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Donald Smiley Short-List

April 13, 2017

The Canadian Political Science Association (CPSA) has announced the 2017 Donald Smiley Prize Short-List which includes two University of Toronto Political Scientists: Erin Tolley and Robert Schertzer. Congratulations to both! The winner will be announced at the CPSA President’s Dinner on May 31st in Toronto. Both books received rave reviews on the CPSA website:

Robert Schertzer, The Judicial Role in a Diverse Federation. UTP, 2016.
This book engages creative analysis and synthesis to address important and enduring questions about the contested nature of the Canadian nationality and the Supreme Court’s role in shaping Canadian federalism, in an original and inventive manner.  Working at the interface of political theory, comparative politics, and studies of multi-nationality, the book moves effortlessly between an empirical analysis of more than 130 Supreme Court decisions over the past thirty years, and a normative reflection on the type of jurisprudence that would be consistent with principles of fairness and legitimacy in a plurinational context. The author makes a persuasive case to see the Canadian federation as a process and outcome of negotiation between competing perspectives, and that the judicial role in such a context is to encourage dialogue and political exchange between these perspectives rather than determining which perspective should prevail. Schertzer’s imaginative bridging of federalism and judicial studies with political theory and comparative politics will ensure that questions of plurinationality continue to animate the study of Canadian political institutions. 

Erin Tolley, Framed: Media and the Coverage of Race in Canadian Politics. UBC 2016.
Offering one of the first sustained studies of the ways in which race is represented in media coverage of Canadian politics, this book offers a much-needed and long overdue response to a significant void in the discipline of Canadian political science. Drawing on a wide range of rich empirical material and structured by a highly creative and rigorous multi-methods approach, the book clearly explains, operationalizes and systematically tests a variety of hypotheses derived from critical race perspectives. Examining the many ways that underlying assumptions about race and diversity deeply influence media coverage, Tolley’s book persuasively demonstrates (among other things) that visible minorities running for office are given less prominent and more negative treatment in the news – elements that function to significantly undermine their political viability (perhaps all the more so because these effects are often subtle and thus are frequently discounted by the media and public). Theoretical, methodologically and normatively insightful (the book also discusses some of the policy and political questions its findings raise), this is a book that will become a central reference point for political scientists studying racialized dynamics in Canadian politics.

Pic: Professor Erin Tolley