Category Archives: Vanishing borders: rethinking politics

IMMIGRATION AND SETTLEMENT IN MANITOBA: MAKING DEEP FEDERALISM WORK

This is the second in a series of two posts about the findings I’ll be presenting next week in Toronto at the IPAC-PPM Cities and Public Policy conference. The previous post dealt with the mismanagement of homelessness in Winnipeg. This one focuses on the achievement of deep federalism in the administration of immigration and settlement in Winnipeg. In both entries, the overarching theme is that slow-growth cities have policy problems that are very different from those of cities that are growing rapidly, and that these differences are not being given the attention they deserve.

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MISMANAGING HOMELESSNESS IN A SLOW-GROWTH CITY

I’ll be at the IPAC-PPM Cities and Public Policy conference next week in Toronto, reporting on some of the things I’ve learned about the impact of federal government policies on Winnipeg. My overall theme will be that slow-growth cities have policy problems that are very different from those of cities that are growing rapidly, and that these differences are not being given the attention they deserve.

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IS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT DIVIDING ABORIGINAL PEOPLE? CAN IT STOP?

I’ll be at the Canadian Political Science Association conference in Ottawa next week delivering a paper originally entitled “Building cohesion, aggravating division”, with an even more obscure, academic-sounding subtitle. But I’ve changed the title and the new one is the one I’m using for this blog entry. My article grows out of studies I did recently in Winnipeg of aboriginal policy and policy regarding immigration and settlement. Originally, these studies had nothing to do with each other, but when they were finished, I was struck by the contrast between them.

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FEDERALISM DOESN’T HAVE TO BE TOP-DOWN

In Canada, the mention of federalism generally puts us in mind of federal government initiatives that are carried out in co-operation with provincial and territorial governments. Sometimes provincial initiative is also a factor, especially in recent years, since the creation of the Council of the Federation, an association of provincial and territorial premiers that aims “to play a leadership role in revitalizing the Canadian federation and building a more constructive and cooperative federal system.”
We are less likely to think in terms of municipal or community initiative, but community initiative in intergovernmental relations is a current reality, in fact one that has been with us for some time, though it remains an exception to the rule of top-down government. In the late 1960s, in the most epic of Canada’s battles over plans for urban expressways, citizens opposing the Spadina Expressway made a strategic decision to bypass Metropolitan Toronto Council and take their case to the Ontario Municipal Board and the provincial cabinet, and it was the cabinet that gave them their victory.

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MULTI-LEVEL GOVERNANCE, RESCALING, AND GLOBALIZATION: AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHIC NOTE

In a globalizing world, we have to reconsider, not only the way we govern our communities, but also how their governance interacts with the governance of regions and nations, as well as global governance.
By chance or otherwise, I became interested in this topic – and researched and wrote about it – quite awhile before anyone thought of such felicitous terms as rescaling or multi-level governance. As a result a lot of useful data are buried away in publications today’s researchers are unlikely to identify as relevant sources. Therefore, I offer the following bibliographic note, listing the publications in question, together with a brief note for each, explaining its relevance to rescaling, multi-level governance, or the evolving place of cities in a globalizing world. Some of these articles were published as journal articles, others as book chapters, but all are based on original research.
This annotated bibliography does not include my recent publications, such as “Deep Federalism: Respecting Community Difference in National Policy”, which is in the Canadian Journal of Political Science, 39:3 (September 2006) 481–506. In that article, and others recently published or in press, it is clear that the topic has something to do with rescaling.

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IT’S POSSIBLE TO RESPECT COMMUNITY DIFFERENCE IN NATIONAL POLICY, BUT THE GOVERNMENT NEEDS A PUSH

In previous posts, I have tried to show that:
It’s more important than ever in the past for national governments to treat different cities differently.
It can be done.
It’s often done badly.
However, in those entries, I used examples from my research to illustrate successes and failures in national government attempts to respect community difference. In this post, I want to take a step beyond examples, and draw on Canadian experience to sketch out three approaches – policy models for multi-level governance that respects community difference. I refer to such multi-level governance as deep federalism.

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WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF GLOBALIZATION ON POLITICS?

What’s the impact of globalization on politics? Many commentators pronounce on this complex and multi-faceted topic with great confidence, but an overview of the literature suggests that we are still struggling to understand it. An obvious characteristic of globalization is that money, goods and manufacturing have become far more mobile than they once were, with the result that corporations are freer than ever to move, and finance to invest, wherever they choose.
Therefore, national governments are less able to control the activities of mobile businesses than in the past, while corporations and finance are in a better position to dictate to national governments. They do this by relocating their activities to – and buying the currencies of – states whose policies they approve and abandoning, or threatening to abandon, the rest.
So what are the political implications of this fundamental shift in the balance of power between international business and governments? Susan Strange argues that the state is in retreat. Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri invoke a very different conceptual framework to conclude, somewhat similarly, that sovereignty is migrating away from the state. Noreena Hertz and George Monbiot warn of the commanding power of corporations over the state, but Paul Doremus and his colleagues emphasize the continuing importance of the state and political culture. (See citations below.)

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