The research model that has dominated the discipline of political science in Canada is based on a top-down approach that defines and finds solutions to problems as researchers see them, and diminishes the real world concerns of social and political actors. Advocating a more collaborative political science, we argue for a partnership approach that engages those actors in the research process, including problem definition, research design, analysis and knowledge dissemination. This inclusion sharpens the focus of the research and produces more contextually valid and socially valuable knowledge. We draw upon our research experience working with Indigenous communities in Canada to illustrate the value of this approach, and carry out a review of partnership-based research published in
The Canadian Journal of Political Science.We find little evidence of partnership-based research in our flagship journal and discuss the implications for the future of our field.