Why Canadian Unity Matters and why Americans Care: Democratic Pluralism at Risk

Why Canadian Unity Matters and why Americans Care: Democratic Pluralism at Risk

by Charles F. Doran


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Why is Canadian unity important to democratic pluralism worldwide?

Democratic pluralism is the ability of different cultural and language communities to find representation under a single set of democratic institutions, however configured. Although traditional liberal arguments at best ignored culture, in practise, out of a long struggle to eliminate gargantuan prejudices, errors and wrongs, the liberal tradition has created in democratic pluralism a dialectic of culture and liberal politics that resolves the theoretical conundrums so dear to both. Canadian democracy is a monument to success in its capacity to provide dignity, freedom, opportunity, and prosperity to its citizens throughout the polity. Secession, if it takes place in Quebec, puts these achievements at risk, raising the spectre that cultural-linguistic norms, not a mature liberal democracy, will fashion the kind of state that future generations will inherit.

Charles Doran examines why Canadian unity is important, what drives Quebec separatism in the American view, the concern that after Quebec succession the rest of Canada could unravel, and the nature of the historical era that has shaped and conditioned secessionist impulse.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802083913
Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
Publication date: 11/28/2001
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.01(w) x 8.95(h) x 0.84(d)

About the Author

Charles F. Doran is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of International Relations, Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) Johns Hopkins University, Washington, D.C.

What People are Saying About This

Isaiah A. Litvak

'Charles Doran, in a path-breaking study, Democratic Pluralism at Risk, explores in meticulous detail how the principle and process of democratic pluralism is being threatened by divisive nationalism. His laboratory is Quebec and Canada...A distinguished scholar, Doran lays bare the historical and contemporary forces which underlie Quebec's drive for secession and the challenges it poses to Canada and Canadians. A tour de force! A must-read for all Canadians and interested Americans.'

Robin W. Winks

'Charles Doran's book is the clearest and by far the best examination of what is at stake in the preservation of Canadian unity, for Canadians and for Americans. Here is a writer who knows both nations equally well and who draws telling conclusions about what makes both tick, what the implications of a divided Canada are, and makes clear why all Americans should care about separatism in Quebec. This is a marvelous book.'

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