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Donald Smiley Prize - 2015

The Canadian Political Science Association announces the twentieth competition for the Donald Smiley Prize. The prize was established to honour the life and work of Donald V. Smiley (1921-1990) and to encourage the ideals of scholarship represented by this great Canadian political scientist. An internationally renowned professor of Canadian government and politics and later Professor Emeritus at York University, Professor Smiley served as President of the Canadian Political Science Association.


  • The CPSA will award the Donald Smiley Prize to the best book published in English or in French in the field relating to the study of government and politics in Canada.

  • Eligible books may be single-authored or multi-authored; textbooks, edited books, collections of essays, translations and memoirs are not eligible.

  • A book that has been submitted to the Donald Smiley Prize cannot be submitted to another CPSA book prize in the same year or in a subsequent year.

  • In the case of a single-authored book, the author must be a member of the CPSA in the year the book is considered for the prize. In the case of a multi-authored book, at least one of the authors must be a member of the CPSA in the year the book is considered for the prize. The membership fee, in either of the above cases, must be received at the CPSA office in Ottawa before the prize submission deadline.

  • For the 2015 award, a book must have a copyright date of 2014.

  • The deadline for submission of books is December 10, 2014. Books published between December 11th and December 31srt are eligible, provided that members of the jury are informed of the date of mailing.

  • The Prize winner(s) will be announced at the 2015 Conference of the Canadian Political Science Association.

  • The Prize winner(s) will receive a commemorative plaque. They will also receive/share the set of books submitted to the CPSA office for the 2015 prize.

  • To nominate a book, a paper copy must be sent directly to each member of the Prize Jury at the addresses provided; a paper copy must also be sent directly to the offices of the CPSA. A book can be submitted by the author(s) or the publisher. Packages must be clearly marked DONALD SMILEY PRIZE ENTRY.

Donald Smiley Prize Jury
Canadian Political Science Association
Suite 204, 260 Dalhousie Street

Caroline Andrew (Chair)
Centre on Governance
Faculty of Social Sciences
University of Ottawa
120 University
Social Sciences Building
Room 5043
613.562.5800 #2755

Frédéric Boily
Université de l’Alberta
Campus Saint-Jean
8406, rue Marie-Anne-Gaboury (91e Rue)
Bureau Pavillon Lacerte, 2-12

Alexandra Dobrowolsky
Department of Political Science
Saint Mary's University
923 Robie Street

Award Winners

G. Bruce Doern, Allan M. Maslove and Michal J. Prince
Canadian Public Budgeting in the Age of Crises. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2013.

Excerpt from jury report:
Doern, Maslove and Prince’s book deals with a topic of broad and current interest. Doern and colleagues begin their book with an argument that scholars of Canadian public policy need (a) a deeper understanding of budgetary domains, (b) a better way of defining and thinking about fiscal crisis, and (c) an increasing focus on the temporal dimension of budgetary decision-making. The book provides all this, by first reviewing thirty years of fiscal climate, macroeconomic policy and budgetary institutions; and then in detailed reviews of different policy domains. What is most striking about this book is the magnitude of the endeavor – the book manages to combine a rich theoretical background with a very thorough account of recent budgetary trends. It also places budget crises in comparative context, and examines the Canadian-specific elements that have made them better or worse. This is a meticulous but also far-reaching analysis of Canadian budgetary policy.

William P. Cross, and André Blais
Politics at the Centre: The Selection and Removal of Party Leaders in the Anglo Parliamentary Democracies. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.

Excerpt from jury report:
Politics at the Centre: The Selection and Removal of Party Leaders in the Anglo Parliamentary Democracies provides an impressive explanation of how Canada’s national political leaders attain the apex of their party’s power structure, how they remain in power, and how they can be deposed. The rules, norms and practices that shape the institutional context for entering and leaving party leadership are brought into clear focus through comparative analysis that spans 25 political parties in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. By investigating leadership campaigns in these parties over four decades, the authors are able to contrast how selection is becoming more democratic in some parties, with growing input from rank and file members, while remaining the preserve of party elites and the parliamentary caucus in other cases. Not only does the book’s framework enable greater insight of where Canadian parties are heading in their leadership selection and de-selection practices, but it is also likely to increase the understanding of Canadian politics in the parliamentary democracies whose parties have been compared with experience in Canada.

