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 Featured Title
Grassroots Liberals
Organizing for Local and National Politics
Royce Koop  

$87.00 Hardcover
Release Date: 5/6/2011
ISBN: 9780774820974    

$29.95 Paperback
Release Date: 1/1/2012
ISBN: 9780774820981    

228 Pages


About the Book

Winner, 2014 Seymour Martin Lipset Book Award, American Political Science Association

Selected, Hill Times 100 Best Books of 2012

The Liberal Party has fallen on hard times since 2006. Once Canadaís natural governing party but now confined to the opposition benches, it struggles to renew itself -- presumably without the support of the provincial-level Liberal parties.

Based on personal observations in cross-country ridings and interviews with grassroots activists, Grassroots Liberals reveals that Liberals are negotiating the limitations and possibilities of federalism and multi-level politics, on the one hand, and distinct, geographically defined constituencies for provincial and federal politics, on the other. Their efforts call into question the idea that Canada has two distinct political spheres -- the provincial and the national. Although the Liberal Party, like other parties, disassociated itself from its provincial cousins to rebuild itself in the mid-twentieth century, grassroots Liberals and other partisans in the constituencies continue to build political ties that encompass both national and provincial politics.

This insiderís view of Liberal party politics in Canada suggests that national parties can overcome the challenge of multi-level politics, strengthen their ties to provincial politics, and deepen their legitimacy by tapping the activism, energy, and support of constituency associations and local campaigns.

About the Author(s)

Royce Koop has taught political science at several Canadian universities, where he specializes in Canadian politics, political parties, and the politics of multi-level states.

Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures


1 Multi-Level Politics and the Liberal Party
2 Grassroots Party Activists
3 Constituency Associations: Organization and Party Life in the Ridings
4 Local Campaigns and Grassroots Armies
5 Small Worlds: The Riding Context
6 Little Fiefdoms: MPs, MLAs, and Their Local Organizations
7 Conclusion: The Local Political Worlds of the Liberal Party



"Koop makes a compelling case that local diversity is an unavoidable feature of a 'big tent' entity such as the Liberal Party of Canada."
-- Martha Hall Findlay, former Liberal MP for Willowdale ON, The Literary Review of Canada, December 2011

Any student doing advanced work on the Canadian party system will need to read Grassroots Liberals. In an age when electoral analysts focus on the electronic and plebiscitary character of campaigns, this book is a powerful message to political scientists that the building blocks of party life are situated in electoral districts.
-- R. Peter Woolstencroft, Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science, University of Waterloo

An interesting and unusual treatment of Canadaís natural governing party. Koopís ethnographic approach, relying heavily on interviews with party officials and focusing on the nature of their locally conditioned interactions across federal and provincial levels, is revealing of a complex set of interrelationships that have not been appreciated in the literature on political parties. The result is a far more nuanced understanding of the nature of Canadian political life.
-- Munroe Eagles, co-author of Politics is Local: National Politics at the Grassroots

Sample Chapter

Sample Chapter [PDF]

Related Topics

Political Science

Other Ways To Order

In Canada, order your copy of Grassroots Liberals from UTP Distribution at:

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M3H 5T8

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Ordering information for customers outside Canada

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