Caine, Ken


Assistant Professor
Environmental Sociology 

4-25 HM Tory Building
780.492.5853 (phone)
780.492.7196 (fax) (email)

PhD (Rural Sociology), 2008
University of Alberta

International Polar Year Post-Doctoral Fellow, Northern Governance and Resilience, 2009-2011

Pierre Elliott Trudeau Scholar, 2004-2008

Research Interests
  • Environmental sociology
  • Critical institutionalism / institutional bricolage
  • Environmental governance
  • Cross-cultural communication
  • Circumpolar natural resource management

I am interested in social practices, power dynamics, and institutional bricolage in environmental governance. I do this through theoretical and empirical investigation of issues surrounding community-based natural resources management, co-management, and community social development; decision-making and the commons; and social-ecological change and local culture. My educational and experiential background in natural science (forestry, ecology) and social science (sociology, extension) provides me with the intellectual tools to move between these research areas.

My research to date consists of qualitative fieldwork in the Canadian North on Indigenous land governance issues specifically around cultural landscapes and watershed management where the power of stories interact with political power structures suggesting stories and land-use as forms of governance. I am interested in the intersection of power, culture, and environmental and resource governance in circumpolar regions as well as areas where communities face development issues around energy, water and climate change. In my research I problematize environmental governance through a Bourdieusian lens attempting to understand how power and meaning lead to a variety of outcomes, both positive and negative. Methodologically, I am interested in issue-oriented ethnography and ethnographic methods, as well as other qualitative methods. I am especially interested in the use of both qualitative and quantitative methods in research design and application.

Courses Taught

SOC 656 – Topics in Environmental Sociology: Society, Power and the Environment

SOC 291 - Introduction to Environmental Sociology

SOC 100 – Introductory Sociology

SOC 203 (prev. SOC 102) – Social Problems

RSOC 365 – Sociology of Environment and Development (2008-2010)

CSL 350/360 – Oil and Community: Health Equity in a Petro-Environment (2011)

Selected Publications

  • Caine, Ken J. 2013. Bourdieu in the North: Practical Understanding in Natural Resource Governance. Canadian Journal of Sociology, 38(3): 333-358.
  • Caine, Ken J. 2013. Book review of “Development through Bricolage: Rethinking Institutions for Natural Resources Management”, by Frances Cleaver. Society & Natural Resources: An International Journal, DOI: 10.1080/08941920.2013.821380 (Sept 27 2013)
  • Clare, Shari, Naomi Krogman, and Ken J. Caine. 2013. The ‘‘balance discourse’’: A case study of power and wetland management. Geoforum 49: 40–49.
  • Caine, Ken J. 2012. Logic of Land and Power: The Social Transformation of Northern Natural Resource Management. Pp. 169-188 in John Parkins and Maureen Reed (Eds.), Social Transformation in Rural Canada: Community, Cultures, and Collective Action. UBC Press: Vancouver
  • Caine, Ken J. and Naomi Krogman. 2010. Powerful or Just Plain Power-Full? A Power Analysis of Impact and Benefit Agreements in Canada’s North. Organization and Environment, 23(1):76-98.
  • Caine, Ken J. 2011. Book review of “Natural Resources and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada” Edited by R. B. Anderson and R.M. Bone. Concord, ON: Captus Press. The Northern Review: Special Issue: Canada’s Role in the Circumpolar World, 33 (Spring)138-142.
  • Caine, Ken J. 2010. Book review of “Adaptive Co-management: Moving Beyond the Critiques of Co-management” Edited by D. Armitage, F. Berkes, and N. Doubleday, 2007. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press. Society and Natural Resources, 22(10): 941-944.
  • Caine, Ken J., Colleen MacLean-Davison, and Emma J. Stewart. 2009. Preliminary Field-work: Methodological Reflections from Northern Canadian Research. Qualitative Research, 9(4):489–513.
  • Caine, Ken J., Michael J. Salomons, and Deborah Simmons. 2007. Partnerships for Social Change in the Canadian North: Revisiting the Insider-Outsider Dialectic. Development and Change, 38(3): 447–471.