Tracey Wagner-Rizvi

PhD Global Governance

Tracey Wagner-Rizvi“The fantastic thing about the program is that it is multidisciplinary. There are students and faculty with strong backgrounds in political science, sociology, geography, and international relations who can draw on their different backgrounds to give shape to the program content.” She explains that the diversity of the program gives students additional tools to inform their existing research topic. “It gives a multidimensional approach to your own area of research. And it makes for interesting discussions with all of the different perspectives represented in the conversation.” Tracey is a strong believer in the potential of the student group at the Balsillie School of International Affairs. “There are so many opportunities for us both inside and outside of academia. Many types of organizations could benefit from the kinds of students the Balsillie School is developing.”

Tracey brings an interesting background to the program, having lived and worked in Pakistan for 13 years. Part of that time she spent working with a local NGO on a project concerned with the marketing of baby milk and foods and its harmful effects on the health of infants and young children. The aim was to have a law passed in Pakistan to give teeth to a non-binding international code that regulates baby food marketing. The NGO was part of an international campaign on the issue, which spurred Tracey’s interest in how civil society organizations network. She also became interested through this experience in the ways in which corporations influence national and global health policy and the tensions between corporate interests and pubic health.

After her time in Pakistan, Tracey completed her undergraduate degree in Global Studies, Sociology, and Women’s Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University. From there she entered the MA program at the Balsillie School and continued into the PhD program. A part of the global social governance stream, Tracey looks at how corporations and civil society organizations influence global health policy – where they get their power to influence, to what extent their influence is evident in policies, and how the policy-making process and outcomes are gendered. “I am investigating, for example, how issues and actors are framed in ways that are gendered, how men and women fit differently into policy-making processes, and how policies may affect people of each gender differently.”

Tracey’s research draws on each area of study from her previous degrees. “Because this program and the nature of my research are multidisciplinary, it is helpful and valuable to have this diverse background.”

December 2013 Megan Scarborough

University of Waterloo

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