Federalism and the Organization of Political Life: Canada in Comparative Perspective

By Herman Bakvis | Go to book overview

Foreword

This is the second in a series of monographs, published under the general title, Queen's Studies on the Future of the Canadian Communities. The monographs are designed to present research and analysis which at the same time advance our intellectual understanding of the problems of the Canadian federal system and directly focus on the broad political choices which face us.

In this study, Herman Bakvis examines some fundamental questions about the linkages between the nature of communities to which citizens belong, and the ways those communities are reflected in the structure of political institutions. He draws on the experience of societies with patterns of political division analogous to those in Canada, notably Belgium and the Netherlands. He provides a valuable critique of some prominent theories of political integration, notably the model of "consociational democracy". Skillfully weaving different theoretical strands, including theory of conflict, organization theory and others, he draws some persuasive conclusions about the consequences of some of the constitutional proposals recently discussed.

This, like other monographs in this series, has been made possible by a generous grant from the Donner Canadian Foundation.

Herman Bakvis is presently Assistant Professor in public administration and political science at Dalhousie University. His book on the church and politics in the Netherlands is shortly to be published by McGill-Queen's University Press.

Richard Simeon
Director,

Institute of Intergovernmental Relations,
Queen's University.

-VII-

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Federalism and the Organization of Political Life: Canada in Comparative Perspective
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents V
  • Foreword VII
  • Preface VIII
  • 1 - Learning from Comparative Experience 1
  • Footnotes 12
  • 2 - Cleavages, Institutions and Political Communities 14
  • 3 - Canada and the Consociational Model 62
  • Footnotes 88
  • Bibliography 90
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