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About Sylvia Bashevkin

An activist scholar based in Toronto, Sylvia Bashevkin is a prize-winning researcher in the field of women and politics. She has effectively widened opportunities for diverse citizens to engage in public life, notably as a volunteer with Equal Voice, the Churchill Society for the Advancement of Parliamentary Democracy, Fair Vote Canada, Toronto Women’s Call to Action, the Committee for ’94 and other community organizations. 

Sylvia Bashevkin is a professor emerita in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto. Her primary research focus is gender and politics, notably women’s impact as public leaders.

She is the author most recently of Women as Foreign Policy Leaders, a comparative study of four American decision-makers since the Reagan years, published in fall 2018 in the Oxford University Press series called Studies in Gender and International Relations. Her edited volume on women premiers in the Canadian provinces and territories was published in spring 2019 by UBC Press.

For her work as a champion of women’s voices in research and academic leadership, Sylvia Bashevkin was named in 2020 as a YWCA Toronto Woman of Distinction and in 2005 to Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award by the Women’s Executive Network. She has served as president of the Canadian Political Science Association, president of the women and politics research section of the American Political Science Association and principal of University College, the founding college of the University of Toronto.

Sylvia Bashevkin’s scholarly distinctions include fellowship in the Royal Society of Canada, the Canadian Political Science Association Prize in International Relations, the Bertha Lutz Prize from the International Studies Association,

the Jill Vickers Prize from the Canadian Political Science Association, the Mildred Schwartz Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Political Science Association, and the Ursula Franklin Gender Studies Award from the Royal Society.

Her previous books include Women, Power, Politics: The Hidden Story of Canada’s Unfinished Democracy (Oxford University Press, 2009), Tales of Two Cities: Women and Municipal Restructuring in London and Toronto (UBC Press, 2006); Welfare Hot Buttons: Women, Work and Social Policy Reform (University of Toronto Press and University of Pittsburgh Press, 2002); Women on the Defensive: Living Through Conservative Times (University of Chicago Press and University of Toronto Press, 1998); and Toeing the Lines: Women and Party Politics in English Canada (2nd ed., Oxford University Press, 1993).

Sylvia Bashevkin has edited multiple volumes on women’s political engagement, written numerous journal articles and chapters in books, and commented extensively on politics for a variety of media outlets.

She is a lively public speaker who has translated her research findings into compelling presentations for large as well as more intimate audiences.


Women as Foreign Policy Leaders

Sylvia Bashevkin - Women as Foreign Policy Leaders
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