Political Thought in Canada: An Intellectual History

By Katherine Fierlbeck

© 2006

What, if anything, makes Canada's political identity unique? Pollsters can measure values, but they cannot explain how these values arose over time, why they changed, or how people have attempted to make sense of them within a changing social and political environment. By examining the history of political ideas in Canada, we can better understand why Canada takes the shape that it does. In this book, Katherine Fierlbeck looks at the legacy of ideas taken from (or shaped in reaction to) the nations that have been most influential to Canada's development: the United Kingdom and the United States. The first section looks specifically at the nature of toryism, constitutional liberalism, and market liberalism. Then she examines the evolution of social justice in Canada. Does the country have, as J.S. Woodsworth hoped, a definitive "third way." The final section focuses upon debates over cultural identity and minority rights. Contemporary political discussions in Canada are very much based upon the expressions of French-Canadian nationalism that have existed as long as, and perhaps even longer than, the country itself. How have these ideas influenced current thinking about culture and accommodation?

The experiences characterized by Canadian political thought also provide insight and ideas for nations around the world as their citizens struggle with similar questions. The political dynamics of the present are a product of how Canadians have viewed their country, or a vision of their country, in the past. These ideas of Canada, in history and in myth, provide a way of thinking about politics that may provoke and inspire Canadians—and others—to reflect upon their future.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 192 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.8in x 0.2in x 8.8in
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SKU# HE000212

  • PUBLISHED MAR 2006

    From: $27.16

    Regular Price: $31.95

    ISBN 9781551117119
  • PUBLISHED MAR 2006
    From: $26.95

Quick Overview

In this book, Katherine Fierlbeck looks at the legacy of ideas taken from (or shaped in reaction to) the nations that have been most influential to Canada's development: the United Kingdom and the United States.

Political Thought in Canada: An Intellectual History

By Katherine Fierlbeck

© 2006

What, if anything, makes Canada's political identity unique? Pollsters can measure values, but they cannot explain how these values arose over time, why they changed, or how people have attempted to make sense of them within a changing social and political environment. By examining the history of political ideas in Canada, we can better understand why Canada takes the shape that it does. In this book, Katherine Fierlbeck looks at the legacy of ideas taken from (or shaped in reaction to) the nations that have been most influential to Canada's development: the United Kingdom and the United States. The first section looks specifically at the nature of toryism, constitutional liberalism, and market liberalism. Then she examines the evolution of social justice in Canada. Does the country have, as J.S. Woodsworth hoped, a definitive "third way." The final section focuses upon debates over cultural identity and minority rights. Contemporary political discussions in Canada are very much based upon the expressions of French-Canadian nationalism that have existed as long as, and perhaps even longer than, the country itself. How have these ideas influenced current thinking about culture and accommodation?

The experiences characterized by Canadian political thought also provide insight and ideas for nations around the world as their citizens struggle with similar questions. The political dynamics of the present are a product of how Canadians have viewed their country, or a vision of their country, in the past. These ideas of Canada, in history and in myth, provide a way of thinking about politics that may provoke and inspire Canadians—and others—to reflect upon their future.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 192 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.8in x 0.2in x 8.8in
  • Reviews

    Political Thought in Canada is a thoughtful and engaging book on Canadian political thought, broadly understood. It contains a wealth of rich, detailed arguments on theorists and traditions, set within their political and intellectual context. Fierlbeck demonstrates throughout the text how to connect philosophy with the political and intellectual world.


    Margaret Moore, Queen's University

    A serious, measured, and encyclopaedic presentation of Canadian political ideas from their beginnings: this book is indispensable.


    Janet Ajzenstat, McMaster University
  • Author Information

    Katherine Fierlbeck is a professor in the Department of Political Science at Dalhousie University.

  • Table of contents

    Preface

    1. Introduction
    2. The Context of Canadian Political Thought

    Part 1: Defining a Nation

    3. The Colonial Legacy

    Toryism
    British Liberalism and Constitutionalism

    4. The Challenge of Neighbourliness: The United States

    Jacksonian Liberalism and the Free Market
    The Idea of "Sovereignty" in Canadian Political Thought

    Part 2: Social Justice

    5. Understanding the Culture of Social Justice

    The Fragment Theory
    The Role of Religion

    6. Radical Political Thought

    The Left
    Other Forms of Radicalism

    Part 3: Culture and Accommodation

    7. French-Canadian Nationalism

    The Church in Lower Canada
    Early Liberalism in French Canada
    Ultramontanism
    Neo-nationalism and Social Radicalism

    8. Minority Rights and Multiculturalism: Two Narratives

    Minority Rights: The Recognition of "Deep Diversity"
    Multiculturalism: The Primacy of Formal Equality

    9. In History and in Myth

    Bibliography
    Index

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