Democracy is in crisis in the Western world; in nascent democracies we see democratic backsliding. At this years’ Canadian Political Science Association meeting, leading scholars will re-assess the state of democratic governance. Trust in political institutions has declined precipitously, voters have deserted centrist parties in favour of radical parties of the left and right, and many citizens do not vote. Populist rhetoric and even hate speech are permeating political discourse. The recent U.S. presidential election embodied many of the symptoms of this crisis in democracy. Is Canada immune to these transformations? Many papers and panels will speak to these pressing issues of our time. A second theme is “Confederation at 150”. This anniversary is an occasion for celebration but also for critical reflection. Political scientists will address the past, the present and the future of Confederation from a wide range of perspectives. The conference will also feature a plenary session on the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, where distinguished scholars will reflect upon the Report’s implications for political science and political scientists.
Democracy, populism; radical right parties; confederation; truth and reconciliation
Dietlind Stolle, McGill University; Elisabeth Gidengill, McGill University
Neil Thomlinson, Ryerson University