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Nov. 30, 2016

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CIGI Chair in Comparative and Transnational Social Policy and Governance

I’ve been interested in women’s equality since childhood but I only found a way to make this central to my research when a friend asked me to join in a project comparing the politics of child care in Western Europe. (My then partner knew a lot about child care policy but couldn’t read Swedish, which I could.) That opened up a whole new area of research, first comparing national child care politics in Canada and Sweden, then adding cities (Toronto and Stockholm), other countries (with colleagues) and – what helped me to get the job at the Balsillie School – the role of international organizations like the OECD and the World Bank in promoting the adoption of child care policies across the world. I have done other research on the OECD – the development of its social policies, labour market policies and gender equality policies.

My research mainly relies on documentary evidence, supplemented by interviews. The part I like the best is archival research as the latter feels like a treasure hunt. You never know what surprising bits of information you might find.

Professor Rianne Mahon is in Laurier's Department of Political Science and is cross-appointed to the Balsillie School of International Affairs.

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