Before and After the State
Release Date:01 Apr 2018

Before and After the State

Politics, Poetics, and People(s) in the Pacific Northwest

UBC Press

The creation of the Canada–US border in the Pacific Northwest is often presented as a tale of two nations and two ideologies, but beyond the macro-political dynamics is the experience of individuals.

Before and After the State takes a multidisciplinary approach to examining the imposition of a border across a region that already held a vibrant, highly complex society and dynamic trading networks. It details the evolution of local, trading, and immigrant populations as they moved into the Pacific Northwest and imposed control over public power. Allan McDougall, Lisa Philips, and Daniel Boxberger use case studies to document the malleable character of identity – the discrepancy between individual lives and externally imposed assessments of those lives – and review the strength of national narratives north and south of the border.

The authors explore fundamental questions of state formation, social transformation, and the (re)construction of identity to expose the devices and myths of nation building. In revealing the mechanics of this transformation, they demonstrate how the creation of nation states and borders affected the people who lived in the region before and through the transition – with repercussions that still reverberate.

This book will find an audience among scholars of Pacific Northwest and BC studies, Indigenous studies, anthropology, history, and borderland studies. It will also be of interest to political scientists and legal scholars of borderland issues.

Allan K. McDougall is a professor emeritus in the Department of Political Science at the University of Western Ontario. Lisa Philips is a professor emerita at the University of Alberta. Daniel L. Boxberger is a professor of anthropology at Western Washington University.
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