Discussant/Commentateur/Commentatrice : Francois Rocher (University of Ottawa)
Boundaries of the Nation and their Implications: Majority and Minority Nationalisms compared in Canada: Antoine Bilodeau (Concordia University), Luc Turgeon (Université d'Ottawa) Abstract: Nationalism defines members of a nation in opposition to “others” (Druckman, 1994), drawing the informal boundaries of the nation. Typically, scholars have identified two types of boundaries, those that are civic and those that are ethnic (Lecours, 2000). These different criteria to define who belongs have been associated with important implications for political dynamics. Hence, populations in countries with more civic conceptions of who belongs appear to express with more positive views about immigration (Kunovich, 2009), and immigrants in those countries appear to express stronger sense of belonging (Simonens, 2016).
Although international comparisons have examined how different countries draw those informal boundaries and their implications for views about immigration, little attention has been paid to how boundary drawing can vary within a nation, or more specifically how boundary drawing might vary between minority and majority nations in plurinational states.
How much do majority and minority nationalisms differ in the way they draw their boundaries of who belongs? And what are the implications in shaping their relationships with immigration? This paper explores these questions by examining the cases of minority nationalism in Quebec and majority nationalism in the rest of Canada. The paper relies on a survey of 5000 Quebecers and other Canadians measuring how they define who belongs to the nation (Quebec and Canada).
Two Solitudes Revisited: Canada, Québec, and National Reconciliation: Hannah Wyile (University of Ottawa) Abstract: In June 2017, Konrad Yakabuski wrote in the Globe & Mail, in response to then-Québec Premier Philippe Couillard’s call to launch new constitutional discussions, that “Reconciliation with Quebec is no less critical to Canada's success in the 21st century than reconciliation with First Nations and Inuit peoples.” This statement is a reminder that, in addition to the more currently familiar discourse of reconciliation between Indigenous Peoples and Canada which has attained a state of near-ubiquity, the language of reconciliation has also made appearances in discussions about the relationship between Canada and Québec. Indeed, this seems to be the context wherein reconciliation discourse was introduced into Canadian politics, dating from the Mulroney government’s emphasis on “national reconciliation.” Here, reconciliation is raised particularly with respect to the exclusion of Québec from the Constitution Act, 1982. Discourses of reconciliation are now pervasive in contemporary politics, but the concept brings with it a complex etymological heritage, such that a great deal of ambiguity surrounds its use in politics, where reconciliation is contested on many grounds. This paper explores the place of Canada-Québec relations in the emergence and development of reconciliation discourses in Canadian politics, and considers the similarities and differences between uses of the language of reconciliation in that context and in discussions about relations with Indigenous Peoples, in order to reflect on what constellation(s) of power relations are constructed and/or maintained by the deployment of reconciliation as a framework for understanding constitutional politics in Canada.
The Politics of Solidarity: Assessing the Foundations of Québec’s Student Movement: Patricia Mockler (Queen's University), Jacob Robbins-Kanter (Queen's University), Daniel Troup (Queen's University) Abstract: In comparison to other provinces, Québec’s university student population is exceptionally well-organized and frequently mobilized, despite a number of serious obstacles to mobilization. Unlike students in most other Canadian provinces, the Québec university system is linguistically divided, and there is a substantial difference in the fee structure for in and out of province students. This corresponds with ideological divisions about Québec’s place in Canada and the preservation of Québec as a distinctive polity. Furthermore, the province’s students are no more exempt from intra-provincial ideological divisions than their counterparts in the rest of Canada. Some cities and campuses are notably radical, while others are not. This paper seeks to understand the contours of student solidarity in Québec by assessing the relationship between these potential cultural, material, and ideological obstacles to organization and individual students’ commitments to collective student interests. In doing so, it seeks to expand on existing historical institutionalist accounts of the student movement to provide an individual level analysis of student opinion. The project conducts a survey designed to assess the relationship between linguistic community membership, opinions on Québec sovereignty, tuition fee-status, right-left ideology, and a propensity to favour collective student assertiveness. Ultimately, this research is designed to ascertain the ways in which the movement is united and divided in order to assess the balance of material and ideational factors animating student politics in the province, the extent to which student mobilization is reflective of a distinctly Québécois identity, and whether such expression is defined by linguistic cleavages.
L'interaction du réseau des élites économiques et politiques au Québec. Les cas de Québecor inc. et de Power Corporation du Canada: Laurent Alarie (Université d'Ottawa) Abstract: Notre proposition porte sur l’élite économique et son interaction avec la sphère politique et les espaces de production culturelle au Québec. L’analyse que nous menons est topographique ; elle cherche à repérer la position des acteurs dans l’espace social. Plus spécifiquement, elle prend la forme d’une analyse des réseaux sociaux (ARS) des membres des conseils d’administration de Power Corporation et de Québecor inc. En plus d’illustrer les réseaux sous forme graphique, l’ARS permet d’effectuer des calculs de centralité nous renseignant sur la position structurelle de chacun des acteurs dans le réseau. Par ce portrait documenté, nous espérons fournir des indices empiriques témoignant de l’influence potentielle des membres de l’élite économique dans la société québécoise. Nous diffuserons nos premiers résultats de recherche en mettant l’accent sur les liens qu’entretiennent ces derniers avec des membres du personnel politique et administratif (i.e. grandes sociétés d’État, ministères et agences gouvernementales, et principaux conseils municipaux) et d’autres sphères d’activités économiques et culturelles (e.g. Fondations privées, think tank, Universités). Le thème de la conférence annuelle invite les chercheurs à envisager la politique autrement et à questionner les détenteurs de pouvoirs. Dans ce cadre, nous proposons une réflexion portant sur les relations sociales objectives entre les dirigeants économiques et politiques. Nous nous demandons que peut révéler une telle étude sur la structure du pouvoir au Québec? Nous cherchons également à rouvrir une question qui a longtemps polarisé les chercheurs en sciences sociales: y a-t-il une élite du pouvoir?