Picture of  Kurtis Boyer

Kurtis Boyer PhD, MA, BA Postdoctoral Fellow, Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy , U of S

Areas of Interest

  • Political psychology
  • Indigenous governance and politics
  • Evolution and behavioural approaches to public policy


Kurtis Boyer (Michif/Métis) is a political scientist working in the areas of Indigenous governance and political psychology. Originally from Southern Saskatchewan, in 2018 Kurtis completed his PhD in Political Science from the University of Lund in Sweden. He also has an MA in Political Science from the University of Northern British Columbia, and a BA in International Studies (minor in Indigenous Studies) from the University of Saskatchewan.

In his doctoral work, Kurtis explored how empathy and altruistic behaviour become disengaged or misdirected under certain political conditions. His dissertation, An Autocracy of Empathy, was featured in Norway’s national newspaper Aftenposten and was nominated for the European Consortium’s Award for Political Research’s Best PhD Thesis. Much of his research continues to focus on how external conditions influence political behaviour, and how insights from evolutionary and embodied cognition, as well as social-neuroscience might be made accessible to policy makers. In addition to his current research focus, Kurtis has worked extensively on issues related to Indigenous politics, self-governance, and law. He has focused specifically on topics, including Inuit self-determination via living resource management, traditional forms of Metis government, and drivers for collaborative economic development between municipal and band administration.


  • PhD, Political Science, Lund University
  • M.A., Political Science, University of Northern British Columbia
  • B.A., International Studies, (minor in Indigenous Studies), University of Saskatchewan

Recent Grants/Awards


  • Canadian Institute for Nordic Studies Graduate Scholarship (2017)
  • CIBC Achievers Renewable Graduate Scholarship (2017)
  • Indspire Advanced Education Grant (2017)

Select Publications

Peer-Reviewed Articles

  • Boyer, K. (2017). “Polar Bears and Other Objects” in Sara Jay (Ed) Critical Norths: Space, Nature, Theory. Anchorage: U of Alaska Press (pp. 103-117).
  • Boyer, K. (2016). “When the Butcher Calls the Hunter Foul, and the Muddied Politics which Follow: Speciesism and the EU Opposition to the Wolf Hunt”. Contemporary Justice Review, 19(2), 201-209.
  • Boyer, K. (2016). “Beyond Complicity and Denial: Animal Advocacy And The Right To Living Justly.” In G. Garmendia da Trindade, & A. Woodhall (Eds.), Intervention or Protest: Acting for Nonhuman Animals. Vernon Press (222-242) (Co-Authored with Guy Scotton & Katherine Wayne).
  • Boyer, K. (2015). “Politics and Animals: An Introduction.” Politics and Animals, 1(1), 1-5. (Co-Authored with Guy Scotton, Per-Anders Svärd, Katherine Wayne).
  • Boyer, K. (2014). “The Limits of Species Advocacy.” In M. L. J. Wissenburg, & D. Schlosberg (Eds.), Political Animals and Animal Politics. (pp. 123-134). Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Boyer, K. (2013). “Sverige, EU och vargen: Motstridiga antropocentrismer som källa till internationell konflikt”. Internasjonal Politikk, 71(1), 120-127. (Co-Authored with Martin Hall).
  • Boyer, K. (2012). “Zoopolis: A Political Theory of Animal Rights.” Journal for Critical Animal Studies, 10(4), 179-183.
  • Boyer, K (2008). “1885 — Aftermath”, in kā-kī-pē-isi-nakatamākawiyahk Our Legacy: Essays, Avery & Fischter (Eds), University of Saskatchewan.