Ken Carty is Professor Emeritus of Political Science and a former Brenda & David McLean Chair in Canadian Studies (2005-08). He served as Head of the Department (1996-2001, 2006-07) and Director of the Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions (2007-09). During 2005 he was a Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the Peter Wall Institute of Advanced Studies.
Educated at the University of New Brunswick (BSc in Forestry), at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, and at Queen’s University where he did a PhD in Comparative Politics, Carty spent his academic career at UBC, and in 2006 he was awarded the Dean of Arts Award, presented to the UBC Faculty of Arts’ outstanding member.
In 2002 he was the President of the Canadian Political Science Association.
In 2013 he was the recipient of the Mildred Schwartz Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Political Science Association.
Carty’s scholarship has been primarily concerned with political parties and electoral systems and he has published widely (13 authored / edited books and 80 refereed articles / book chapters) on politics in Europe, Canada and Australia. He has been active in supporting scholarly publication serving for twenty years (1990-2009) as the Chair of UBC Press, Canada’s leading publisher of social science research, and, from 2009-2015, as a senior editor of the European Consortium for Political Research sponsored Comparative Politics book series published by Oxford University Press.
Carty has been active as a consultant to both national and provincial Royal Commissions of Inquiry, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Ombudsman, and to the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada. He was appointed by the Speaker of the House of Commons to be a member of the 2002-03 federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for British Columbia, and during 2003-04 served as the Director of Research for the BC Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform, an innovative exercise in citizen engagement. He subsequently served as a senior consultant to Citizen Assemblies in The Kingdom of the Netherlands and the province of Ontario as well as to the Constitutional Convention of Ireland.
Carty’s community service includes membership of the Board of Governors of the Vancouver School of Theology from 1997-2007 (chair 2001-06) and as trustee for the Vancouver School of Theology Foundation (2014-). He currently serves as an appointed Trustee of the UBC Faculty Pension Plan.
Book length studies include:
- Party and Parish Pump: Electoral Politics in Ireland (subsequent Irish edition – Electoral Politics in Ireland)
- Grassroots Politicians: Party Activists in British Columbia (with D. Blake & L. Erickson),
- Canadian Political Parties in the Constituencies (also as: L’action des partis politiques dans les circonscriptions au Canada)
- Rebuilding Canadian Party Politics (with W. Cross & L. Young)
- Politics is Local: National Politics at the Grassroots (with M. Eagles)
- When Citizens Decide: Lessons from Citizen Assemblies on Electoral Reform (with P. Fournier, H. van der Kolk, A. Blais & J. Rose)
- Big Tent Politics: The Liberal Party’s Long Mastery of Canada’s Public Life