Michelle Dion

Michelle Dion is a political scientist, currently a professor in the department of political science and the Senator William McMaster Chair in Gender and Methodology at McMaster University, as well as the founding director of McMaster University's Centre for Research in Empirical Social Sciences. Dion studies the political economy of Latin America, the history of social welfare policies, political methodology, and comparative political behaviour with a focus on attitudes, gender, and sexuality in politics.

Michelle Lynn Dion
Alma mater
Scientific career
FieldsPolitical science

Early career and educationEdit

Dion received a BA in Latin American studies with a concentration in government from the University of Texas at Austin in 1996.[1] She then attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for graduate school, obtaining an MA in political science in 1998 and a PhD in political science in 2002. Her major concentration in her PhD was comparative politics, and her minor concentration was political methodology.[1]


After completing her PhD in 2002, Dion became an assistant professor in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology. From 2004 to 2005, she was a Fulbright Professor at the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas in Mexico City. In 2009, she left the Georgia Institute of Technology to become a professor at McMaster University.[1] She has also taught at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education[1] and the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research.[2]

Dion's book, Workers and Welfare: Comparative Institutional Change in Twentieth-Century Mexico, was published in 2010.[1] The book was reviewed as "the most comprehensive account of Mexico's welfare institutions and policies".[3] The book analysed the development of Mexican social welfare policy over nine decades, focusing on the period since 1980, arguing that its evolution was a function both of coalitions of organised labour and also the creation of state institutions like enlarged state administrative capacity.[4]

In addition to her comparative and historical work, Dion has published on political methodology in journals such as Political Analysis.[5] Dion is a member of the Visions in Methodology organisation, and has worked on major projects to improve instruction in political science methodology. From 2010 to 2015, she was the director of development for the Online Portal for Social Science Education in Methodology.[1]

Dion is a member of the 2020–2024 editorial leadership of the American Political Science Review,[6][7] which is the most selective political science journal.[8]

Dion has also used her expertise in empirical social science to assist local and communal causes. She was a coauthor of the report Mapping the void: Two-spirit and LGBTIQ+ experiences in Hamilton, an empirical study of the insufficient resources for two-spirit and LGBTIQ+ residents of Hamilton, Ontario.[9] The study included a coauthor from the City of Hamilton and one from the AIDS Network, and it used survey research methods to study the well-being of LGBTIQ+ and two-spirit people in the city,[9] with a particular focus on how few dedicated public spaces remain available for those individuals in Hamilton.[10] She has also been credited with playing a "pivotal role" in McMaster University's efforts to fix its gendered pay gap,[5] as she authored a study on the topic[11] which prompted the university to reduce its pay gap by raising the salaries of the women on its faculty.[12] For this effort, she was given the Award of Distinction from the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations.[12]

Dion has contributed expert commentary to various media outlets on issues like gender pay gaps among faculty members[13] and citation gaps between men and women academics.[14][15]

Selected worksEdit

  • "Eradication efforts, the state, displacement and poverty: Explaining coca cultivation in Colombia during Plan Colombia". Journal of Latin American Studies. 2008, with Catherine Russler
  • "Economic development, income inequality, and preferences for redistribution". International Studies Quarterly. 2010, with Vicki Birchfield
  • Workers and Welfare: Comparative Institutional Change in Twentieth-Century Mexico (2010)
  • "How Many Citations to Women Is "Enough"? Estimates of Gender Representation in Political Science". PS: Political Science & Politics. 2020, with Sara McLaughlin Mitchell

Selected awardsEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Michelle L. Dion Profile". McMaster University. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  2. ^ "Michelle Dion Profile". Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research at the University of Michigan. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  3. ^ Cook, Maria Lorena (March 2011). "Review of Workers and Welfare: Comparative Institutional Change in Twentieth Century Mexico". Contemporary Sociology. American Sociological Institution. 40 (2): 169–170. doi:10.1177/0094306110396847m.
  4. ^ Middlebrook, Kevin J. (February 2011). "Review of Workers and Welfare: Comparative Institutional Change in Twentieth Century Mexico". Journal of Latin American Studies. Cambridge University Press. 43 (1): 165–167. doi:10.1017/S0022216X10001902.
  5. ^ a b "Meet 2020 APSR Editor, Michelle L. Dion of McMaster University". American Political Science Association. 3 September 2019. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  6. ^ "APSA Announces the New Editorial Team for the American Political Science Review". American Political Science Association. 26 July 2019. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
  7. ^ Marshall, Jenna (26 July 2019). "Righting the balance: New APSR editors meet at SFI to discuss gender and race in scientific publishing". Santa Fe Institute. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  8. ^ "Cutting-Edge Research Agenda". University of Tennessee Knoxville. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  9. ^ a b Mills, Suzanne; Dion, Michelle; Thompson-Blum, Daniel; Borst, Chris; Diemert, James (11 June 2019). Cole Gately (ed.). "Mapping the void: Two-spirit and LGBTIQ+ experiences in Hamilton" (PDF). Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  10. ^ Polewski, Lisa (12 June 2019). "Hamilton lacks dedicated queer spaces for LGBTQ2 community: study". Global News. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  11. ^ "An Analysis of Gender Equity in MUFA Faculty Salaries" (PDF). Institutional Research and Analysis. McMaster University. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  12. ^ a b c "Poli Sci prof wins OCUFA Award of Distinction". McMaster University Daily News. McMaster University. 8 March 2016. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  13. ^ Kataria, Drishti (8 May 2015). "Western doesn't need to follow McMaster University in raising salaries of female faculty". The Western Gazette. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  14. ^ Dion, Michelle L.; Mitchell, Sarah McLaughlin (26 August 2019). "Here's what we can do about the gender gap in political science journals". The Washington Post. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  15. ^ American Political Science Review's incoming editorial team (29 August 2019). "We're an all-women team chosen to edit political science's flagship journal. Here's why that matters". The Washington Post. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  16. ^ "Examining the role of internet access and support for same-sex marriage". McMaster University. 28 May 2019. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  17. ^ "Sarah Shorten Award". Canadian Association of University Teachers. Retrieved 3 January 2020.