18 Jan Quebec and Canada in the New Century: New Dynamics, New Opportunities Canada: The State of the Federation 2005

For three decades following the Quiet Revolution Quebec society was captivated by a discourse of sovereignty and Quebec nation-building that posed a fundamental challenge to the legitimacy and integrity of the Canadian federation. Since the 1995 referendum, however, the political intensity of the sovereignty discourse seems to have abated, and a different set of priorities has come to the fore in Quebec society – health care, education, employment and economic development, security, and the environment. These are the same issues that dominate the public agenda across the country. Canada: The State of the Federation 2005 explores the significance of this shift – is it a temporary period of calm in the regular ebb and flow of Quebec nationalism? Might the abatement of overt nationalist sentiment be attributed to the success of nationalist policies themselves, particularly those relating to the French language? Or perhaps we are witnessing a more fundamental transformation of Quebec society and politics, and an essential realignment of Quebec’s relationship with Canada and the rest of the world? These questions are at the core of the volume, which seeks to enhance our understanding of current trends in Quebec society and politics and their corresponding impact on the intergovernmental dynamics in the federation. The chapters canvass a wide range of themes including the political economy of Quebec nationalism, language policy and politics, the role of globalization and new social movements in shaping the provincial political agenda, provincial political party alignments, and the shifting contours of the sovereignty debate.

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(2007) Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press