McGill Political Science Students' Association

Professor of the Month

Professor Sven-Oliver Proksch

What was your first ever job? 
I worked in a Mercedes Benz factory building transmission boxes. It was a summer job. I did that for a few partially financed my undergraduate degree. 

Recent research you're engaging in?
I'm investigating the structure and content of parliamentary debates in democracies with the aim of finding out how political interests are represented differently across democracies. As part of this research agenda, I am developing new computer-based content analytic tools to measure political conflict from those debates.

 What's the best thing about being a Professor at McGill?
The best thing is to be in an intellectually stimulating environment and to have the privilege of working with the smartest students in Canada.

What's your favourite book and movie?
Can I answer with genres? For books, I like historical dramas, historical novels. For movies, I'm a big fan of Quentin Tarantino and his series of movies.
Tell me about your love for singing. 
I grew up in a musical family. My father's a musician, so early on my siblings and I had the pleasure of learning to play an instrument and participate in choirs. I've always sung in a choir whenever I had the chance.

If you were to have one piece of advice for our political science undergraduates, what would it be?
One piece of advice for undergraduates...I have lots of advice *laughs*. 
I would say to use the opportunity to study abroad, see a different part of the world and to integrate this academic experience into your life. 

Ida: Did you participate in studies abroad?

Proksch: I went abroad during my undergraduate studies in Germany, which motivated me to do my PhD in the United States. Those experiences eventually led me here to McGill, so I certainly have benefitted from being able to study abroad. It's an extremely enriching experience.