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Dufour, Pascale

Full Professor

  • Director, Centre de recherche sur les politiques et le développement social (CPDS)


  • Telephone 514-343-6111 #41939 Pav. PAV.M.CARON-L.GROULX-3200 J.B. \ Ext. C4073


Dufour, Pascale

Research expertise

I work mainly on social movements and collective action from a comparative perspective. In my research I suggest that collective players (political parties, unions, more informal groups and networks) should be considered major stakeholders in political life, even if they are not active directly in institutional settings but rather in informal public spaces, such as in the street, and address not only the government and institutions but also the public or their allies.

Political current affairs have brought the analysis of collective action and social movements to the forefront of our concerns in political science: how do movements emerge, why and with what effects? What conditions allow collective players to endure? What is the role of political protest in social transformation? Does an increase in protests mean that representative democracy is sick or has reached its limits?

My research instead underscores the complementarity of different types of political action, in fact the continuity that may exist between collective action in the form of protests, lobbying and partisan activity.

In my recent work I have shown, in particular, that protest gatherings such as worldwide or local social forums, if they are part of an effort to express a political culture that values direct democracy and the search for consensus, are also a pragmatic response to local needs and a form of collective action specific to a generation.

My current research also attempts to emphasize the theoretical value added involved in analyzing social movements and collective action in political science. It leads us to seriously consider the question of conflicts and power relationships, and to unhesitatingly turn our gaze as researchers to neglected areas that are sometimes marginalized in our societies.

Areas of expertise


  • I. Giraud et P. Dufour, Dix ans de solidarité planétaire. Perspectives sociologiques sur la Marche mondiale des femmes. Montréal: Les Éditions du remue-ménage, 2010.
  • P. Dufour., D. Masson et D. Caouette, dir., Transnationalizing Women’s Movements: Solidarities Without Borders, UBC Press, 2010.
  • P. Monforte et P. Dufour, « Mobilizing in Bordeline Citizenship regimes. A Comparative Analysis of Undocumented Migrants’ Collective Actions », Politics & Society 39, 2, 2011 : 203–232. 
  • P. Dufour, « Globalization and the Collective Action of the Socially Excluded in France: At the Heart of the Margins? », French Politics, 7, 3-4, 2009: 316-341.
  • P. Dufour, « From Protest to Partisan Politics. When and How Collective Actors Cross the Line? », Canadian Journal of Sociology 34, 1, 2009 : 53-78.

Courses given in the School this term

Directed theses and dissertations available in Papyrus