Tag Archives: McGill-Queen’s UP

W. Magnusson – Local Self-Government and the Right to the City

Each year UVic faculty, staff, students, alumni, and retirees produce an incredible amount of intellectual content reflecting their breadth and diversity of research, teaching, personal, and professional interests. A list of these works is available here.

Local Self-GovernmentThe culmination of a life’s work by Canada’s leading political theorist in the field and UVic Professor Emeritus, Doug Magnusson, Local Self-Government and the Right to the City ranges across topics such as local government, social movements, constitutional law, urban political economy, and democratic theory.

About the Book

Despite decades of talk about globalization, democracy still depends on local self-government. In Local Self-Government and the Right to the City, Warren Magnusson argues that it is the principle behind claims to personal autonomy, community control, and national self-determination that holds the promise of more peaceful politics. Unfortunately, state-centered thinking has obscured understanding of what local self-government can mean and hindered efforts to make good on what activists have called the “right to the city.”

In this collection of essays, Magnusson reflects on his own efforts to make sense of what local self-government can actually mean, using the old ideal of the town meeting as a touchstone. Why cannot communities govern themselves? Why fear direct democracy? As he suggests, putting more trust in the proliferating practices of government and self-government will actually make cities work better, and enable us to see how to localize democracy appropriately. He shows that doing so will require citizens and governments to come to terms with the multiplicity, indeterminacy, and uncertainty implicit in politics and steer clear of sovereign solutions.

About the Author

Warren Magnusson is a political theorist and UVic Professor Emeritus (Political Science) with a particular interest in the urban and the local as sites of politics and government.

MagnussonHis most recent book, Local Self-Government and the Right to the City, completes a trilogy that began with The Search for Political Space (1996) and Politics of Urbanism: Seeing Like a City (2011). Magnusson has always had a particular interest in politics in Canada, as is reflected in the influential volume he edited with Andrew Sancton on City Politics in Canada (1983), two co-edited volumes on BC politics, The New Reality (1983) and After Bennett (1986), various articles and book chapters he published in the subsequent decades, and another edited volume, with Karena Shaw, A Political Space: Reading the Global through Clayoquot Sound (2002).

He is a founding member of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Cultural, Social, and Political Thought (CSPT) at UVic, as well as of the Urban Studies Committee, which organizes the CityTalks in Victoria. Having taught many different courses on urban politics and political theory over the years, he offered his last course as a regular faculty member – a seminar on self-government  – in January 2016. He continues to advise graduate students interested in contemporary political theory and/or urban politics.

Praise for the Book

“Local Self-Government and the Right to the City reveals the intellectual development of one of the most creative and incisive, yet perhaps underappreciated, political theorists Canada has ever produced.” Zack Taylor, University of Toronto

“…it does a remarkable job in raising and framing crucial questions, in critiquing prevailing disciplinary assumptions, and in mapping the landscape for a new urban-focused, community-based worldview.” W.F. Garrett-Petts, BC Studies, 2016.

Peter Baskerville – Lives in Transition

Each year UVic faculty, staff, students, alumni, and retirees produce an incredible amount of intellectual content reflecting their breadth and diversity of research, teaching, personal, and professional interests. A list of these works is available here.

UVic Professor Emeritus Peter Baskerville has recently edited a new publication for McGill-Queen’s UP titled Lives in Transition: Longitudinal Analysis from Historical Sources.  Lives in Transition demonstrates how the analysis of collective experience through both individual-level and large-scale data at different moments in history opens up important avenues for social science and historical research.Lives in Transition

About the Book

Collective histories and broad social change are informed by the ways in which personal lives unfold. Lives in Transition examines individual experiences within such collective histories during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

This collection brings together sources from Europe, North America, and Australia in order to advance the field of quantitative longitudinal historical research. The essays examine the lives and movements of various populations over time that were important for Europe and its overseas settlements – including the experience of convicts transported to Australia and Scots who moved freely to New Zealand. The micro-level roots of economic change and social mobility of settler society are analyzed through populations studies of Chicago, Montreal, as well as rural communities in Canada and the United States. Several studies also explore ethnic inequality as experienced by Polish immigrants, French-Canadians, and Aboriginal peoples in Canada.

About the Editors

One of Canada’s leading business social scientists, Dr. Peter Baskerville is described by the Royal Society of Canada as “one of the world’s leading historians engaged in inter-disciplinary research on the making of modern society.” Baskerville is still an active researcher and desires to make history accessible, relevant, and applicable by using the past to inform the future. Although based in Victoria, Baskerville holds the Chair of Modern Western Canadian History at the University of Alberta.

Kris Inwood is a professor in Economics and History at the University of Guelph whose interests lie in the borderlands between history and the social sciences. His teaching explores economic and business history, quantitative social history, and economic development. His research investigates inequality, changes in physical well-being, and the standard of living.

Praise for the Book

“The collection succeeds in pointing to the exciting potential of longitudinal analysis. In such skilled hands, the approach serves to dissolve older simplicities, to complicate transitions once seen as linear, and to reinforce the multiplicity of conditions affecting mobility.” Eric W. Sager, The Canadian Historical Review 97:1

“The collection establishes the notion of a translator’s body of work and studies it from various angles.” The Malahat Review

“The use of longitudinal historical data created by linking individual-level information in two or more large-scale databases is a relatively new technique to study patterns of social and geographic mobility. The chapters in Lives in Transition draw on census material from Canada, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand and, as a result, scholars from an array of countries will be able to see firsthand how this technique can generate new and interesting lines of historical and sociological inquiry.” Vic Satzewich, Department of Sociology, McMaster University