Canadian Conservative Political Thought  book cover
1st Edition

Canadian Conservative Political Thought

  • Available for pre-order on March 3, 2023. Item will ship after March 24, 2023
ISBN 9781032435268
March 24, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
296 Pages

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Book Description

This book corrects an imbalance in Canadian political literature through offering a conservative account of Canadian political thought, within a framework of global politics.

Across 15 chronologically organized chapters, and with a mixture of established and rising scholars, the book offers an investigation of the defining features and characteristics of Canadian conservative political thought, asking what have Canadian conservative political thinkers and practitioners learned from other traditions and, in turn, what have they contribute to our understanding of global politics and political thought?

Rather than its culmination Canadian Conservative Political Thought will be the beginning of conservative political thought’s recovery, and will spark debates and future research. The book will be a great resource for courses on Canadian politics, history, political philosophy and conservatism, Canadian Studies, and political theory.

Table of Contents

Introduction: What is Canadian Conservative Political Thought?  Part 1: A Founding of a Nation among Strangers  1. "Little Platoons and Ancient Traditions": Edmund Burke’s Critique of Imperialism and Contemporary North American Indigenous Anti-Colonialism  2. Praying Alone: Tocqueville on the Present State and Probable Future of Quebec  3. John Strachan’s Loyalist Political Thought: Tocqueville’s "Aristocratic Mores Without Aristocrats"  4. The Sacred Temple of Truth: Thomas D’Arcy McGee’s Civic Nationalism  5. Canadian Conservativism and National Developmentalism: Sir John A. Macdonald’s Hamiltonian Persuasion  Part 2: Liberalism, Globalism, and Multiculturalism  6. The High Tory Conservatism of Eugene Forsey and John Farthing  7. Globalist Nihilism, Liberal Relativism, and Tutorialist Statecraft: A Critique of Janet Ajzenstat’s Canadian Political Philosophy  8. Ajzenstat Versus the Oligarch  9. Charles Taylor’s Interculturalism and the Crisis of Liberalism  10. "Even More Than International": Brock Chisholm and the Origins of Canadian Globalist Thought  Part 3: Culture, Technology, and Place  11. Marshall McLuhan: Canadian Political Philosophy for the Digital Age  12. History as Progress or Reversal? The Mythical Prognostications of Kojève and McLuhan  13. George Grant, Time, and Eternity  14. Of Homesteaders and Orangemen: An Archeology of Western Canadian Political Identity  15. Globalization Through Rose-Tinted Glasses: Schitt's Creek and the Power of Civic Virtue  16. Sources for Renewal for Canadian Conservatism

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Richard Avramenko is Professor of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is author of Courage: The Politics of Life and Limb (2011), and has co-edited books on Friendship and Politics (2008), Dostoevsky’s Political Thought (2013), and Aristocratic Souls in Democratic Times (2018).

Lee Trepanier is a Professor of Political Science at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. He is author and editor of several books and the editor of Lexington Books series Politics, Literature, and Film.


"Using a history-of-ideas approach, the editors have woven together several strands of Canadian conservative political thought. The focus, chiefly on the thinkers of Laurentian Canada, is well executed. Even Canadians will find these accounts stimulating!"

Barry Cooper, Professor of Political Science, University of Calgary

"The conventional story of Canada is that its Fathers of Confederation founded a conservative nation to guard against its plebiscitarian southern neighbor. In the twentieth century, this regime was replaced by a leftist, “Laurentian” liberalism. The triumphalism of “Laurentian” liberalism has led Canadians and foreign observers to neglect Canada’s conservative intellectual sources, including those that have contested liberal triumphalism. Trepanier and Avramenko have assembled a fine volume of essays that bring those sources back to life by engaging them with the perennial questions that confront Canadians. With essays on John A. MacDonald, George Grant, Charles Taylor, Marshall McLuhan, Indigenous anti-colonialism, and even the Schitt’s Creek television series, the authors demonstrate the variety of thought in Canadian conservatism."

John von Heyking, Professor of Political Science, University of Lethbridge

"There has come to be, sadly so, in the last few decades, a paper thin and reactionary notion of Canadian conservatism. Gratefully so, this bounty of a book by fine scholars digs yet further and deeper into the historic and mother lode of a heritage that has been caricatured and almost forgotten – a beauty of a remembering book worthy of many a read."

Ron Dart, Professor of Political Science, University of the Fraser Valley