Post-Industrial Communities Research: Dr. Lachlan MacKinnon

Research projects at Cape Breton University are world-class, with a history of partnership and collaboration. CBU Assistant Professor, Dr. Lachlan MacKinnon, is building on that reputation with a study of post-industrial communities, as part of a research contingent from North America and Western Europe. The team will consider Deindustrialization and the Politics of Our Time, a seven-year project supported by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). Concordia University is leading the project, with Dr. MacKinnon playing a key role.

Dr. MacKinnon is the Tier II Canada Research Chair in Post-Industrial Communities and recently launched his first book, Closing Sysco: Industrial Decline in Atlantic Canada’s Steel CityBorn in Cape Breton, he is engaged in the history of industry and society as a citizen and a researcher and looks forward to this new project. 

“The research will look at all the social aspects of deindustrialized communities that can be overlooked when examining the economic picture of lost industry,” says Dr. MacKinnon. “Gender, race, class and immigration are some of the facets of deindustrialization that we will consider during this research.” CBU’s Unama’ki College is also engaged with the project team as an official partner.  

Supporting CBU’s focus on building on our past, Dr. MacKinnon is working to digitize information collected during his ongoing research. “Access to a high-quality research stream in post-industrial development has direct implications for Nova Scotia economic policy making, systemic poverty reduction and sustainable economic growth, explains Dr. MacKinnon.  

As a professor of history at CBU, Dr. MacKinnon looks forward to providing a student experience with a digital learning platform looking at industrial legacies and the political and societal landscape that continues to grow from those legacies. He is also eager to build on the collective history of post-industrial outcomes in other countries and share Cape Breton’s stories of resilience. Congratulations Dr. MacKinnon on this exciting and important research collaboration!