Wiseman's provocative book expands our understanding of policy options in Canada in a most novel way. ...Wiseman turns and examines Canada regionally and uses the five waves of immigration the country has undergone since its beginning to define and to knit these regions together. What is unique is this thread of immigration that he weaves through his analysis. ... Wiseman really sees Canada as a country of six regions. Unlike many scholars in the past, he does not seek commonality to overarch regional differences. ... Based on secondary material, Wiseman offers a very useful, thought-provoking and fresh analysis of Canadian political culture. ... Policy-makers in Canada will certainly find this book an essential read before embarking on their policy-making tasks. -- Kenneth Munro, University of Alberta Canadian Public Policy, Vol. XXXIV, No. 2, 2008 This volume is an excellent, comprehensive work on Canadian political culture. Wiseman approaches the subject through the prism of the country's history while employing a broad framework that first considers the meaning of political culture and then covers institutions, the constitution, and the Canada's regions, as well as their varied demographic components. Since immigration has played a critical role in the country's development, Wiseman, an accomplished political scientist, meticulously traces the different perspectives each group brings to the Canadian context. -- P. Regenstreif, University of Rochester CHOICE Wiseman has written a superb book. ... With its regional/provincial focus on political culture analysed in a comparative framework, it has unquestionably filled a major gap in our understanding. Finally, as a good book should, it leaves us with questions. -- Alan C. Cairns, University of Waterloo Canadian Public Administration Journal, 2008 Professor Wiseman has written two books in one, and both are interesting and of high quality. The first, comprising the initial five chapters of the work, is a thorough and thoughtful discussion of the concept "political culture." [...] The second "book," then, is a review of regional and provincial differences. [...]The review of the social and political histories of the provinces, and the different cultures that those histories have produced, is extraordinarily ambitious, and the result is a tribute to Professor Wiseman's wide-ranging knowledge, the acuity of his perceptions, and the scholarship of his research. [...] this book is an extraordinarily readable and insightful treatment of the political cultures of Canada. -- Robert Drummond, York University Canadian Journal of Political Science, Vol. 41, No.3 This erudite and highly readable text is an outstanding survey of the fabric of political life in Canada. ... Throughout the book, Wiseman's voice is assured, mature, and articulates his masterful command of vast sweeps of data and history. Wiseman's major achievement is to bring together so many disparate and often incompatible ideas into a comprehensive and comprehensible piece of writing. ... contingencies and paradoxes are engagingly teased out throughout the book and in the process Wiseman's text itself becomes an impressive intellectual reflection of the very complexities and nuances he explores. -- Paul Nesbitt-Larking, Huron University College British Journal of Canadian Studies, 2008
In erudite, engaging prose, "In Search of Canadian Political Culture" explores ways of understanding Canada's multi-layered and diverse political culture. It makes the case for bottom-up, regional analyses of Canadian politics in order to fill a gap in how we think and write about the country.Wiseman focuses on the interplay of five broad waves of immigration, plumbs their ideological orientations, and presents provincial political parties and institutions as their exoskeletons. The book's first half explores and builds upon national perspectives and established conceptual pathways by examining Canada's ideological foundations, the significance of formative events, economic structures and classes, and survey research. Throughout, Wiseman treats constitutions and institutions as culture. The second half traverses the regions from east to west, highlighting the singularity of each and assigning to the provinces inventive metaphorical images that conjure up the politics of other or older societies.The most thorough review of Canadian political culture to be written in a generation, "In Search of Canadian Political Culture" will interest specialists in Canadian political culture and generalists in Canadian politics.