This article is an attempt to qualify existing evidence that increasing diversity is detrimental to a vibrant civil society. We focus specifically on immigration-generated diversity, and argue that while it may have negative effects on some specific civic and political outcomes in some contexts, these effects vary widely across advanced democracies. Our argument rests on analysis of a cross-national, cross-sectional time-series dataset that brings together individual-level World Values Survey data with country-level variables. With these data, we track within-country changes over time in trust and engagement. We show that immigration can have a negative effect on social trust, organizational membership and political engagement, but that institutional arrangements shape this relationship in systematic ways. In more economically equal societies and in more multicultural countries (where cultural minorities are recognized and accommodated), the negative effects of immigration on trust and engagement are mitigated or even reversed. We conclude that there is no general link between immigration-generated diversity and collective-mindedness. Rather, the direction and strength of the relationship depend on institutional and policy contexts. Cet article vise à nuancer les preuves existantes que la diversité croissante porte préjudice à une société civile dynamique. Nous nous concentrons particulièrement sur la diversité produite par l'immigration. Nous soutenons que même si elle peut exercer une influence négative sur quelques indices dans certains contextes, ces effets varient considérablement selon le pays examiné parmi les démocraties avancées. Notre argument repose sur l'analyse d'un ensemble de données multinational, transversal et longitudinal qui rassemble des données au niveau individuel du World Values Survey avec des variables au niveau des pays. Au moyen de ces données, nous examinons les changements survenus à l'intérieur des pays, au fil du temps, sur le plan de la confiance et de l'engagement. Nous montrons que l'immigration peut avoir un effet négatif sur la confiance sociale, l'adhésion à des organisations et l'engagement politique, mais que les arrangements institutionnels influencent cette relation de manières systématiques. Dans les sociétés plus économiquement égales et dans les pays plus multiculturels (où les minorités culturelles sont reconnues et accommodées), les effets négatifs de l'immigration sur la confiance et l'engagement sont atténués, voire inversés. Nous concluons qu'il n'y a aucun lien général entre la diversité produite par l'immigration et l'esprit collectif. La direction et la force de la relation entre les deux dépendent plutôt des politiques et des contextes institutionnels.
Do consumer and producer considerations influence support for future trade agreements and, if so, how? Prior research has pitted self-interest-based explanations of trade preferences against perception-based explanations, finding limited empirical support for the self-interest hypothesis. Instead of treating perceptions and self-interest as competing explanations, we construct a theoretical model with perceptions of trade as a mediating factor linking self-interest and support for prospective free trade agreements (FTAs). Using new survey data collected by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, we examine how two distinct forms of self-interest (consumer and producer considerations) can indirectly shape attitudes toward the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). We find that the impact of respondents' income level (proxying producer considerations) and their recognition of the price-lowering effect of international trade (proxying consumer considerations) on support for the TPP are largely mediated by perceptions of trade. Together the findings suggest a middle ground between the two sides of the self-interest debate.
Past research suggests that citizens' attitudes toward immigration are driven by perceptions of immigrants' (a) economic status and (b) ethnicity. In this study, we use an online survey conducted with a representative sample of Canadians to test to what extent economic and cultural cues influence support for individual immigrants. In particular, by drawing on a parallel US survey, we explore whether Canadians' relatively unique (positive) attitudes toward immigration make them more immune to economic and cultural threat manipulations than their American counterparts. The analysis is based on an experimental design embedded in a series of immigrant vignettes that vary the ethnoracial background and social status of an individual applying for immigration. We examine overall support for immigration, as well as the extent to which both ethnic and economic status cues affect support for individual immigrants. We also explore variance within Canada, specifically, in Quebec versus the rest of the country. Results offer new and unique information on the structure of attitudes on diversity and immigration in Canada. Most importantly, they suggest the relative importance of economic cues in support for immigration in both countries. Divers travaux de recherche ont suggéré que les attitudes des citoyens au sujet de l'immigration sont influencées par leur perception (a) du statut économique et (b) de l'ethnie des immigrants. Afin de tenter de savoir jusqu'à quel point les informations socioéconomiques et culturelles ont effectivement un impact sur le soutien des citoyens envers les immigrants, la présente étude fait usage d'un sondage mené en ligne avec un échantillon représentatif de la population canadienne. En nous appuyant sur un sondage américain similaire, nous cherchons plus précisément à savoir si l'attitude (positive) relativement unique des Canadiens vis-à-vis de l'immigration les rend moins susceptibles d'être manipulés par l'évocation de menaces économiques et culturelles que leurs voisins américains. Notre analyse se fonde sur une expérience utilisant une série de vignettes qui modifient les caractéristiques ethnoraciales ainsi que le statut social d'un individu procédant à une demande d'immigration. Nous examinons non seulement le soutien pour l'immigration en général, mais aussi la mesure dans laquelle les informations relatives à l'ethnie et au statut économique d'un immigrant affectent le soutien que les citoyens lui offrent. Nous étudions aussi la variance à l'intérieur du Canada, plus spécifiquement entre le Québec et le reste du pays. Les résultats ainsi obtenus fournissent de l'information nouvelle et unique ayant trait à la structure des attitudes par rapport à la diversité et l'immigration au Canada. De surcroît, ces résultats suggèrent le rôle relativement important que jouent les informations d'ordre socioéconomique dans le soutien de l'immigration tant aux États-Unis qu'au Canada.
