Constitutional Politics in Canada After the Charter

Constitutional Politics in Canada After the Charter

Liberalism, Communitarianism, and Systemism

Book - 2010
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Univ of Washington Pr

Since the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was introduced in 1982, Canada has experienced countless debates on constitutional politics and about the future of Canada. There has, however, been no systematic attempt to identify general theories about Canada’s constitutional evolution. Patrick James corrects this oversight by using systemism to identify and assess five theories within the liberal and communitarian paradigms and within the context of major issues such as the role of the courts and the status of Aboriginal peoples. By adding clarity to familiar debates, this succinct assessment of major writings on constitutional politics sharpens our vision of the past - and the future - of the Canadian federation.

Book News
For policy makers and scholars, James (international relations, U. of Southern California) identifies and assesses five liberal and communitarian theories and the context of major issues about the evolution of constitutional politics in Canada that have arisen since the passage of the Constitution Act, 1982 and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. He demonstrates how system-based theorizing and rational choice can enhance understanding of this evolution, addressing what constitutes a theory, whether theories agree or disagree on constitutional affairs, whether Canada is headed toward renewal, and whether the Confederation is ending in the future or whether the constitutional status quo will remain. He also discusses issues like federalism and constitutional uncertainty, the courts, national unity, and the Quebec and western Canadian constitutional agendas, as well as major events like the second Quebec Referendum on sovereignty association, and political behavior, economics, and the influence of groups like women, Aboriginal peoples, and the media. Distributed by UTP Distribution. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: Vancouver : UBC Press, c2010
ISBN: 9780774817868
Characteristics: 181 p. ; 24 cm


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