Discussant/Commentateur/Commentatrice : Peter Graefe (McMaster University)
Session Abstract: This panel begin with the premise that “the state has a significant part in shaping the content and definition of interests, and not only organizational tactics and strategies” (Berger 1981: 15). Some groups are thus formed by their stake in particular policies. In the case of social policies and the welfare state, for example, we know that “social programs produce new organized interests” (Pierson 1996: 175). But social groupings and constituencies do not emerge automatically as a result of a given governmental decision or public policy. Together, through their interactions, social actors and the state gradually organize interests and give them a particular form defined by particular symbolic and material boundaries. This process is historical and dynamic insofar as it unfolds over time and is open-ended. In the panel, we explore these processes by looking at some institutions (or process of institutionalisation) and the direct and indirect effects of them on social movements and/or mobilizations. While some papers will propose a general view of the situation across Canada, others will focus on some provinces and some specific sectors of public intervention.
Beyond the ‘Quebec Model’: How Institutions Had Long-Term Effects on the Forms of Protest: Pascale Dufour (Université de Montréal), Jean-Vincent Bergeron-Gaudin (Université de Montréal), Luc Chicoine (Université du Québec à Montréal) Abstract: Literature on the ‘Quebec model’ stresses that the national stake in Quebec society regarding the political status of this province in Canada has contributed to building a citizenship regime distinct from what exists in the rest of the country. One of the most important specificities of this regime concerns the way relationships between civil society actors and the Quebec state are organized and deployed through times. If we agree with this conclusion, we argue in this paper that the national question has also been translated into certain institutional arrangements that had direct and indirect impacts on the ways protest has developed. These arrangements took different forms, including public funding of protest groups and legal recognition. Our analysis is based on the cases of housing struggles and post-secondary education struggles since the 1970s with interviews with important social movement leaders in both cases and documentary analysis of main social groups. We also rely on interviews with the main political leaders present when turning point legislations were adopted (the 1983 act respecting the accreditation and financing of students’ associationsand the 1997 regulation in the housing sector). More generally, our results contribute to understanding how the national question has influenced the trajectories of social movements in Quebec.
Channeling Advocacy? Assessing How Funding Source Affects the Strategies of Environmental Organizations: Catherine Corrigal-Brown (University of British Columbia), Max Chewinski (University of British Columbia) Abstract: All non–governmental organizations (NGOs) rely on funding to support their work. But how does the source of funding shape the types of advocacy groups engage in? Using novel panel data collected by the Environmental Funders Network, this research examines how funding from government, foundations, business, and members shape the advocacy work of environmental NGOs in the UK. Past research suggests that elite funding sources channel groups into institutional advocacy, such as lobbying or litigation, and away from public advocacy, such as protesting. This paper confirms previous research while also showing that all types of funding channel group actions. Foundation and business funding is associated with more institutional advocacy, government funding is associated with non–political advocacy such as species conservation, and member funding is associated with public advocacy. By comparing across funding types, this study demonstrates the ways in which groups are both helped and hindered by funding from different sources.
Ideas, Institutions and the Development Provincial Poverty Reduction Strategies: Rachel Laforest (Queen's University), Geranda Notten (University of Ottawa) Abstract: Since the early 2000s all of Canada’s provinces and territories have adopted a poverty reduction strategy and, in 2018, the federal government announced its own poverty reduction strategy. This provides a perfect canvas for a comparative study of the policy processes that lead to the development of these strategies. In this paper, we will examine the interplay between the institutions, and in particular the frequency and timing of consultations, with the strategies of organized interests who have mobilized in order to affect change. It illustrates how the ideas and content of the policies adopted are shaped by these dynamics. The analysis is based on 75 qualitative interviews conducted in seven provinces.