Peter Aucoin, Mark. D. Jarvis and Lori Turnbull
Democratizing the Constitution. Reforming Responsible Government in Canada (Toronto: Emond Montgomery Publications, 2011)

Excerpt from jury report:
Democratizing the Constitution is an incisive analysis of the state of responsible government in Canada. The authors argue that the nature of the relationship between the Canadian Prime Minister and the House of Commons presents a democratic problem because of the control of the former over the latter. This problem, according to the authors, has both constitutional and a parliamentary government dimensions. Constitutionally, the book suggests the problem resides in the capacity of the Prime Minister to abuse the position’s powers to summon, prorogue, and dissolve the House. With respect to parliamentary government, the authors argue that rules and procedures that allow the Prime Minister to manage the business of the House have been put at the service of controlling the legislative branch in Canada. Democratizing the Constitution offers its analysis with an eye towards change as it puts forth a four-part proposal for constitutional reform.

Raymond Hudon and Christian Poirier
La Politique, jeux et enjeux. Action en société, action publique, et pratiques démocratiques (Presses de l’Université Laval, 2011)

Excerpt from jury report:
In this book, the authors present an entirely original analysis of the state of contemporary politics. Based on a comprehensive and nuanced synthesis of writings about political activity, their analysis rejects the thesis of a decline in politics and instead makes a brilliant case for political renewal and democratic practices. In short, this book by Raymond Hudon and Christian Poirier is a timely and vital source for political analysts as well as citizens with an interest in politics.

Paul Howe
Citizens Adrift: The Democratic Disengagement of Young Canadians (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2010)

Excerpt from jury report:
In Citizens Adrift, Paul Howe explores a problem that every political scientist in Canada has to be thinking about: Why are younger people less interested in politics than their elders? Howe comes to the topic with an open mind, an infectious enthusiasm, and an impressive toolkit. Drawing on the research of others, generating new data of his own, and comparing Canadian results with similar countries, he examines the issue of disengagement from a number of fascinating angles. His diagnosis is at once wise, persuasive, and troubling; his prescriptions are realistic and achievable. Citizens Adrift is a model of political science that deserves a place on every scholar’s reference table not just because it is accessible and intelligent, but because it will inform reflection and discussion both in class and, one hopes, on the street.

Frédérick Boily
Le conservatisme au Québec: Retour sur une tradition oubliée (Québec: Presses de l’Université Laval, 2010)

Excerpt from jury report:
In this work, Frédéric Boily develops the relatively innovative argument that while social democracy has become a accepted ideology in Québec since the Quiet Revolution, the conservative tradition is still present. Boily makes an original comparison of conservatism in Québec, Canada and the United States. He offers a detailed portrait of a province with a rich conservative history that continues to shape its political institutions and social changes. The author has produced a lucid and very well written work that should change the way we understand Quebec and Canadian politics.

Kristin Good
Municipalities and Multiculturalism (Toronto: The University of Toronto Press, 2009)

Excerpt from jury report:
This book will contribute to a renewal of urban policy studies in Canada. By combining a critical questioning of multiculturalism with an in-depth examination of integration and accommodation policies in eight communities in two major Canadian metropolitan areas, Kristin Good establishes the basis for a new field of research and reflection, one in which generally accepted ideas on local democracy, skill sharing and social change are shattered. Her approach relies on a well-developed theoretical framework that allows the author to reveal the profound effect of the demographic and cultural transformations that accompany mass immigration. The effective structure of this well-documented, well-written work predisposes it to be quickly embraced as a course textbook on local politics, but will also find a wide readership among all who are interested in the question of immigration. Kristin R. Good is Assistant Professor with the Department of Political Science at Dalhousie University.

Éric Bélanger and Richard Nadeau
Le Comportement électoral des Québécois (Montréal (QC), Presses de l’Université de Montréal)

Excerpt from jury report:
This work brilliantly revives a tradition of empirical research once prevalent in Quebec political science. With a rigorous and direct style the two authors attempt to provide "avenues of explanation and analysis" illuminating fluctuations in Quebecers' electoral behaviour. Relying on 2007 and 2008 election results and an empirical model drawn from a highly sophisticated original survey, Bélanger and Nadeau draw clear and convincing conclusions about the political and ideological determinants of the vote. Their interpretation of the electoral effects of the debate on the national question and the role of government will undoubtedly influence the political parties and their strategies in the years ahead. More broadly, this book should be mandatory reading for all political commentators in Quebec, who will thereby avoid much misinterpretation – particularly with regard to the ADQ and the party system. Éric Bélanger is Assistant Professor with the Department of Political Science at McGill University; Richard Nadeau is Professor of Politcal science with the University of Montreal.

