Travis Southin is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Carleton University’s School of Public Policy and Administration & The Transition Accelerator. Travis completed his PhD from the University of Toronto’s Department of Political Science (2022). His research examines the politics of innovation policy and the broader role of the state in facilitating the transition to a net-zero economy.

Overcoming Barriers to Policy Change: The Politics of Canada’s Innovation Policy

Travis Southin’s research analyzes the policy process of crafting innovation policy, with a particular focus on Canadian innovation policy. Travis’ Political Science PhD thesis is titled Overcoming Barriers to Policy Change: The Politics of Canada’s Shifting Innovation Policy. This thesis illuminates the political barriers constraining the Government of Canada’s ability to shift its innovation policy mix away from neutral/horizontal policy instruments, such as research and development tax credits, towards more direct intervention innovation policy instruments, such as large-scale direct grants, loans, and public procurement targeted to specific sectors and firms. These findings are supported by an original qualitative data set of confidential interviews with 70 CEOs of leading Canadian technology companies as well as 70 civil servants and third-party experts involved in innovation policy.  Travis is also the Editor of the Innovation Policy Lab Newsletter for the Innovation Policy Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy.

Research Interests

Travis’ research interests include innovation policy, sustainability transitions, public policy, Canadian politics, and political economy.

Background & Education

PhD Candidate                                                                                                    

Department of Political Science, University of Toronto (2016-Present)

Teaching Field specializations in Canadian Politics and Public Policy
Dissertation: Overcoming Barriers to Policy Change: The Politics of Canada’s Shifting Innovation Policy
Committee: David A. Wolfe (chair), Linda White & Darius Ornston

Master of Global Affairs                                                                                     

Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario (2014-2016)

Honours B.A. Major: Business Law, Minor: Political Science                                         

Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario (2009 – 2013)