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Parameters of Power: Canada's Political Institutions, 5th Edition

By Heather MacIvor
Instructional Resources
Digital teaching aids may be available for this title. All instructor requests are reviewed by our team before the files are made accessible.
Soft Cover
656 pages
ISBN-10: 0176105387
ISBN-13: 9780176105389
Publisher: Top Hat
Edition: 5th

Parameters of Power continues in this fifth edition to guide readers through a study of Canadian politics, inspiring them to learn as much as they can about Canadian politics, and encouraging them to become active, engaged citizens. The framework of analysis grounds political institutions in their social and cultural context, highlighting the reciprocal relationship between the political system and the society that it serves. Readers will benefit from comprehensive coverage of our Canadian political institutions and be well prepared to intelligently evaluate the various arguments for and against their reform.


  • *NEW* - Part 2, on The Constitution now has a new chapter 3 on constitutions [comparable to the first part of the current Chapter 8]; chapter 4 now covers federalism and intergovernmental relations [the rest of the current Chapter 8]; chapter 5 covers on mega-constitutional politics and non-constitutional renewal [an abbreviated version of the current Chapter 9]; the Charter is now covered in chapter 6 [most of current Chapter 10]
  • *NEW* - Part 3, on Making the Rules: The Core Institutions of Canadian Politics has relocated the material on Parliament from Chapter 5 in the current edition, to Chapter 7 in the new edition; chapter 8 now covers the Cabinet/political executive [first part of current Chapter 6]; the permanent executive is now discussed in chapter 9 [second part of current chapter 6, minus the sections on the evolving executive and the New Public Management]; and chapter 10 on the courts has added new material on judicial appointments and related issues
  • *NEW* - Part 4 on Linkages: Connecting Us to Our Institutions covers parties in chapter 11 [current Chapter 3]; chapter 12 discusses elections [current Chapter 4]; chapter 13 focuses on interest groups and new social movements [first part of current Chapter 7]; and chapter 14 on the news media is comprised of the second part of current Chapter 7.
  • *NEW* o Content has been updated to reflect developments in Canadian politics, including the following:
  • *NEW* Many chapters are shorter and more tightly focused, and have been rearranged into four thematic sections. There is a new chapter on the courts, separate from the discussion of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Separate chapters are also devoted to discussion of the Media and of Advocacy Groups and the Canadian political system. This improved structure of chapters and parts increases the cohesion and flow of the material and meets reviewer demands:
  • Readers will benefit from the pedagogical features of this fifth edition, designed to help them understand and retain what they're learning:
  • At least one updated feature report in each chapter, called a "Dossier," which discusses a current Canadian political issue or institution in some depth
  • A clear and accessible writing style, using everyday language and examples to clarify abstract and challenging concepts
  • "Learning Objectives" at the beginning of each chapter, which flag the most important themes in that chapter
  • "Discussion Questions" at the end of each chapter

Table of Contents

  • Part One: Political Institutions And Political Culture
  • Chapter 1: Institutions and Politics
  • Chapter 2: Changing Political Culture and Canadas Political Institutions
  • Part Two: The Canadian Constitution
  • Chapter 3: Constitutions
  • Chapter 4: Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations
  • Chapter 5: From Megaconstitutional Politics To Non-Constitutional Renewal
  • Chapter 6: The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
  • Part Three: The Three Branches Of Canadas Federal Government
  • Chapter 7: Parliamentary Democracy and the Legislative Process
  • Chapter 8: The Cabinet
  • Chapter Nine: The Permanent Executive
  • Chapter 10: The Courts
  • Part Four: Linking Canadians To Their Political Institutions
  • Chapter 11: Political Parties and the Canadian Party System
  • Chapter 12: Elections and Voting
  • Chapter 13: Advocacy Groups and the Canadian Political System
  • Chapter 14: The News Media

Author Information

Heather MacIvor

Heather MacIvor teaches Canadian politics and political theory at the University of Windsor. She has published articles and book chapters about electoral systems, women's political participation, and party leadership selection. Her numerous books include Parameters of Power: Canada's Political Institutions (fourth edition, 2005) and Canadian Politics and Government in the Charter Era (2006). Her current research interests include the impact of the Charter of Rights on Canadian political parties, the comparative study of election and party finance laws, and the political thought of Machiavelli.