Transgender Visibility in Public Policy: Comparing Canada and Australia

Committee: Christopher Alcantara, Laura Stephenson & Nandita Biswas Mellamphy 

My dissertation seeks to explain the variation in recognition of transgender individuals in public policy across Western democracies. While existing research on recognition of marginalized communities often stresses the role of social coalitions in achieving institutional change, I argue that such approaches overlook the conflict that occurs within such movements, particularly at the intersection of multiple group identities.

Empirically, I use military policy and anti-discrimination legislation in Canada and Australia as comparative cases. Through a combination of elite interviews, media reports, archival material, and previously undisclosed government documents, I demonstrate the importance of transnational social movements and the framing of sexual orientation and gender identities in achieving transgender recognition.

Peer-Reviewed Publications

McMahon, Nicole, Christopher Alcantara and Laura Stephenson. 2020. “The QFE: What Is It Good For?” PS: Political Science & Politics 53(1): 94-99.



McMahon, Nicole and Christopher Alcantara. 2019. “Who runs for office and why? Political candidates and Indigenous self-government in Canada.” Politics, Groups and Identities.


Papers Under Review 

Alcantara, Christopher, Michelle Caplan and Nicole McMahon. "Representing the Constituency: Institutional Design and Legislative Behavior."

Working Papers

McMahon, Nicole. "Measuring Sub-National Opinion in Canada."