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Canadian Politics: Critical Approaches, 8th Edition

  • Christopher Cochrane
  • Kelly Blidook
  • Rand Dyck
  • ISBN-10: 0176582959
  • ISBN-13: 9780176582951
  • 0 Pages | Paperback
  • Previous Editions: 2014, 2011, 2008
  • COPYRIGHT: 2017 Published
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About the Product

For over 30 years, Canadian Politics: Critical Approaches has engaged students in the history and debates of the Canadian political environment. The country has changed a great deal over these past decades; however, Canada’s political institutions have not. The relative stability of political institutions in the face of rapidly changing social, economic, and international environments is an enduring theme of Canadian politics. With the most recent election, the federal government laid out an ambitious agenda of political reform. Among other changes, the new government has pledged to reform the House of Commons, the senate, and the way votes are counted and seats are allocated in elections. This text provides readers with the tools and background knowledge to help them think seriously and critically about these and many other questions that Canada now faces. This text places its major focus between the two parts of the Canadian political system: its “environment” and its institutions. Students will be deeply engaged in the clash of interests from which Canadian political activity has stemmed, and will be equally fascinated by topics related to political culture, the mass media, public opinion, elections, and advocacy groups that will introduce them to the vibrant and dynamic world of Canadian politics. This new eighth edition of Canadian Politics: Critical Approaches seeks to make informed critics of its readers by presenting the relevant, challenging concepts of Canada’s political system with a balanced and engaging account of both political institutions and social influencers.


  • To help guide students’ ability to critically understand political decisions, a feature entitled Critical Approaches has been included. This feature emphasizes key political decisions and explains the various factors that needed to be taken into account in order to make those informed decisions.

  • The text explores the ‘environment’ of the Canadian political system, emphasizing its societal setting with discussions of regionalism, Aboriginal peoples, the French–English cleavage, ethnocultural groups, gender, class, age, religion, urban/rural location, and the global environment.

  • Canadian Politics: Critical Approaches meets head-on the challenging concepts of Canada’s political system: the systemic inequalities in political power, the notion that those in power do whatever it takes to enhance their chances of re-election, the enormous pressure of corporations and business groups, the predominance of the prime minister, and the ever-present influence of the bureaucracy; but it also balances these difficult aspects by suggesting possible reforms and alternative arrangements.

  • The text includes chapters on all the institutions of Canadian government, including the constitution, federalism, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the executive, bureaucracy, Parliament, and the judiciary.

About the Author

Christopher Cochrane

Christopher Cochrane has a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Toronto, a Master’s degree in Political Science from McGill University in Montreal, and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and History from St. Thomas University in Fredericton. He was the Banque Nationale Fellow at the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada [2000-1] and a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Laurier Institute for the Study of Public Opinion and Policy [2009-10]. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto and the University of Toronto-Scarborough (UTSC). Professor Cochrane studies ideological disagreement and its implications for political decision-making and party competition in Canada.

Kelly Blidook

Kelly Blidook is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Memorial University. He received his PhD from McGill University. His research focuses mostly upon the various behaviours of Canadian Members of Parliament. His book, Constituency Influence in Parliament: Countering the Centre (UBC Press) was published in 2012.

Rand Dyck

Rand Dyck was born and raised in Calgary. After graduating from the University of Alberta with his B.A. in Political Science, he found the political culture of Ontario more to his liking, and took his M.A. at Carleton University and his Ph.D. at Queen’s. Between his graduate degrees, he experienced the life of a public servant in Ottawa, but opted instead for an academic career. He taught at Laurentian University in Sudbury for 34 years, holding all sorts of administrative positions including department chair and vice dean, and took early retirement in 2005, upon which he was titled Professor Emeritus. He now teaches at Carleton University as an Adjunct Professor. Among his many accomplishments and awards, Rand received both the Laurentian University Teaching Excellence Award and the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations Teaching Award in 2002. He was cited for his engaging teaching style and for his extraordinary commitment to his students, many of whom became life-long friends. One particular claim to fame was his organization of the annual Laurentian University Model Parliament held in the House of Commons chamber in Ottawa. As a Political Science professor, he has a long list of published articles, chapters, public speeches, and book reviews, and continues to be asked by the media for comments on current political developments.