Gerard W. Boychuk
National Health Insurance in the United States and Canada. Race, Territory and the Roots of Difference, (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2008)

Excerpt from jury report:
In this clear, thorough and accessible essay, Gerard Boychuk proposes a thought-provoking explanation of the divergent paths Canada and the United States have taken with respect to the financing and management of public health care. Moving away from the well established views according to which political culture, institutional configuration or path dependency account for the differences between the two countries, Boychuk emphasizes factors seldom considered by other specialists of health care policy and argues that the politics of territorial integration in Canada and race relations in the United States provide a more compelling explanation for the different history and development of public health care in the two countries. This book offers an inspiring illustration of the comparative turn scholars of Canadian politics are increasingly taking and is bound to become an essential reference in the field.

Gerard Boychuk is director of global governance at the Balsillie School of International Affairs and an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Waterloo. He is also a research fellow at the Institute for Advanced Policy Research at the University of Calgary.

Christian Jetté
Les organismes communautaires et la transformation de l’État-providence. Trois décennies de coconstruction des politiques publiques dans le domaine de la santé et des services sociaux, (Presses de l’Université du Québec, 2008)

Excerpt from jury report:
This meticulously documented work, filled with much previously overlooked detail, tells the story of the relations between community health and social services organizations and the Quebec government since the early 1970s. Christian Jetté clarifies the central role played by Quebec community organizations in developing social and health policy. He makes an extremely convincing contribution to our understanding of the process by which the welfare state was formed and transformed in Quebec. His reading of the facts and events involved in the formulation of government health care and social services policy forces us to reconsider the explanations accepted until now of the nature of the Quebec state and the interface between government and Quebec civil society. This is a book that will permanently affect our views of the socio-political dynamic in contemporary Québec.

Christian Jetté is a professor at the École de service social of the Université de Montréal and co-director of LAREPPS, its social practice and policy research laboratory.

Douglas Macdonald (University of Toronto)
Business and Environmental Politics in Canada (Broadview Press, 2007)

Excerpt from jury report:
Macdonald’s book is well-written, accessible, concise, and one of the most outstanding studies of public policy in Canada to appear in recent years. Surveying the whole history of environmental politics in Canada over the last half century, it presents and tests a number of hypotheses about the role of business in the formation of policy in this area. Examining a number of case studies ranging from the controversy over acid rain to the regulation of beverage containers in Ontario, it concludes that business corporations essentially reacted, although not without success, to changes in the political agenda and that they were as much concerned with their legitimacy and “image” as with their balance sheets. Its judgements and conclusions are balanced and firmly based on the evidence, and its analysis will be appreciated not only by students of Canadian environmental politics but by anyone interested in the relationship between business and the state in industrialized liberal democracies.

Garth Stevenson (Brock University)
Parallel Paths: The Development of Nationalism in Ireland and Quebec (Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2006)

Excerpt from jury report:
Parallel Paths is an intellectually bold foray into the history of nationalism in Ireland and Quebec. Garth Stevenson’s thoughtful and systematic comparison of the development of these two societies from their origins as rebels within the British Empire, yields rich insights into the study of nationalism as well as the present political choices facing the two nations. Stevenson illuminates the effect that Quebec’s early achievement of self-government within the Canadian federation had on its later pursuit of independence in contrast with Ireland’s failure to secure home rule within the United Kingdom and its more volatile struggle for independence culminating in partition. By looking back, he captures the current dilemma facing Quebec and Ireland as they struggle to balance their historical national identities with more inclusive civic nationalities. Stevenson concludes that nationalism is a powerful, positive force in achieving the goals of political and social justice and tempering the effects of economic globalization and mass migration provided that it indulges neither xenophobic intolerance nor mindless diversification.

Gregory Inwood (Ryerson University)
Continentalizing Canada: The Politics and Legacy of the Macdonald Royal Commission (University of Toronto Press, 2005)

Excerpt from jury report:
Continentalizing Canada provides an original, comprehensive, and authoritative account of the Royal Commission on the Economic Union and Development Prospects for Canada. The Macdonald Commission is widely recognized as one the most influential public transcripts in the history of Canadian confederation, steering federal decision makers toward both a neoliberal governing paradigm and the continental integration of the Canadian political economy. Gregory Inwood’s careful research and critical insights into the many and complex processes through which consensus is built around public policies, which initially find little support in public opinion, is a major contribution to the study of contemporary Canadian politics. Though an extensive review of academic and popular writing, archival research, discourse analysis, and elite interviews, Continentalizing Canada skillfully reconstructs the story of how free trade became the major plank of Canadian development policy in the late twentieth century in the face of widespread political opposition and ambiguous evidence. This book also represents a definitive contribution to the growing literature that situates ideas and royal commissions as critical structuring mechanisms in Canadian political life.

