Cover image for Community besieged : the anglophone minority and the politics of Quebec
Community besieged : the anglophone minority and the politics of Quebec
Stevenson, Garth, 1943-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Montreal : McGill-Queen's University Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
x, 363 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
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F1055.E53 S84 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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In Community Besieged Garth Stevenson describes the unusual circumstances that allowed English-speaking Quebecers to live in virtual isolation from their francophone neighbours for almost a century after Confederation. He describes their relations with Maurice Duplessis and the Union Nationale and their ambivalent response to the Quiet Revolution. New political issues - language policy, educational reform, sovereignty, and the constitution - undermined the old system of elite accommodation in Quebec, causing conflicts between anglophones and francophones and creating a new sense of anglophone identity that transcends religious differences. The changing relations of Quebec anglophones with the major political parties, as well as the role of newer entities such as Alliance Quebec and the Equality Party, are also examined. Stevenson concludes with a look at the future of anglophones in Quebec. Based in part on interviews with more than sixty English-speaking Quebecers who have played prominent parts in Quebec's political life, Community Besieged is a comprehensive and up-to-date description of the political life of this unique minority at both the federal and provincial level.

Author Notes

Garth Stevenson is professor of political science, Brock University.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Stevenson ( Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario) has approached the great central Canadian question--the constitutional place of Quebec in Canada--from the unusual perspective of the English speaking minority of the predominantly French-speaking province. He is fully aware of the great changes that have taken place in Quebec over the past two generations. In addition to the technological, economic, social, and cultural changes common to North American life, Quebec has undergone the additional transformation of relations between Church and state and between the two linguistic communities. The French-speaking majority has gained control of much of the economic life of the province and has burdened itself with a large and expensive bureaucracy to defend the interests of French speakers. At the same time, these changes have imposed great strains on the Canadian federation and enormous anxieties on the minority linguistic community that has lost power and influence. Out-migration, not violence, has provided relief to these anxieties. Stevenson provides plenty of historical detail, particularly concerning postwar relations between English and French-speaking Quebecois and, apart from his nearly obligatory references to "constitutional democracy" and "elite accommodation," has kept social science jargon to a minimum. Recommended for all academic collections and general readers. B. Cooper; University of Calgary

Table of Contents

Tablesp. vii
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
1 Intercultural Politics and the Case of Quebecp. 3
2 Consociationalism Established: 1867-1960p. 23
3 Consociationalism Threatened: Anglophones and the Quiet Revolution, 1960-68p. 62
4 Consociationalism Destroyed: The Politicization of Language, 1968-76p. 98
5 Post-consociational Politics: The Search for a New Strategy, 1976-85p. 135
6 False Hopes Betrayed: Bill 178 and the Anglophone Reaction, 1985-94p. 177
7 Anglophones in Disarray, 1994-97p. 217
8 Quebec Anglophones and the Federal Government, 1968-97p. 243
9 Prospects and Strategies for Survivalp. 281
Appendix List of Persons Interviewedp. 311
Notesp. 313
Bibliographyp. 341
Indexp. 355