Contested Federalism: Certainty and Ambiguity in the Canadian Federation

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Contested Federalism: Certainty and Ambivalence in the Canadian Federation examines the relations between and within the two main orders of government in Canada--the federal government and the provincial and territorial governments, the two central players in the intergovernmental system. The text also examines other orders of government, or would-be governments, which can be considered part of the broader federal and intergovernmental framework, even if these governments or proto-governments lack explicit constitutional recognition--that is, municipalities and First Nations, and other Aboriginal peoples' governments. In doing so, the book focuses on three areas: basic federal and intergovernmental structure, the constitutional and institutional framework, and what can be termed 'federal governance'.

Federalism, and particularly the Canadian variant, involves an ongoing contestation of interests, ideas, and identities. It is a contestation that sometimes clarifies but often obscures the nature of conflicts and the manner in which they are resolved. Because of the great degree of ambivalence associated with federalism, the authors provide students with the conceptual tools and basic knowledge of various governmental processes that will allow them to analyze and, if necessary, critique intergovernmental relations.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195425291
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 5/15/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Herman Bakvis is Professor of Public Administration at the University of Victoria. His research interests include federalism, the policy process, and government structure and organization.

Gerald Baier is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of British Columbia. His research interests focus on Canadian federalism and the constitution. Of particular interest is the role of courts and the law in the development of Canadian federalism and the constitutional division of powers.

Douglas Brown is a Fellow and former Director of the Institute of Intergovernmental Relations at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. He is also Assistant Professor of Political Science at St Francis Xavier University. His main area of interest is Canadian federalism and intergovernmental relations, where he has over 25 years' experience as both a practitioner and an academic observer.

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Table of Contents

1. Approaches to Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations
2. The Economic, Social, and Institutional Basis of Canadian Federalism
3. Intergovernmental Relations and the Policy Process: A Framework
4. The Constitution and Constitutional Change
5. Judicial Review and Dispute Resolution
6. The Settings of Executive Federalism
7. The Management and Reform of Executive Federalism
8. Fiscal Relations: Basic Principles and Overview
9. Fiscal Relations: Key Issues into the Harper Era
10. The Social Union, SUFA, and the Health Care Gorilla
11. Economic Union and Economic Policy
12. The Environmental Union
13. Local Government and Federalism
14. Aboriginal Governments and Federalism Conclusion: The Ambivalent Federation

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