Wes has worked in community advocacy and capacity building as a non-profit leader, as a municipal planner, and as a public health policymaker during the COVID-19 pandemic, where he has experienced and observed issues of trust and distrust, communication, and disinformation from different vantage points. This inspired his concerns about and fascination with issues of power and trust and effective public engagement and deliberation amidst the growth in digital disinformation and misinformation.
Planning and public deliberation in the disinformation age
Wes Regan's research focuses on the nature of trust/distrust between governments and publics as it relates to planning, with particular attention to social media and digital disinformation, conspiracism (conspiratorial framings and narratives opposing planning and related public policy) and the repertoires of contention they engender visa-vis affective politics. Building on the work of Dr. Karen Trapenberg Frick (UC Berkeley) Wes draws on affect theory, post-structuralist theories of agonism/agonistic pluralism, communicative planning theories and the growing body of academic work on conspiracism and anti-government extremism maintaining a focus on practical questions of professional planning practice in volatile, emotional, and threatening settings.
- President's Academic Excellence Initiative PhD Award
- Four Year Fellowships (4YF) For PhD Candidates
- Four Year Fellowships (4YF) Tuition Award
- SFU President's Award for Leadership in Sustainability (2016)