Associate Professor | Balsillie School of International Affairs Fellow

Associate Director, Arts First

Professor Angela CarterAreas of specialization

Environmental policy/politics

Political economy

Comparative politics


BA (Ottawa), MA (Carleton), MA (Cornell), PhD (Cornell)

My research has focused on environmental policy and politics surrounding oil extraction in Canada’s major oil producing provinces: Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland & Labrador. I have analyzed how environmental policy is developed and contested, emphasizing tensions between environmental/community impacts and economic imperatives. This work was primarily supported by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Strategic Research Grant, “The Environmental Assessment Processes of Canadian 'Frontier' Oil and Gas,” with Drs. Gail Fraser and Anna Zalik at York University's Faculty of Environmental Studies.

I am now extending this work in an international comparative project on supply-side climate policy, focused on political conditions necessary to wind down fossil fuel extraction in developed-world states.  I am particularly intrigued by the rise of “keep it in the ground” movements and legislation. See here for a quick description of the project.

Current grants

2018-2020: "The Politics of Leaving Fossil Fuels in the Ground: Building and Testing Comparative Theory in Major Producing States." Insight Development Grant, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). Principal Investigator.

2015-2021: “Mapping the Power of the Carbon-Extractive Corporate Resource Sector.” Partnership Grant, SSHRC. Co-Investigator; project led by William Carroll (University of Victoria) and Shannon Daub (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, BC).

2019-2025: “Offshore Oil Exploratory Drilling and Marine Protected Areas: Assessing Decision-Making Processes and Outcomes in Comparative Developed State Cases.” Insight Grant, SSHRC. Co-Investigator with Joanne Ellis (University of Waikato); project led by Gail Fraser (York University).

Selected Publications

New Book

Carter, A. 2020. Fossilized: Environmental Policy in Canada’s Petro-Provinces. Vancouver: UBC Press.

*Shortlisted for the 2021 Donald Smiley Prize


Strauch, Y., A. Carter, and T. Homer-Dixon. 2020. “However the Pandemic Unfolds, It’s Time for Oil Use to Peak—and Society to Prepare for the Fallout.” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 76:5, 238-243.    

Carter, A. and J. McKenzie. 2020. "Amplifying ‘Keep It in the Ground’ First-Movers: Toward a Comparative Framework." Society and Natural Resources.

Carter, A. 2018. “Policy Pathways to Carbon Entrenchment: Responses to the Climate Crisis in Canada’s Petro-Provinces.” Studies in Political Economy. 99(2), pp. 151-174
Carter, A., G. Fraser, and A. Zalik. 2017. “Environmental Policy Convergence in Canada’s Fossil Fuel Provinces? Regulatory Streamlining, Impediments, and Drift.” Canadian Public Policy / Analyse de politiques. 43(1), pp. 61-76.
Carter, A., & Fusco, L. 2017. “Western Newfoundland’s Anti-Fracking Campaign: Exploring the Rise of Unexpected Community Mobilization.” The Journal of Rural and Community Development12(1), pp. 98-120.
Carter, A., and E. Eaton. 2016. “Subnational Responses to Fracking in Canada: Explaining Saskatchewan’s 'Wild West' Regulatory Approach.” Review of Policy Research 33(4): 393-419
Bourgault, D., Cyr, F., Dumont, D., Carter, A., 2014. “Numerical Simulations of the Spread of Floating Passive Tracer Released at the Old Harry prospect.” Environmental Research Letters 9, 1-14.

Carter, A. Forthcoming 2020 (in-press). “Canadian Ecological Political Economy” in Whiteside, H. (ed.) Canadian Political Economy. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Carter, A. 2017. “Engaging the Public to Avert the Risks of Oil Dependency” in Marland A., Moore, L. (eds.), The Democracy Cookbook: Recipes to Renew Governance in Newfoundland and Labrador. ISER Books, St. John’s. 314-316.

Carter, A. 2016. “Environmental Policy and Politics: The Case of Oil.” In Canadian Environmental Policy and Politics: The Challenges of Austerity and Ambivalence (4th Ed.), D. VanNijnatten (ed.). Don Mills: Oxford University Press. 292-306.

Carter, A. 2016. “The Petro-Politics of Environmental Regulation in the Tar Sands.” In First World Petro-Politics: The Political Ecology and Governance of Alberta, L. Adkin (ed.). Toronto: University of Toronto Press. 152-189.

Carter, A., and A. Zalik. 2016. “Fossil Capitalism and the Rentier State: Towards a Political Ecology of Alberta’s Oil Economy.” In First World Petro-Politics: The Political Ecology and Governance of Alberta, L. Adkin (ed). Toronto: University of Toronto Press. 51-77.

Haluza-DeLay, R. and A. Carter. 2016. “Social Movements Scaling Up: Strategies and Opportunities in Opposing the Oil Sands Status Quo.” In First World Petro-Politics: The Political Ecology and Governance of Alberta, L. Adkin (ed.). Toronto: University of Toronto Press. 456-498.

