'An Impartial Umpire': Industrial Relations and the Canadian State 1900-1911
This book is an insightful and detailed analysis of Canadian labour relations policy at the beginning of the 20th century, and of the formulation of distinctive features which still characterize it today. The development and reception of this policy are explained as a product of ideological and economic forces. These include the impact of international unionism on the Canadian working class, the emergence of scientific management in business ideology, and the special role of the state in economic development and the mediation of class relationships.
The ideas and career of Mackenzie King, including his 'new liberalism,' and his activities in regard to the Department of Labour are examined, revealing how he moulded Canada's official position in the relations between capital and labour. With a focus on King's intellectual qualities in an international context, the author brings out another dimension, portraying him as Canada's first practising social scientist.
The book examines implementation of policy through an analysis of the work of the Department of Labour through detailed case studies of government interventions in industrial disputes. The initial acceptance of the labour relations policy by the labour movement is explained and its repudiation in 1911 is examined against a background of setbacks which reflected its practical limits as much as its philosophical orientation.
The result is a study which moves beyond a particular concern with labour policy to illuminate the contours of Canadian life in a crucial period of national development.
- Series: Heritage
- World Rights
- Page Count: 398 pages
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.9in x 9.0in
Paul Craven is an associate professor in the Department of Social Science at York University.
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