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Dr. Bailey Gerrits
Dr. Bailey Gerrits
Mila Mulroney Chair in Women, Policy, and Governance Leadership

Bailey Gerrits (she/her) is the inaugural Mila Mulroney Research Chair in Women, Policy, and Governance Leadership and an Assistant Professor who teaches in the Public Policy and Governance Program at St. Francis Xavier University. Dr. Gerrits is also an advising faculty member for Women’s and Gender Studies. Dr. Gerrits earned her PhD in Political Studies from Queen’s University in 2019. Dr. Gerrits has been awarded several prestigious grants and awards, including a Banting Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (2019-2021), Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarship (2015-2019), among others. As a feminist scholar, her research investigates gender-based violence politics, policies, and stories and how they contribute to ending or facilitating the violence. Dr. Gerrits is also interested in effective applied anti-violence policy and avenues for applied research.

The following are research projects that Dr. Gerrits has in progress:

Project: Canadian Federal Anti-Gender-Based Violence Policy: A Tale of Carceral Feminism Influence?

Description: This study analyzes the effect of feminist ideas and actors on Canadian federal anti-gender-based violence policies and speeches, from second wave feminism (1970s/80s) to Canada’s first self-declared feminist government under the Trudeau Liberals. It particularly investigates the applicability of the critique of carceral feminism – that feminist ideas and actors in favour of increased punishment, policing, and imprisonment have successfully influenced the state to revise its anti-violence policies to focus on carceral systems – to the Canadian case. The first publication from the project can be found here: CJPS.

Funding: Insight Development Grant, Social Science and Humanities Research Council (2022-ongoing)

Student Opportunity: A Master’s student or senior undergrad student will be hired for the 2024-2025 academic year to support data collection and analysis.


Project: Beyond Trolls: Gendered and Racialized Harassment in a Crisis

Description: With Anna Calasanti, we are investigating social media engagement with gendered and racialized leaders communicating during times of crisis using and refining a technique of immersive digital ethnography. Our first publication examines the racialized and gendered comments on Twitter (now X) directed at two racialized women leaders doing their job communicating public health information during COVID-19, Canada’s Dr. Theresa Tam and New Mexico’s Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham.


Project: Who’s Responsible?: Explaining How Canadian News Cover Domestic Violence

Description: Domestic violence is a pressing social issue in Canada. How the news media covers this violence has the potential to generate social responsibility or reinforce misconceptions about its causes and prevalence. This book project, currently under contract, expands on my doctoral research to explain why Canadian English-language newspapers advance individualized and racialized responsibility and why they normalize carceral responses as solutions. Drawing together the ideology and the political-economic realities of newspapers and their sources highlights the intimate link between neoliberal rationalities and carceral expansion that undergird domestic violence news patterns.





Bailey Gerrits (2024). “When a ‘Feminist’ Government Tackles Gender-Based Violence: A ‘WPR’ Approach to the Speeches of Canadian Cabinet Ministers (2015-2019).” Canadian Journal of Political Science, vol. 57: 119-138.  

Anna Calasanti and Bailey Gerrits (2023). ”You’re Not My Nanny!” Responses to Racialized Women Officials Communicating COVID-19 Information.” Politics, Groups, Identities, vol. 11 (1): 169-186.

Bailey Gerrits, Nadia Verrelli and Lori Chambers (2023). From Pride to Lies: English-language print media coverage of Supreme Court of Canada decisions on women’s defensive violence.” Journal of Canadian Studies, vol. 57 (2): 155-180.

Bailey Gerrits, Nadia Verrelli, and Lori Chambers (2021). “Understanding Women Who Try to Kill their Abusers: Print Coverage of R. v. Ryan.” Canadian Journal of Communication, vol. 46 (3): 523-542.

Bailey Gerrits, Linda Trimble, Angelia Wagner, Daisy Raphael and Shannon Sampert (2017). “Political Battlefield: Aggressive Metaphors, Gender, and Power in News Coverage of Canadian Party Leadership Contests.” Feminist Media Studies, vol. 17 (6): 1088-1103. 

Bailey Gerrits. “An Analysis of two Albertan Anti-Domestic Violence Public Service Campaigns: Governance in Austere Times.” Atlantis: Critical Studies in Gender, Culture & Social Justice, vol. 38 (1): 195–206.  

Angelia Wagner, Linda Trimble, Shannon Sampert, and Bailey Gerrits (2017). “Gender, Competitiveness, and Candidate Visibility in Newspaper Coverage of Canadian Party Leadership Contests.” The International Journal of Press/Politics, vol. 22 (4): 471–89. 

Randy Besco, Bailey Gerrits, and J. Scott Matthews (2016). “White Millionaires and Hockey Skates: Racialized and Gendered Mediation in News Coverage of a Canadian Mayoral Election.” International Journal of Communication, vol. 10: 4641–660.  

Linda Trimble, Daisy Raphael, Shannon Sampert, Angelia Wagner, and Bailey Gerrits (2015). “Politicizing Bodies: Hegemonic Masculinity, Heteronormativity, and Racism in News Representations of Canadian Political Party Leadership Candidates.” Women's Studies in Communication, vol. 38 (3): 314–330. 

Shannon Sampert, Linda Trimble, Angelia Wagner, and Bailey Gerrits (2015). “Jumping the Shark: Mediatization of Canadian Party Leadership contests, 1975–2012.” Journalism Studies/Journalism Practice, Special Issue, vol. 8 (3): 279–94. 

Linda Trimble, Shannon Sampert, Angelia Wagner, Daisy Raphael, and Bailey Gerrits (2013). “Is It Personal? Gendered Mediation in Newspaper Coverage of Canadian National Party Leadership Contests, 1975–2012.” International Journal of Press/Politics, vol. 18 (4): 462–81. 


Anna Calasanti and Bailey Gerrits (forthcoming). “Crisis and Gender,” In Governors and the Crises that Define Them, edited by Saladin Ambar, John Farmer, Kristoffer Shields, and John Weingart. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.

Bailey Gerrits (2024). “Just Bad Apples?: Assessing Political Responses to Canadian MPs Accused of Gender-Based Violence.” In Gender-Based Violence in Canadian Politics in the #MeToo Era, edited by Cheryl Collier and Tracey Raney. Toronto, Canada: University of Toronto Press, 211-228.

Bailey Gerrits and Randy Besco (2019). “Processes of Differentiation in the 2014 Toronto Mayoral Race.” In Gendered Mediation: Identity and Image Making in Canadian Politics, edited by Angelia Wagner and Joanna Everitt. UBC Press, 87-105.



Marin Ingalise Beck, Bailey Gerrits, Alexandra Liebich, and Rebecca Wallace, eds. (2017). Perspectives on the Politics of Borders and Belonging. Martello Paper Series.  Kingston, Canada: Centre for International and Defence Policy, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario.  



Bailey Gerrits and Rebecca Rappeport (2017)Kingston Youth Sexual Violence Prevention Assessment. Commissioned by Kingston Frontenac Anti-Violence Coordinating Committee.  

Bailey Gerrits and Roxanne Runyon (2015). We Believe in a Campus Free of Sexual Violence: Lessons from Campus Sexual Violence Prevention Leaders. Commissioned by Ontario Public Interest Research Group Kingston.  


Media Areas: Gender-Based Violence in Politics; Gender-Based Violence Policy; Canadian News Coverage of Sexual Violence and Domestic Violence; Canadian Police Communication and Response to Gender-Based Violence