Carter, A., 2014. “Petro-Capitalism and the Tar Sands” in Black, T., D’Arcy, S., Weis, T., Kahn Russell, J. (eds.), A Line in the Tar Sands: Struggles for Environmental Justice. Between the Lines Press, Toronto, pp. 23-35.

Haluza-Delay, R., Carter, A., 2014. “Joining Up and Scaling Up: Analyzing Resistance to Canada’s ‘Dirty Oil’” in Bencze, L., Alsop, S. (eds.), Activist Science and Technology Education. Springer Netherlands, pp. 343-362.

Peters, J., Carter, A., Cadigan, S., 2014. “The Political Economy of the Labour Market in Newfoundland and Labrador” in Marland, A., Kerby, M. (eds.), First among Unequals: The Premier, Politics, and Policy in Newfoundland and Labrador. McGill-Queen's UP, Montreal, pp. 247-264.

Le Billon, P., Carter, A., 2012. “Securing Alberta's Tar Sands: Resistance and Criminalization on a New Energy Frontier” in Schnurr, M., Swatuk, L. (eds.), Natural Resources and Social Conflict: Towards Critical Environmental Security. Palgrave MacMillan, London, pp. 170-192.


Undergraduate teaching:

  • Arts First 140 - Solving the Climate Crisis
  • Political Science 303 - Environmental Policy and Politics
  • Political Science 334 - Public Policy
  • Political Science 391 - Political Economy of Energy in Canada
  • Political Science 428 - The State and Economic Life
  • Arts 490 Global Engagement Seminar - The Future of Nature, co-taught with Dr. Brendon Larson, with fellows Mike Davis and Edward Burtynsky

Master of Public Service (MPS) Program teaching:

  • Public Service 623 - Government, Business, and Civil Society

Recent supervision

University of Waterloo Accredited Doctoral Dissertation Supervisor (ADDS) status awarded in 2018.

Doctoral Research Projects

2020-present           Supervisor, Choyon Saha, Global Governance Program, Balsillie School of International Affairs: "Assessing and Amplifying the Role of Least Developed Countries in Confronting the Climate Crisis via Winding Down Fossil Fuel Supply"

2017-present           Supervisor, Justine Salam, Global Governance Program, Balsillie School of International Affairs: “Analyzing Major Royalty Debates in Alberta’s Oil Sands: Corporate Power at Play in a Subnational Resource-Cursed Petrostate”

2019-present           Committee Member, Roger Boyd, Global Governance Program, Balsillie School of International Affairs (supervised by Dr. Simon Dalby)"Climate Change: Societal Resilience & Transformation”

2019-present           Committee Member, Truzaar Dordi, School of Environment, Enterprise, and Development (supervised by Dr. Olaf Weber): “Financing a Sustainable Low-Carbon Transition: Systematic Climate Risk in Asset Pricing and Portfolio Allocation” 

2018-present            Committee Member, Janetta McKenzie, Department of Geography & Environmental Management (supervised by Dr. Sarah Burch): “How the Energy Sector Governs Critical Infrastructure Against Climate Change”

2017-present             Committee Member, for Yonatan Strauch, School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability (co-supervised by Drs. Thomas Homer-Dixon and Stephen Quilley): “From Carbon Lock-In to a Lock-In of Decarbonization: A Theory of Change”

2017-present             Committee Member, Alexander Suen, Global Governance Program, Balsillie School of International Affairs (supervised by Dr. Simon Dalby): “Political Culture: An Unexplored Factor in Climate Change Diplomacy.”

2012-2020            Committee Member, Leah Fusco, Department of Geography, University of Toronto (supervised by Dr. Scott Prudham): “Crude Regulation: Environmental Assessments and the Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Oil Industry”

Master’s Research Projects

MA in Global Governance, Balsillie School of International Affairs:

2019-2020            Major Research Paper Supervisor, Carly MacArthur

2019-2020            Major Research Paper Supervisor, Shawna-Rae McLean

MA in Political Science:

2020-present                Thesis Supervisor, Danielle LaBrash, "Changes to Provincial Environmental Regulation During of the First Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic"

2020-present             Major Research Paper Supervisor, Alanna Benson

2020-present             Major Research Paper Supervisor, Emily Lorentz, "Just Transition Policy Implementation"

2019-2020                Major Research Paper Supervisor, Sukhneet Kahlon, "Phasing Out Fossil Fuel Subsidies in Canada: A Policy Roadmap"

2017-2018                Thesis Supervisor, Bradley Noonan: “The Nordic Approach: How Denmark, Finland, and Sweden are Facilitating Sustainable Water Development in Developing African States.”

2016-2017                 Second Reader, Michelle Vello (supervised by Dr. Heather Whiteside): “To Save or To Spend Oil Wealth: A Comparative Analysis of the Sovereign Wealth Funds of Norway and Alberta”

Balsillie School of International Affairs web page


Office: Hagey Hall 311
Phone: x43642

Twitter: @AngelaVCarter

University of Waterloo

Profiles by type