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Christopher Leo

Professor Emeritus


Christopher Leo

MA, PhD

A well-known and highly-respected scholar, Dr. Christopher Leo has helped shape the lenses through which urban political structures and relationships are examined in Canada, and his research has shed light on political class and land conflict in East Africa.

Educated at the University of Toronto, Dr. Leo has had his work extensively cited in refereed journals of political science, urban planning, geography, sociology, anthropology, history, and development studies. He lived in Kenya in the early 1970s and his internationally-recognized book Land and Class in Kenya remains a relevant study of social relations today. He also published The Politics of Urban Development, an investigation of the significance of urban expressway-focused Canadian political disputes; he has written numerous article-length publications, including two that were shortlisted for the American Urban Affairs Association’s Paper of the Year award.

In the classroom, Dr. Leo’s critical survey of the history and current state of municipal governance in Canada kept his courses popular mainstays in the Department of Political Science. Leo challenged his students to question how governing systems function, how they should, and what can be done to change things for the better. 

Dr. Leo retired in September 2012 and was named a senior scholar, nearly 40 years after he began teaching at The University of Winnipeg. He continues to serve as an adjunct professor in the Department of City Planning at the University of Manitoba, while carrying on research.

Drawing on his pre-academic career as a daily news reporter, Dr. Leo also presents much of his research through his blog — writing posts intended to be as accessible as possible while still maintaining academic integrity. An innovator, he advocates for sharing the ideas and theories gleaned through academic research beyond the academy. 

The University of Winnipeg honours Dr. Christopher Leo as Professor Emeritus.