Canada's Rights Revolution: Social Movement and Social Change, 1937-82

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9780774814805: Canada's Rights Revolution: Social Movement and Social Change, 1937-82
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Winner of the 2009 John Porter Tradition of Excellence Book Award

In the first major study of postwar social movement organizations in Canada, Dominique Clement provides a history of the human rights movement as seen through the eyes of two generations of activists. Drawing on newly acquired archival sources, extensive interviews, and materials released through access to information applications, Clement explores the history of four organizations – the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, Ligue des droits de l'homme, Canadian Civil Liberties Association, and Newfoundland-Labrador Human Rights Association – that emerged in the sixties and evolved into powerful lobbies for human rights despite bitter internal disputes and intense rivalries.

In addition to offering a unique perspective on some of the most infamous human rights controversies of the period – including the Gastown riot, the campaign to counteract police violence in Toronto, compulsory treatment of drug addicts, the October crisis of 1970, and the rights of prisoners and welfare recipients – Canada's Rights Revolution argues that the idea of human rights has historically been highly statist while grass roots activism has been at the heart of the most profound human rights advances.

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About the Author:

Dominque Clement is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Alberta.

Review:

Rights advocacy is a topic of immense practical and historical significance. Dominique Cl?ment does Canadian researchers a great service with this impressive historical analysis of leading social-movement organizations that have made rights advocacy their stated aim. This is important and original scholarship, to be sure.? Matt James, author of Misrecognized Materialists: Social Movements in Canadian Constitutional PoliticsDominique Cl?ment's "Canada's Rights Revolution" is a major contribution to the historical and sociological literature on human rights in Canada. It is comprehensive, well organized, and makes a persuasive argument about the nature of human rights activism through the framework of social movements theory.? Brian Howe, author of Restraining Equality: Human Rights Commissions in CanadaThis book is a good introduction to civil liberty and human rights advocacy, and to important issues facing Canadian social movements. It is well suited to upper level undergraduate courses and for those researching and teaching on the history of Canadian mobilization. It also has the potential to spark debate over Canadian SMO dependence on federal government funding.?

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