Federalism in Canada: Contested Concepts and Uneasy Balances
Federalism in Canada tells the turbulent story of shared sovereignty and divided governance from Confederation to the present time. It does so with three main objectives in mind. The first objective is to convince readers that federalism is the primary animating force in Canadian politics, and that it is therefore worth engaging with its complex nature and dynamic. The second objective is to bring into closer focus the contested concepts about the meaning and operation of federalism that all along have been at the root of the divide between English Canada and Quebec in particular. The third objective is to give recognition to the trajectory of Canada’s Indigenous peoples in the context of Canadian federalism, from years of abusive neglect to belated efforts of inclusion. The book focuses on the constitution with its ambiguous allocation of divided powers, the pivotal role of the courts in balancing these powers, and the political leaders whose interactions oscillate between intergovernmental conflict and cooperation. This focus on executive leadership and judicial supervision is framed by considerations of Canada’s regionalized political economy and cultural diversity, giving students an interesting and nuanced view of federalism in Canada.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 336 pages
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
"Thomas O. Hueglin's long-awaited book offers a nuanced and balanced reading of the evolution of Canadian federalism that takes into account conflicts that arise from differing conceptions of the foundations of the political community. It is a tour de force accomplished with skill and brilliance."
François Rocher, University of Ottawa
"Hueglin offers a sweeping and penetrating look at contested concepts that have permeated all facets of Canadian federalism since confederation, some of which will endure beyond today because Canada’s diverse peoples hold competing notions of federalism that resist a final settlement."
John Kincaid, Lafayette College
"A rare treat: insightful, witty, stimulating. Goes beyond most existing explanations of Canadian politics by understanding federalism as a perpetual debate not just about content but also about who may speak and when."
Sean Mueller, University of Lausanne
"In this book, Hueglin identifies a key to unlocking a better understanding of Canadian politics: it is not only the operation of federalism that is profoundly contested in this country but most importantly its meaning."
André Lecours, University of Ottawa
Author InformationThomas O. Hueglin Thomas O. Hueglin is a professor in the Department of Political Science at Wilfrid Laurier University.
Table of contents
Prologue: Approaches to Canadian Federalism
A Personal Account by Means of Acknowledgement
Contested Concepts as the Underlying Dynamic and Central Theme
Organization and Outline
1 An Introductory Understanding of Canadian Federalism
Power of the Courts
Sunny Ways of Compromise
Coming Together Lately
Relics of Empire
An Incomplete Contract
3 Judicial Interpretations
Pith and Substance
From Need to Necessity
Beyond Provincial Concern
Federalism Demands Nothing Less
Law and Politics
4 From a Crisis of Capitalism to a Crisis of Federalism
Dramatic Crisis and BNA Act Federalism at a Loss
Reversal of Functions
5 Mostly Fiscal Relations
Under the Indian Act
Fiscal Imbalance and the Spending Power
6 Difference, Dependency, and Displacement
Regionalism and Federalism
7 Patriation and the Constitution Act, 1982
The Long Road to Patriation
8 The Unfinished Business of Canadian Federalism
Secession and Clarity
Interstate Federalism and Intrastate Federalism
Indigenous Land Rights and Self-Government
9 Contested Concepts of Canadian Federalism
A Plural Compact of Provinces or a Dual Compact of Nationalities?
How Much Autonomy or Interdependence?
Epilogue: Still a Federal Country
Subjects and Courses