) on the 1993 Canadian General Election; L'Almanach Politique du Quebec (Editiones Americaines1997); Ties that Bind: Voters and Parties in Canada (Oxford 1999), Partis politiques et comportement electioral au Canada: Filations et affiliations with James Bickerton and Alain Gagnon (Boreal 2002); and Law, Politics and the Administration of Justice: Canadian Cases, Comparative Perspective (Pacific Policy Press 2000).
He is co-editor of Continuities and Discontinuities: The Political Economy of Social Welfare and Labour Market Policy in Canada (University of Toronto Press,1994), Urban Solutions to Global Problems: Vancouver - Canada - Habitat II ( UBC/Centre For Human Settlements 1996), and Metropolitan Governing: Canadian Cases, Comparative Lessons (Magnus Press, Hebrew University of Jerusalem 2003). He has also authored numerous articles, edited chapters, and reviews on Canadian political parties, elections, electoral reform, local/urban/regional and metropolitan governance, provincial-municipal relations, aboriginal issues, affirmative action, labour market policy, democratic socialism, public sector ethics, international cities, ombudsmania, planning and community economic development in such journals as the Canadian Journal of Political Science, International Political Science Review, Canadian Journal of Urban Research, BC Studies, Canadian Public Policy, Planning and Administration. He has taught at the Open University (UK), University of Victoria, Acadia and Dalhousie Universities in Nova Scotia, and since 1982, at Simon Fraser University. He has served as a board member of the Institute of Public Administration of Canada and the Canadian Political Science Association. He was the founding President of the BC Political Studies Association. He has done work for the Canadian, Nova Scotia and British Columbia and Vancouver Governments.