Welcome to the British Columbia Political Studies Association

The association exists to provide a forum for Political Scientists in British Columbia, Canada to present and discuss research and to collaborate on matters pertaining to teaching and learning of political science in post-secondary institutions in BC.

The Canadian Political Science Review
The Canadian Political Science Review is an open access journal especially dedicated to the promotion of scholarship within the British Columbia Political Studies Association (BCPSA), the Atlantic Provinces Political Science Association (APPSA) and the Prairie Political Science Association (PPSA).

The BCPSA 2018 Annual Conference will be held at Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops Campus, on May 3 & 4, with the 2018 BC Political Science Articulation Committee meeting on Friday, May 4.  More details are on this site. Contact Derek Cook, dcook”@”tru.ca for inquiries.


Professor Norman Ruff
It is with sadness that we note Professor Norman Ruff, expert and leading student of BC politics, passed away in August, 2017. Professor Ruff`s expertise, public engagement and contributions to teaching of BC politics are summarized in this Vancouver Sun Obituary. The BCPSA awards The Norman Ruff Prize for the best upper level undergraduate paper each year.

Brief History

British Columbia’s highly developed transfer system amongst all post-secondary institutions began in 1989 with the establishment of the BC Council on Admissions and Transfer (BCCAT).  The transfer system  centres on a system of articulation committees that mediate common policy among  diverse institutions and provincial government. The Political Science articulation committee, for example, is comprised representatives of all post secondary institutions in BC and Yukon (private and public) that offer courses in Political Science, broadly construed. Inevitably articulation committees become strategic actors in pursuing collective objectives.

In 1994 the BCCAT Political Science Articulation Committee approved a proposal to establish a professional association with the aim of encouraging and promoting studies conducted by its members of governance and politics in British Columbia and elsewhere. The Association would be modelled on the highly successful Atlantic Province’s Political Studies Association (APPSA) then in its 20th year of operation. It would operate as an affiliate of the Canadian Political Science Association (CPSA) and encourage its members to take part in the activities of the CPSA.

Simon Fraser University offered to hold the first annual meeting of the Association and this meeting was held in conjunction with the BC Political Science Articulation Committee. The first BCPSA meeting was held at SFU’s Halpern Centre, May 5-6, 1995.

The BCPSA Annual Meeting has continued to be a two day conference usually held on the Thursday and Friday of the first week of May. The Association’s Annual General Meeting usually occurs on Thursday and the BCCAT Political Science Articulation meeting usually occurs on the Friday. The BCPSA Annual Meeting is hosted by a different member institution each year.

From its beginning, then, the BCPSA emerged as institution that combines a regional political studies organization and conference with discussion and debate on common educational policy and pedagogical issues of member institutions.

Still going strong after 23 years!