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Research Projects

Book Project

Working Title: Policy Momentum and Transgender Inclusion in Public Policy

Transgender recognition in public policy has become more widespread across Western democracies. My book project project focuses specifically on explaining the variation in timing of policy adoption. Drawing on existing research that spans international norm diffusion and domestic policy diffusion, my project offers a novel framework for understanding the timing of policy change by focusing on the interaction between global and domestic levels. 

I use military policy and anti-discrimination legislation in Canada and Australia as comparative cases. Empirically, the project relies on a combination of elite interviews, media reports, archival material, and previously undisclosed government documents. Through this work, I contribute to our understanding of LBGTQ+ public policy while also providing a framework for explaining the conditions for cross-national policy change more broadly.

Peer-Reviewed Publications

McMahon, Nicole. 2023. "Explaining Transgender Policy Change: Policy Momentum in Canada and Australia." Governance, 1-19. 


Sayers, Anthony, Nicole McMahon, and Royce Koop. 2023. "The Electoral Politics of Alberta's Sovereignty Act. Canadian Journal of Political Science 56(1): 229-236.


McMahon, Nicole, Anthony Sayers, and Christopher Alcantara. "Political Donations and the Gender Gap during COVID-19." Party Politics 29(1): 176–184.


Caplan, Michelle, Nicole McMahon, and Christopher Alcantara. "Representing the Constituency: Institutional Design and Legislative Behavior." Representation 57(4): 459-474.


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. “Running for elected office: Indigenous candidates, ambition and self-government.” Politics, Groups and Identities 9(2): 280-299.


Other Publications

Anthony Sayers, Nicole McMahon, and Christopher Alcantara. 2021. "The COVID-19 crisis is about physical infrastructure too." Policy Options. Montreal: Institute for Research on Public Policy. May 5, 2021. 

Working Papers

McMahon, Nicole. “Prejudicial Attitudes and LGBTQ+ Politics: A New Measure of Transgender Acceptance.” (Manuscript Available Upon Request)

Girard, Tyler, Nicole McMahon, and Megan Payler. “Theorizing Norm Stagnation and the Evolution of Domestic Norm Adoption.” (Manuscript Available Upon Request)

Works in Progress

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

McMahon, Nicole and Anthony Sayers. "The Evolution of Support for Marriage Equality in Alberta, 2008-2019."

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