The year 2022 was an eventful one in politics both here in Canada and abroad. Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, as the last of the so-called freedom convoy protesters were being removed from Ottawa after occupying the city for weeks. There were provincial elections in Ontario and Québec, and a new Alberta premier stepped onto the national stage. Iranian women took to the streets to protest the country’s archaic hijab laws and its repression of citizens. South of the border, the legal noose seemed to be steadily tightening on former president Donald Trump on both the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection and his removal of classified documents from the White House.

In short, there was a whirlwind of often depressing but occasionally inspiring political news — and The Conversation Canada reported on all of it. The Politics Desk published almost 300 stories in 2022 from an array of authors who are experts in their fields at universities across Canada. Their analyses were read by almost seven million people in countries around the world.

On the Ukraine war, our authors delved into everything from Russia’s historical distrust of the West and how it’s influenced Vladimir Putin’s actions to Russians fleeing the country to avoid the draft and the Russian leader’s machismo fantasies.

They tried to get to the bottom of what was really motivating the “freedom convoy” protesters — explaining that many were likely fuelled by a sense of “aggrieved entitlement,” and how the prolonged protests revealed a disinformation pandemic in Canada. They also examined the ascension of Alberta’s Danielle Smith, a populist leader whose success may have a worrisome influence on politics in the rest of Canada.

But among these troubling stories, there was hope. An Iranian-born academic penned an awe-inspiring piece that explained how courageous Iranian women have long been the spark for widespread civil resistance in Iran. Another issued a call to action for broad public support for their efforts.

The year ahead promises to be another action-packed one. What will happen in Ukraine? Will Trump finally be indicted? Could yet another federal election loom on the horizon? Stay tuned! The Conversation Canada will keep you informed.

Lee-Anne Goodman

Politics Editor

Year in Review: Politics

Vladimir Putin points to history to justify his Ukraine invasion, regardless of reality

David Roger Marples, University of Alberta

As an independent country, Ukraine has suffered from corruption, poverty and violent periods, but Vladimir Putin’s view of Ukrainian history in Ukraine is deeply, perhaps deliberately flawed.

Vladimir Putin, the czar of macho politics, is threatened by gender and sexuality rights

Valerie Sperling, Clark University; Alexandra Novitskaya, Stony Brook University (The State University of New York); Janet Elise Johnson, Brooklyn College; Lisa McIntosh Sundstrom, University of British Columbia

Putin has been consumed with presenting a hyper-macho image throughout his presidency. And in recent years, he’s ramped up sexist and LGBTQ-phobic rhetoric.

Russians flee the draft as the reality of the war in Ukraine hits home

Richard Foltz, Concordia University

Russians crossing land borders into Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Georgia to avoid being drafted into the Ukraine war are experiencing very different receptions.

The ‘freedom convoy’ protesters are a textbook case of ‘aggrieved entitlement’

Fiona MacDonald, University of Northern British Columbia

A perception that the benefits and status people believe themselves entitled to have been wrongfully taken away by unforeseen forces motivates ‘freedom convoy’ protesters.

Canada’s legal disinformation pandemic is exposed by the ‘freedom convoy’

Jeffrey B. Meyers, Thompson Rivers University; Emily Dishart, Thompson Rivers University; Rose Morgan, Thompson Rivers University

The Canadian Constitution compels a proportionate weighing of all Charter rights against the threat of COVID-19, meaning that individual freedom is not absolute.

How Danielle Smith won in Alberta and what it means for Canada

Lisa Young, University of Calgary

Danielle Smith’s win in the UCP leadership race follows the populist playbook. Will her time in office be a brief interlude, or the start of a significant challenge to national unity?

The protests in Iran are part of a long history of women’s resistance

Niloofar Hooman, McMaster University

Iranian women have a long history of campaigning for their rights. The latest protests bring together a host of religious and gender groups suppressed by the country’s clerical regime.

Iranian women keep up the pressure for real change – but will broad public support continue?

Homa Hoodfar, Concordia University; Mona Tajali, Agnes Scott College

To many Iranians, a revolution has happened given the public’s embrace of women and their demands amid ongoing protests. The question is whether the solidarity holds up and the regime listens.