My doctoral research emerges from the demonstrated need to develop better ways of building solidarity around common issues while affirming differences. I examine local efforts to build political alliances responding to longstanding questions of wealth inequality and class, which have proliferated in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and the Occupy movement.
While the public and media attention to that movement has faded, what remains are participatory projects enacting a diversity of alternative economic practices, such as the transformation of occupation sites into resident-operated micro-housing. However, conflicts within many efforts to organize have limited the creation of solidarities necessary to be politically effective in response to the problems of global capitalism. Perspectives that posit solidarity as a condition of possibility for redistributive justice are often in tension with those that focus on the need to recognize diverse identities, and often fail to grasp the intersecting processes by which differences are produced through historically constituted systems of domination – specifically capitalism, colonialism, racism, and patriarchy. My research is organized around a key question: How can we respond to organizational fragmentation in antipoverty struggles without glossing over important conflicts and differences? I will investigate the notion that class can still offer a basis for solidarity, if the concept of solidarity is redeployed in ways that are compatible with decolonizing relationships, deep diversity, mutual obligations and trust.
Prior to moving to Edmonton to begin my PhD in the Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta, I completed an MA in Political Science with specializations in political theory and international relations and an interdisciplinary concentration in Cultural, Social, and Political Thought at the University of Victoria (UVic). I also hold a BA Honors Specialization in International Development from the Centre for Global Studies at Huron College.
From 2010-2015, I was the Coordinator of the Consortium on Democratic Constitutionalism in the Faculty of Law at the University of Victoria (UVic) and organized the Victoria Colloquium, an interdisciplinary speaker series in cultural, social and political thought. I was also the UVic Indigenous Law Research Unit Coordinator from 2012-2015. In this role I had the opportunity to help establish research projects in areas of specific Indigenous legal traditions in partnership with Indigenous communities across the country. For more than ten years I have worked with community social justice advocacy groups and have been a member of the Committee to End Homelessness Victoria since 2009.
Honours and Awards
2015 Lynne Anne Baldwin Memorial Award, Department of Political Science, University of Alberta
2015 FGSR (Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research) Doctoral Recruitment Scholarship, University of Alberta
2008 SSHRC (Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada) Master’s Canada Graduate Scholarship
2007 Graduate Award, University of Victoria
2007 Award for Advanced Scholarship and Community Service, Center for Global Studies, Huron College
2007 African Scholarship Award, Center for Global Studies, Huron College
2006 The Dr. Don Melady and Mr. Rowley Mossop Diversity Scholarship, Center for Global Studies, Huron College
2006 CIDA (Canadian International Development Organization)/AUCC (Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada) Students for Development Governance Internship
2005 Canada Millennium Excellence Award, (renewed at top-level 2006)
2003 The Western Scholarship of Excellence, Western University
McBeth, R (Associate Producer), Snyder, E. (Producer), & Todd, K. (Director). (2015). Indigenous Law Videos On Demand [Video Series]. Canada: UVic Indigenous Law Research Unit and Indigenous City Media. http://www.uvic.ca/law/about/indigenous/indigenouslawresearchunit/
McBeth, R. (2015, May). When the promise of law is its pathos: Critical perspectives and experiences. Roundtable presentation at the meeting of the Law and Society Association, Seattle, WA.
McBeth, R. (2013). Revitalizing Indigenous laws: Accessing justice and reconciliation. Report on the national meeting of the Indigenous Bar Association, Winnipeg, MB. Victoria: University of Victoria Indigenous Law Research Unit.
McBeth, R. (2012, June). Decolonizing political movements: The paradoxes and persistence of colonial power/knowledge. Paper presented at the meeting of the Canadian Political Science Association, Edmonton, AB.
McBeth, R. (2011, April). ‘The bellicose politics of peace’: Thinking politically about (global) war/peace. Roundtable presentation at the meeting of the Cultural, Social and Political Thought program, Victoria, BC.
McBeth, R. (2010). The bellicose politics of peace (Unpublished master’s thesis). Victoria: University of Victoria.
McBeth, R. (2009, February). Picking at the peaces: Reconfigurations and continuities of power in (post)conflict zones. Paper presented at the meeting of the Quebec Society of Political Science/School of Political Studies, Ottawa, ON.
McBeth, R. (2008, March). Dynamic bodies: Challenging the biological-cultural dichotomy. Paper presented at the meeting of the York-Ryerson Joint Program in Communication and Culture, Toronto, ON.
McBeth, R. (2007). Social capital building in community development: Universalizing the liberal peace and other post-conflict sorcery (Unpublished honor’s thesis). London, ON: Huron College.