Stephen Clarkson

University of Toronto

Stephen Clarkson is one of Canada’s preeminent political scientists and a professor of political economy at the University of Toronto. His current work focuses primarily on two areas: the evolution of North America as a continental state, reinstitutionalized by NAFTA and two decades of neo-conservatism; and the impact of globalization and trade liberalization on the Canadian state. His recent publications on these themes include Uncle Sam and Us: Globalization, Neoconservatism and the Canadian State, published in 2002; and Global Governance and the Semi-peripheral State: The WTO and NAFTA as Canada’s External Constitution in Governing under Stress: Middle Powers and the Challenge of Globalization. Clarkson has taught and written on Canadian foreign policy and Canadian federal politics. Following an unsuccessful campaign as Liberal candidate for the mayoralty of Toronto in 1969, Clarkson was active in the Liberal Party for six years. After Pierre Trudeau’s retirement from active politics in 1984, Clarkson spent a decade co-authoring the epic, Trudeau and Our Times, with his wife Christina McCall, which won the Governor General’s Award for non-fiction. His knowledge and experience in Canadian politics led to the commissioning of a history of federal election campaigns in Canada from 1974 onward. These essays were the basis of his 2005 book, “The Big Red Machine: How the Liberal Party Dominates Canadian Politics”. Clarkson is renowned for his teaching, receiving many teaching awards in his tenure at the University of Toronto. He is a great encourager of “the engaged” life, taking his students on extra-curricular field studies to Washington, DC and Mexico, and urging them to resist the world around them if they feel so inclined. Clarkson is a frequent commentator of Canadian politics, in both English and French. A lover of languages, he is also proficient in Spanish, German, Russian and Italian.

  • Governing Under Stress

    Middle Powers and the Challenge of Globalization

    Edited by Stephen Clarkson and Marjorie Griffin Cohen     January 2004

    Certain countries are characterized by the distinctive structural condition of semi-peripherality. Whether defined in social, cultural, economic or simply spatial terms, semi-peripheral countries share a consciousness of subordination to the centre–specifically the United States–as well as a means to resist. This differentiates them from both the countries at the centre that lack any such consciousness and poor and powerless countries on the periphery. The contributors focus on Canada, Mexico, Norway and Australia. They examine the international institutions, including NAFTA, the WTO and the EU, forming the framework of globalization. They detail the restraints facing these countries and the possibilities for pursuing their own independent policies. They discuss the new economics, political and social issues of governance that are emerging and the possibilities for the future.