Saturday, February 10, 2007

The Herouxville saga

Quebec Liberal Premier Jean Charest has asked sociologist Gerard Bouchard and philosopher Charles Taylor to head a commission studying 'reasonable accommodation' of ethnic and religious minorities.

This is in response to the Herouxville norms, (see background here, and the raw nerves they've exposed.

I don't know much about Bouchard, but Taylor is clearly an inspired choice here-- not only one of the world's leading philosophers and a towering figure in Quebec intellectual life, but also simultaneously a partisan of Quebec identity and adefender of multicultural accommodation of minorities; and simultaneously a committed religious believer and a progressive. (He was also, of course, the dominant figure in the building of political theory in my department at McGill over the course of decades, though he's not here now and I've only met hi a couple of times.)

But Taylor's stature doesn't mean the commission will be able to finesse the gap that's been exposed between the expectations of some Quebecois and the expectations of some minority immigrants. I expect to blog about this a bit more soon, but carefully-- unlike Taylor, I'm very much a guest in Quebec. The desire to be a polite guest has prevented me from blogging about the story up until now, even though it got play in the worl dpress and lies squarely within my area of expertise. But I thought that the appointment of Taylor would be of interest to political theory and political philosophy blog-readers.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Come spend your sabbatical in beautfiul Montreal...


Grant Activity: Conduct research, develop collaborations and deliver
occasional lectures to graduate and/or undergraduate students; take
part in the university's intellectual life in existing workshop
series; and share work in a more focused way with the McGill Political
Science faculty who study federalism from their various methodological
and regional perspectives.

Specialization(s): Empirical comparative studies of federalism;
analytical or formal modeling of federal systems; normative research
on the justifiability and justifiable shape of federalism; the study
of the intellectual foundations of federalism.

Additional Qualifications: Senior or emergent scholars are encouraged
to apply. Applicants must be American citizens or permanent residents
not employed in Canada and not also holding Canadian citizenship or
permanent residence.

Location: Department of Political Science, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec.

Length of Grant: 4 months or 9 months

Starting Date: September 2008 or January 2009 for one-semester grants;
September 2008 for academic year grants

Stipend: Research Chair awards provide a fixed sum of U.S.$25,000.
Confirmation is pending for the stipends for 2008-09.

Comments: The McGill University Department of Political Science
carries on a long and pioneering tradition in the study of politics in
North America. Founded in 1901, the Department's distinguished
faculty is actively involved in a wide variety of ongoing research
projects, and is committed to achieving a high level of academic
excellence in research, graduate, and undergraduate education. This
is an internationally recognized Ph.D. granting department with 31
faculty members with interests spanning Canadian Politics, Comparative
Politics, International Relations, and Political Theory. A letter of
invitation is not required but applicants are encouraged to contact
the institution to discuss research interests. For more information
please contact Francois Carrier, director, Office of International
Relations, at; tel. 514.398.4197. The Web
site for the Department of Political Science is; information on the Canada-U.S. Fulbright Visiting Research Chairs Program can be found at