Christopher Leo

Political Science

Christopher Leo Title: Senior Scholar
Office: 6L11
Building: Lockhart Hall
Phone: 204.786.9396

Research Interests:
Urban Politics/City Development/Globalisation and Urban Politics


Educated at the University of Toronto, Professor Leo has researched and taught both African agrarian politics and city politics. He also serves as adjunct professor in the Department of City Planning, University of Manitoba. His publications have been extensively cited in British, American and Canadian and African refereed journals of political science, urban planning, geography, sociology, anthropology, history, and development studies. His current research, entitled Respecting Community Difference in National Policy, is supported by $180,500 in funding from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Most of this money supports student employees who are assisting Professor Leo in his research while learning research skills.

He has published Land and Class in Kenya, which traces the origins of political conflict over land in that East African country at the beginning of this century and follows its development into the 1980s, and The Politics of Urban Development, which considers the wider significance of Canadian political disputes over urban expressways. Among his article-length publications, two have been short-listed for the American Urban Affairs Association's Paper of the Year award. Articles have been published in such journals as the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Journal of Modern African Studies, Canadian Journal of Political Science, and Urban Affairs Review.

"My current research is a study of the politics of urban growth in Canada, the United States and Europe. In case studies of Toronto, Hamburg and Portland, Oregon, I am comparing the methods used in each jurisdiction to regulate urban growth. I have chosen state-of-the-art jurisdictions in each country in hopes of gaining an understanding of the best methods available."

Professor Leo offers brief, readable summaries of many of his research findings on a weblog, which is accessible at

Although officially retired from teaching, Professor Leo will, along with other U of W faculty, continue to do research on SSHRC-funded projects. The best way to reach him is at: