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Throughout the world, liberal-democracies are grappling with increasing claims made in the name of minority national, socio-cultural and ethno-cultural identities that seek greater recognition in the institutions of the nation-state. This work inserts itself into debates centred on diversity through a normative and empirical analytical assessment of the political sociology of multinational democracies. The main thread of the arguments put forward is that federalism, in both its institutional manifestations and its sociological properties, constitutes a promising avenue for the management of cohabitating political communities and for the affirmation of collective identities within states that are constituted by two or more nations.

Author Alain-G Gagnon develops his argument by contending that the federal principle allows for the exercise of advanced democratic practices within nation-states, permitting internal nations to openly affirm the bases of adherence to a common political project. At the same time, he argues that federalism nourishes the development of distinct collective traditions that serve to benefit all parties to the association. It is concluded that only in such a scenario will the elusive pursuit of an authentic and shared loyalty underpin multination states and ensure their stability, in contrast to the instrumental sentiments of belonging engendered by procedural territorial federal models.

Focusing primarily on the Canadian case, this book also draws inspiration from other federal states (Belgium, the United States), as well as federalizing states (Spain, the United Kingdom). It will be of keen interest to students and scholars of Politics, European Studies, along with Nationalism and Federalism Studies.

Canadians often imagine their country as a multicultural democracy, while a few go further to claim that the country's diversity can be characterized as multinational in its social and institutional make-up. In Federalism, Citizenship, and Quebec, Alain-G. Gagnon and Raffaele Iacovino reveal how this notion has been falsely presented to the populace. Through comprehensive historical, contemporary, and critical accounts, they argue that the country has been the object of an aggressive nationalizing project that contravenes the principles of a 'multinational federation.' Gagnon and Iacovino defend a conception of diverse citizenship for Canada that is truly suitable to a durable and just constitutional association and provide an alternative path for the country based on normative, socio-political, and practical considerations associated with multinational democracy.

Including a detailed account of the main challenges associated with Quebec's place in the federation, Federalism, Citizenship, and Quebec stands apart from other English-language studies on multinational democracy, citizenship, and federalism, and, most notably, multinational democracy in Canada. Gagnon and Iacovino ground their work in both history and theory, offering a truly interdisciplinary approach that will appeal to scholars from fields as diverse as Canadian and Quebec politics, comparative politics, and political and legal theory. The book will contribute to awareness of the need for appreciating diversity in contemporary societies while being a useful addition to English Canadian students in these fields, who often lack exposure to many of the rich debates proceeding in Quebec.

Au lendemain des débats qui ont tiraillé la société québécoise au sujet des valeurs devant guider la cohabitation dans les espaces publics, le temps est venu de faire le point sur les termes du dialogue et sur les conditions pouvant en faciliter la réalisation. Les essais qui composent ce recueil entendent non seulement tracer un portrait des défis à relever à cet égard, mais aussi éclairer les avenues favorisant l’approfondissement d’un dialogue riche et porteur pour tous les citoyens. Caractérisés depuis le milieu des années 1960 par la quête de politiques plus équitables et par la concertation des différents intervenants, le régime de citoyenneté québécois et ses modes de délibération sont aujourd’hui mis à mal. En outre, l’esprit d’échange, de conciliation et de réciprocité qui a fait la force de l’approche québécoise dans le domaine des relations interculturelles semble s’affaiblir, à un point tel que le gouvernement du Québec hésite encore à adopter l’interculturalisme en tant que projet politique rassembleur. L’idée d’une citoyenneté québécoise pluraliste axée sur le dialogue, la reconnaissance et la participation est remise en question, tant dans le débat public que dans la sphère de la politique partisane. Issues des études politiques, de la philosophie, de l’histoire, de la science des religions, des études littéraires et du droit, les différentes perspectives réunies dans cet ouvrage visent à alimenter la réflexion sur la démocratisation des échanges publics et sur la cohabitation dans une société plurielle.
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