Inaugural York Public Affairs Paper Competition announces winners

The politics of the non-profit sector and an evaluation of the federal Gomery Commission were the prize-winning topics in the inaugural York Public Affairs Paper Competition. The winners, respectively, are Louise Bellingham, a fourth-year student in the Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies, and Neil Foley, a master’s student in political science in York’s Faculty of Arts. In addition, Eric Lander, a first-year student in political science, and Doug Jarvis, a master’s student in political science, both in the Faculty of Arts, received honourable mentions for their papers.

The results were announced on May 9 by Professor Ian Roberge of Glendon’s Political Science Department. The University-wide competition, open to both undergraduate and graduate students, drew participants from a number of different faculties.

Right: Ian Roberge

The York Public Affairs Paper Competition was conceived and run by the Glendon Research Group in Public and International Affairs, and chaired by Roberge, coordinator of Glendon’s Bilingual Certificate in Public Administration and Public Policy Program. Roberge worked with Faculty of Arts political science Professor Ian Greene, master of McLaughlin College, and the Council on Public Administration, a pan-York body coordinating efforts in public administration and public policy.

Left: Ian Greene

The two winners will receive $100, disbursed from a donation by Paul Cantor, managing director for Canada of the global executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates and member of the York University Board of Governors. Cantor was a residence don at Glendon from 1966 to 1970. The two winners will also participate in the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC) annual convention in Charlottetown, PEI, Aug. 27 to 30. In addition, the conference fee will be waived for the four York students, if they choose to attend, and efforts are underway to assist them with travel costs. The two winners will have the opportunity to present their papers in a poster format at the conference and they will have a chance to win an IPAC prize.

Bellingham, the winner at the undergraduate level, received the award for her paper titled “The Democratic Deficit – Suppressing Political Activity in the Canadian Non-Profit Sector”.  “I’m thrilled and honoured to have won the competition. It’s very motivating,” said Bellingham. “I’m hoping to attend the IPAC conference in August and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to present some of the ideas from my paper.” Bellingham, who will graduate in June, is in the midst of interviewing for positions in the non-profit sector. “I will miss the academic environment and have thoughts of pursuing my PhD,” she said. “I’m contemplating graduate work on a part-time basis for next year.”

At the graduate level, Neil Foley received the prize for his paper titled “Restructuring the Bargain: An Evaluation of the Gomery Commission’s Phase II Report, Restoring Accountability”. “The Gomery Commission brought ethics and democratic administration back into the public consciousness, and I was excited to hear that my paper on that topic won the contest. Next year I plan on working as an intern in the Ontario Legislature Internship Program,” said Foley.

An honourable mention was awarded to Doug Jarvis, an MA student in York’s Faculty of Arts, for his paper, “Max Weber and Public Administration in Today’s Democratic Community”, and to first-year Faculty of Arts student Eric Lander for his paper, “Democracy’s Unelected Lawmakers: Liberal Constitutionalism and the Judicial Review in Theory and Practice”.

Building on the success of this year’s competition, Roberge said he is already looking forward to conducting an expanded version next year.

The judging panel for undergraduate submissions consisted of Sylvie Arend, Glendon political science professor, Colin Coates, coordinator of Glendon’s Canadian Studies Department, and philosophy Professor Louis-Philippe Hodgson. Judges for the graduate student submissions were Glendon economics Professor Rafael Gomez and Roberge. To ensure a fair process, papers were given to the judges with no identifying information.

This article was submitted to YFile by Glendon communications officer Marika Kemeny.