A.W. Johnson
Dream No Little Dreams: A Biography of the Douglas Government of Saskatchewan, 1944-1961 (University of Toronto Press, 2004)

Excerpt from jury report:
This is an intensely personal account of a remarkable government. Al Johnson was present at the creation, and for nearly two decades after, as the Douglas Government set about not just reforming but revolutionizing Canadian understanding of the meaning of modern government. The Douglas years marked a political transformation in three respects: the creation of an expert bureaucracy, the introduction of universal social policies and the establishment of active and, on balance, profitable federal-provincial fiscal relations.

Reading Dream No Little Dreams creates the sensation that Harold Carter and Lord Carnarvon must have experienced when they broke through into the tomb of Tutankhamon. ‘So this is what it was like!’ Intimate, knowledgeable and scholarly, Johnson’s account of how populist or protest movements evolve when suddenly confronted with the rigours of governing has timeless relevance. In addition, there are insights about the mechanics of provincial politics and policy-making. Mesmeric as the leader was, Johnson makes clear that the Douglas Government was by no means a one-man operation.

Even the story of how this book came to be published is unique, with a senior civil servant going back to rework his forty-year-old dissertation to document a government and movement that has been woefully understudied.

David A. Good (University of Victoria)
The Politics of Public Management: The HRDC Audit of Grants and Contributions (University of Toronto Press, 2003)

Excerpt from jury report:
David Good’s The Politics of Public Management is the product of a happy circumstance in a very unhappy episode in recent Canadian politics. During the first six months of 2000, questions arising from an internal audit conducted by HRDC (Human Resources Development Canada) dominated national politics. Dr. David Good, a career public servant with a Ph D in Public Policy, was an Assistant Deputy Minister in HRDC during the period when his Department was under intense public scrutiny. His book is a superbly written, insightful insider’s account of the story. It provides a close-up look at the trade-offs that are made as the imperatives of the classic system of responsible government give way to those of the New Public Management. It also shows the power of the media both to drive the agenda of those on the inside of government and to create on the outside their own public version of events. Good’s book is a healthy reality check for citizens and political scientists concerned with declining public confidence in democratic governance.

John Borrows (University of Victoria)
Recovering Canada: The Resurgence of Indigenous Law (University of Toronto Press, 2002)

Excerpt from jury report:
John Borrows had a formidable task in writing Recovering Canada: The Resurgence of Indigenous Law. First, in outlining the contribution of traditional aboriginal law to the Common Law in Canada, he had to find a way to make the narrative compelling to those whose interest in legal studies extends beyond standard case law, and into a more esoteric realm. Second, at least for the purpose of this prize, he was obliged to make his argument broadly appealing to political scientists. He succeeded brilliantly on both dimensions. The book constitutes a fascinating journey into a portion of our shared heritage that most Canadians know little about. Recovering Canada should become a staple for students of aboriginal studies and constitutional politics in Canada.

Patrick Macklem (University of Toronto)
Indigenous Differences and the Constitution of Canada (University of Toronto Press, 2001)

Excerpt from jury report:
The book Indigenous Difference and the Constitution of Canada is a landmark study. Professor Patrick Macklem has produced a sweeping account of "indigenous difference", in which he first explores its dimensions and then demonstrates how Aboriginal differences imply distinct indigenous interests, rights and positions in the Canadian constitutional order, an order that itself gains legitimacy by justly accommodating indigenous difference. The book is remarkable for its scope, its deep and thorough research in law, political science, philosophy and history, and its subtle and sophisticated argumentation. It is also distinguished by the author's unbending concern for justice, fairness and equality.

Tom Flanagan (University of Calgary)
First Nations? Second Thoughts (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2000)

David E. Smith (University of Saskatchewan)
The Republican Option in Canada, Past and Present (University of Toronto Press, 1999)

Samuel V. LaSelva (University of British Columbia)
The Moral Foundations of Canadian Federalism (McGill-Queen's University Press, 1996)

Ronald Manzer (University of Toronto)
Public Schools & Political Ideas: Canadian Educational Policy in Historical Perspective (University of Toronto Press, 1994)

Stephen McBride (Simon Fraser University)
Not Working: State, Unemployment, and Neo-Conservatism in Canada (University of Toronto Press, 1992)

Donald J. Savoie (Université de Moncton)
The Politics of Public Spending in Canada (University of Toronto Press, 1990)