Table of Contents

Part One: Introduction
Chapter 1: Approaching the Study of Politics
Chapter 2: Institutional Foundations and the Evolution of the State

Part Two: The Societal Context: Cleavages and Identities
Chapter 3: Regionalism
Chapter 4: Aboriginal Peoples
Chapter 5: French Canada and the Quebec Question
Chapter 6: Ethnocultural Minorities
Chapter 7: Gender
Chapter 8: Class
Chapter 9: Urban/Rural Location, Religion, and Age
Chapter 10: Canada’s External Environment: The United States and the World

Part Three: Linking People to Government
Chapter 11: The Canadian Political Culture
Chapter 12: Political Socialization, the Mass Media, and Public Opinion Polls
Chapter 13: Elections and the Electoral System
Chapter 14: Political Parties and the Party System
Chapter 15: The Election Campaign, Voting, and Political Participation
Chapter 16: Advocacy Groups, Social Movements, and Lobbying

Part Four: The Constitutional Context
Chapter 17: The Canadian Constitution and Constitutional Change
Chapter 18: The Federal System
Chapter 19: The Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Part Five: Governing
Chapter 20: The Policymaking Process and Policy Instruments
Chapter 21: The Executive: Crown, Prime Minister, and Cabinet
Chapter 22: The Bureaucracy
Chapter 23: Parliament
Chapter 24: The Judiciary

Appendix A
Appendix B

New to this edition

  • The most recent 2015 federal election campaign and election results have been thoroughly integrated throughout.
  • The text places focus on “path dependence” and the increasing calls for institutional reform, especially to the House of Commons, senate, and the electoral system.
  • New Charter decisions of the Supreme Court, including those on religious freedoms, prostitution, and doctor-assisted suicide have been discussed throughout.
  • The text expands upon the volatile nature of public opinion in Quebec regarding nationalism, federalism, party preference, and religious tolerance, as well as the re-election of a Liberal majority government.
  • The text discusses recent political issues and movements, such as the wearing of the niqab during citizenship ceremonies, the Keystone Pipeline debate, Arctic sovereignty, and the “Idle No More” movement.
  • The text now features an engaging 4 colour design.
  • MindTap for Canadian Politics is a personalized teaching experience with engaging assignments that help students connect concepts to the real world. Critical thinking is encouraged through analysis, application, and reflection.


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the Main title.
Please see Main title page for new to this edition information.

Instructor Supplements

MindTap Printed Access Card (6 months) for Canadian Politics: Critical Approaches, 8th Edition  (ISBN-10: 0176764399 | ISBN-13: 9780176764395)
Online Only Instructor's Resources to Accompany Dyck's Canadian Politics: Critical Approaches, 8th Edition  (ISBN-10: 0176760342 | ISBN-13: 9780176760342)
Bundle: Canadian Politics: Critical Approaches 8th Edition + MindTap Printed Access Card (6 months)  (ISBN-10: 0176793755 | ISBN-13: 9780176793753)

Student Supplements

eBook: Canadian Politics  (ISBN-10: 0176767738 | ISBN-13: 9780176767730)
MindTap Instant Access (6 months) for Canadian Politics: Critical Approaches, 8th Edition  (ISBN-10: 0176761500 | ISBN-13: 9780176761509)

MindTap® provides you with the tools you need to manage your time better. You can complete assignments whenever and wherever with course material customized and streamlined for you by your instructor in a proven and easy-to-use interface. Relevant, engaging material keeps you connected to your course and course analytics by providing timely feedback showing you where you stand at all times—both individually and compared with the highest performers in class. With a wide array of course specific tools and apps – from an interactive eBook to note taking capabilities and flashcards, you can feel confident that MindTap is a worthwhile and valuable investment in your education. Please note - A Course Registration URL or Course Key is required from your Instructor to use MindTap.