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Michael Crawford Urban

Michael joined the Mowat Centre as a Policy Associate in January 2016 and took on the role of Practice Lead – Government Transformation in September 2017. He brings a varied set of experiences to his work at Mowat ranging from his academic research as a Visiting Fellow at the Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary International History, to his more operational work as the Returning Officer for the federal riding of Spadina-Fort York in the 2015 federal election. He has also worked with Global Affairs Canada in Ottawa – most recently in the department’s Policy Research Division as a Cadieux-Léger Fellow – and in the think-tank and NGO sectors in Toronto and Ottawa. Michael holds a doctorate in International Relations from Balliol College, University of Oxford. His doctoral dissertation, Imagined Security, developed a new understanding of the role of trust in international politics and focused on explaining how trust underpins the remarkable peace that has emerged between liberal democracies. Michael’s thesis and associated research have won a number of awards, including the 2015 Lord Bryce Prize for best International Relations doctoral thesis in Britain. Committed to ensuring his work’s relevance outside the ivory tower, Michael has written regularly for Oxford Analytica, a global analysis and advisory firm, and his research and analysis have appeared in both academic publications and major newspapers such as The Toronto Star, The National Post and Winnipeg Free Press. He is also a Co-Chair of the Ranked Ballot Initiative of Toronto (RaBIT). Michael is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Rhodes scholarship and a SSHRC doctoral fellowship. In addition to Oxford, he holds degrees from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University and Queen’s University.

More from this author

December 6, 2017 | Erich Hartmann, Caleb Holden, Michael Crawford Urban

The Road to Paris

Navigating the intergovernmental path to our climate commitments

This paper looks at a key reason behind Canada’s persistent failure to meet its self-imposed climate change commitments, and proposes a new institution that will be important to overcoming this failure. More
May 25, 2017 | Michael Crawford Urban, Christine Yip

Basic Impact

Examining the potential impact of a basic income on social entrepreneurs

In this report, we examine the potential impact of a basic income on social entrepreneurship. The paper presents the results of a new survey administered to 1,473 members of Toronto’s Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) as well as a focus group and several individual case study interviews. More
May 11, 2017 | Sunil Johal, Michael Crawford Urban

Regulating Disruption

Governing in an era of rapid technological change

In this report, the Mowat Centre examines the relationship between regulation and innovation in rapidly-changing technological industries. More
March 21, 2017 | Sara Ditta, Jordann Thirgood, Michael Crawford Urban

What is a “sharing economy” anyway?

Statistics Canada recently reported that 2.7 million Canadians participated in the “sharing economy” between November 2015 and October 2016 – and spent $1.31 billion doing so. More
March 14, 2017 | Sara Ditta, Jordann Thirgood, Michael Crawford Urban

The Rise of the Sharing Economy

Exploring standards-based solutions in a changing marketplace

In this report, commissioned by CSA Group to launch their new CSA Group Research Program, the Mowat Centre discusses the growth of the sharing economy and explores the potential for the use of standards-based approaches in the governance of this sector. More
January 17, 2017 | Michael Crawford Urban

The curious case of Boaty McBoatface: Why trust between publics and governments needs to flow both ways

The surprise election of Donald Trump as US President has left journalists scrambling for an explanation. More
October 4, 2016 | Michael Crawford Urban

What are Referenda Good For?

Second only to deciding which electoral system Canada should use, the question of whether a referendum should be required to ratify whatever decision it reaches has emerged as perhaps the most important choice confronting Parliament’s Special Committee on Electoral Reform. More
September 20, 2016 | Evelyn L. Forget, Dylan Marando, Tonya Surman, Michael Crawford Urban

Pilot Lessons

How to design a basic income pilot project for Ontario

This report makes a series of recommendations for how to design the Basic Income (BI) pilot that the Government of Ontario has proposed to conduct. More
August 19, 2016 | Michael Crawford Urban

Ride sharing, new tech key to cutting gridlock

Michael Crawford Urban discusses shared mobility and public transit in the GTHA. More
August 19, 2016 | Sara Ditta, Michael Crawford Urban, Sunil Johal

Sharing the Road

The Promise and Perils of Shared Mobility in the GTHA

This report makes a series of recommendations for building a robust and flexible transportation system that can effectively respond to the emergence of “shared mobility” in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. More