Proponents of restrictions on the wearing of religious symbols in public institutions in Quebec have often framed their support in the language of liberalism, with references to "gender equality", "state neutrality" and "freedom of conscience". However, efforts to account for support for restrictions on minority religious symbols rarely mention liberalism. In this article, we test the hypothesis that holding liberal values might have different attitudinal consequences in Quebec and the rest of Canada. Our findings demonstrate that holding liberal values is associated with support for restrictions on the wearing of minority religious symbols in Quebec, but it is associated with opposition to such restrictions in the rest of Canada. Moreover, this difference between Quebec and the rest of Canada in the relationship between liberal values and support for restrictions on minority religious symbols can explain Quebecers' greater support for restrictions.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) from China has recently met with increasing public opposition in many host nations. Why does the public respond less favourably to Chinese FDI than to FDI from other countries? We explore this question by conducting a series of survey experiments in Canada, where the majority of the public holds a negative opinion of Chinese investment. We find that the bias can be attributed to innumeracy about the relative size of China's FDI and misinformation about investment rules that govern FDI projects in Canada. Correcting both misperceptions substantially reduces the bias of respondents against FDI projects from China. These results suggest that corrective information can lead to positive change in public attitudes, a finding that has important policy implications for Canadian leaders hoping to expand the country's business ties with China.
Studies of the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) focus largely on its policy-making role and its interpretation of the Charter of Rights. However, less studied are the Court's decisions in earlier periods, especially in comparison to the Charter years and in cases beyond civil rights and liberties. This study fills a gap in the scholarship by analyzing the universe of decisions from 1945 to 2005 in criminal, tax and tort cases. Utilizing Baum's (1988, 1989) method to examine policy change, I explore policy trends on the Supreme Court. The findings suggest that, for the most part, the SCC has remained a stable, consistent body over the course of its modern history. It appears that most of the variation in judicial output across time is due to issue change with some shifts due to personnel and membership change.
This article investigates the extent to which provincial political parties made use of social media in their strategy, organization and communication in order to achieve their electoral goals during the Quebec 2012 general election. Using data from a series of 19 interviews conducted with online strategists and campaign directors from the five leading parties active in the 2012 election, we identify the strategic objectives these organizations followed when developing their social media campaigns. The strategists' narratives reveal that social media became a central component of electioneering and that parties were carrying out, in various forms, hybrid campaigns that combined traditional and emergent communication technologies and employed both old and new types of organizational principles.
The political issue of setting the minimum wage rate has been relatively little studied in political science. In this article, we analyze the influence of left-wing political parties on minimum wage rates. As predicted by power resource theory, the presence of left-wing parties in government should result in higher minimum wage rates. However, we postulate that the effect of left-wing parties is influenced by the degree of corporatism. More specifically, we find that the effect of left-wing parties is lower when corporatism is strong, because governments tend to consult social partners more and allow them to handle wage regulation. Our results confirm these hypotheses. They indicate that minimum wage rates tend to increase when governments are more left-wing and that this relation is stronger when corporatism is weak.
Studies of parliamentary systems contend that backbench legislators are increasingly marginalized, with power being centralized in the executive. However, such research typically focuses on national legislatures, ignoring subnational jurisdictions. We extend this literature by exploring the process of "executive creep" in Canada's provinces; namely the tendency of executives to erode legislative independence by appointing backbenchers to quasi-executive positions or cabinet committees. We examine executive creep in all provinces since 1968, finding a clear trend towards the increased incorporation of backbenchers into the work of the executive. Moreover, these changes serve to strengthen the power of first ministers relative to their cabinets.
Studies of public contentious action in response to mineral resource extraction have rarely employed quantitative methods. In a highly disaggregated statistical analysis we examine local protest dynamics in Bolivia and argue for a political conditioning of the so-called resource curse. We find that mineral gas resources spark disputes over both extraction and rent redistribution at the local level, and that this relationship is especially pronounced where the population has highly heterogenous political values and interests. In contrast, where the population is relatively united in their political views, significantly fewer protests occur.
Decades of research have established the direct influence of partisanship on voter perception of a host of real-world conditions. Even so, numerous factors have been found to moderate this "partisan bias." We examine one plausible moderator: the volume of perceptually relevant information that is available in the mass media. Both dissonance-theoretic and motivated-reasoning formulations of partisan bias in political perception suggest that the availability of perceptually relevant information may constrain perceptual bias. Yet this proposition has rarely been investigated systematically. This article investigates the moderation of partisan bias by informational conditions, focusing on the impact of economic news on economic perceptions during five Canadian general elections (1993-2006). Although the overall pattern is mixed, evidence suggests that bias reduction in response to information depends on the broader economic and political context.