The Development of Political Thought in Canada: An Anthology

Edited by Katherine Fierlbeck

© 2005

Contemporary Canadian political thought is fresh, provocative, and ubiquitous. But how can we explain the popularity of the present within the context of the past? The premise of this book is that Canada's intellectual heritage is disappearing from the consciousness of its citizens. For contemporary undergraduates there is no one source in print that presents an historical survey of Canadian political thought. Indeed, many undergraduates are never introduced to even the most iconic figures in political thought in this country, such as C.B. Macpherson, Kari Levitt, or George Grant. And for the wider audience of reflective and thoughtful Canadians outside of the universities, there is little guidance in understanding how the abstract political debates surrounding such issues as health care, foreign policy, or asymmetrical federalism evolved. Few are cynical enough to believe that all major political decisions are based solely on an expression of political opportunism. But what confluence of political ideas permitted the implementation of real political achievements?

This book presents selections of Canadian political thought from the nineteenth century to the present to show how ideas evolved over time to influence the values and debates of modern Canadians. The readings are generally arranged chronologically, but the three currents of thought that inform the selections are Canada's relation to the United States, English Canada's relationship with French Canada, and the nature of a "Canadian" social justice.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 324 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.2in x 1.1in x 9.1in
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SKU# HE000109

  • PUBLISHED AUG 2005

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    Regular Price: $43.95

    ISBN 9781551117102

Quick Overview

This book presents selections of Canadian political thought from the nineteenth century to the present to show how ideas evolved over time to influence the values and debates of modern Canadians.

The Development of Political Thought in Canada: An Anthology

Edited by Katherine Fierlbeck

© 2005

Contemporary Canadian political thought is fresh, provocative, and ubiquitous. But how can we explain the popularity of the present within the context of the past? The premise of this book is that Canada's intellectual heritage is disappearing from the consciousness of its citizens. For contemporary undergraduates there is no one source in print that presents an historical survey of Canadian political thought. Indeed, many undergraduates are never introduced to even the most iconic figures in political thought in this country, such as C.B. Macpherson, Kari Levitt, or George Grant. And for the wider audience of reflective and thoughtful Canadians outside of the universities, there is little guidance in understanding how the abstract political debates surrounding such issues as health care, foreign policy, or asymmetrical federalism evolved. Few are cynical enough to believe that all major political decisions are based solely on an expression of political opportunism. But what confluence of political ideas permitted the implementation of real political achievements?

This book presents selections of Canadian political thought from the nineteenth century to the present to show how ideas evolved over time to influence the values and debates of modern Canadians. The readings are generally arranged chronologically, but the three currents of thought that inform the selections are Canada's relation to the United States, English Canada's relationship with French Canada, and the nature of a "Canadian" social justice.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 324 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.2in x 1.1in x 9.1in
  • Reviews

    Canada has a rich family of traditions of original political thought that have had an enormous influence on Canadian life and the wider world. Yet, there are very few anthologies, and thus it is difficult to teach undergraduate and graduate courses in this area or for the general public to learn about these traditions. The Development of Political Thought in Canada, edited by Katherine Fierlbeck, herself a well-known political theorist, is an excellent anthology and introduction to this family of traditions from Lord Durham and Henri Bourassa, through Macpherson, Douglas and Trudeau, to Will Kymlicka and Michael Ignatieff, and across a broad spectrum of authors and themes in between. I strongly recommend this anthology for undergraduate and graduate courses in Canadian political thought and for citizens who wish to know more about the best of their own traditions.


    James Tully, Distinguished Professor and Trudeau Fellow, University of Victoria

    Katherine Fierlbeck has made a very intelligent selection of items and has contextualized them helpfully by way of both the 'big picture' that she provides and the commentaries that introduce sections and chapters. Moreover, the book is introduced with a flair that should really help to engage students who need to understand why history is important.


    Richard Vernon, University of Western Ontario

    There has been a dearth of recent textbooks dealing with Canadian political thought. Katherine Fierlbeck's anthology will significantly help to close the gap.


    Philip Resnick, University of British Columbia
  • Author Information

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

  • Table of contents

    Preface
    Introduction

    Part 1: The First Wave (pre-World War II)

    1. Lord Durham, Report on the Affairs of British North America (1839)
    2. Henri Bourassa, The Spectre of Annexation (1912)
    3. Nellie McClung, Hardy Perennials (1915)
    4. J.M. Woodsworth, Organizing Democracy in Canada (1918)
    5. Harold Innis, Transportation as a Factor in Canadian Economic History (1933)

    Part 2: The Second Wave (1950s-1970s)

    A. Social Justice

    6. C.B. Macpherson, Democracy in Alberta: Social Credit and the Party System (1953)
    7. Lester B. Pearson, Where Do We Go from Here? (1957)
    8. Tommy Douglas, Medicare: The Time to Take a Stand (1961)
    9. Kari Levitt, Silent Surrender: The Multinational Corporation in Canada (1970)
    10. George Woodcock, Reflections on Decentralization (1972)

    B. Nation and Identity

    11. Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Federalism, Nationalism, and Reason (1964)
    12. George Grant, English-Speaking Justice (1965)
    13. Gad Horowitz, Conservatism, Liberalism, and Socialism in Canada: An Interpretation (1966)
    14. René Lévesque, An Option for Quebec (1968)

    Part 3: The Third Wave (1980s to the present)

    15. Charles Taylor, The Malaise of Modernity (1991)
    16. James Tully, Strange Multiplicity (1995)
    17. Will Kymlicka, The Good, The Bad, and the Intolerable: Minority Group Rights (1996)
    18. Michael Ignatieff, The Rights Revolution (2000)

    Sources

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