search : contact us : about us : site guide : home

  University of British Columbia Press
 Search Our Catalogue
  search by subject

 UBC Press
About UBC Press
Conferences & Events
Contact Us
Media Centre
Publishing With UBC Press
Publishers Represented
Staff Directory

Forthcoming Titles
How To Order
Recent Reviews
Review Copies

 Join Our Mailing List
Sign Up
Privacy Statement
Frequent Questions
Privacy Statement
Site Guide
Website Feedback

 Featured Title
Canada's Rights Revolution
Social Movements and Social Change, 1937-82
Dominique Clement  

$87.00 Hardcover
Release Date: 5/21/2008
ISBN: 9780774814799    

$36.95 Paperback
Release Date: 1/1/2009
ISBN: 9780774814805    

296 Pages


About the Book

Winner, 2009 John Porter Tradition of Excellence Book Award, Canadian Sociological Association

In the first major study of postwar social movement organizations in Canada, Dominique Clément provides a history of the human rights movement as seen through the eyes of two generations of activists. Drawing on newly acquired archival sources, extensive interviews, and materials released through access to information applications, Clément explores the history of four organizations -- the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, Ligue des droits de l'homme, Canadian Civil Liberties Association, and Newfoundland-Labrador Human Rights Association -- that emerged in the sixties and evolved into powerful lobbies for human rights despite bitter internal disputes and intense rivalries.

In addition to offering a unique perspective on some of the most infamous human rights controversies of the period -- including the Gastown riot, the campaign to counteract police violence in Toronto, compulsory treatment of drug addicts, the October crisis of 1970, and the rights of prisoners and welfare recipients -- Canada's Rights Revolution argues that the idea of human rights has historically been highly statist while grass roots activism has been at the heart of the most profound human rights advances.

- CBC Radio: The Current on the G20 protests in Toronto. 6 July 2010 [begins at 11min and 35 seconds].
- CBC Television: Connect with Mark Kelly on the G20 protests in Toronto. 6 July 2010.

About the Author(s)

Dominique Clément is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Alberta. His website can be found at

Table of Contents


1 Introduction

2 Canada's Rights Revolution
The Politics of Rights: Parliamentary Supremacy and the Bill of Rights Movement
The Human Rights State: Human Rights and the Law
Strategies for Change: Human Rights Activism
Canada's Rights Culture

3 The Forties and Fifties: The First Generation
Criminalizing Communism
The Padlock Act and the Canadian Civil Liberties Union
The Line in the Sand: Communists and Social Democrats
"A farce of citizenship": Japanese Canadians and the Espionage Commission
Anti-Discrimination Legislation
A National Rights Association

4 Social Movement Organizations: A Brief Introduction

5 The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association
A New Era Begins: The Proliferation of Rights Associations
The Birth of the BCCLA
"It's simple common sense": Defending Free Speech in British Columbia
The October Crisis
Violence in the Streets: The Gastown Riot
Taking the Government to Court: The Heroin Treatment Act
The BCCLA: A Case Study in Negative Freedom

6 La Ligue des droits de l'homme
"An anachronism failing to function properly": The Law Years, 1963-70
"Just watch me": The October Crisis, 1970
The Ligue and the Crisis of 1970
Transition Years, 1970-75
New Orientations and Divisions, 1975-82
The LDH: A Case Study in Positive Freedom

7 The Canadian Civil Liberties Association
"It makes the Quebec padlock law look like the Bill of Rights": First Steps, 1964-68
"The insane are devil possessed!" Entrenchment Years, 1968-77
Protecting People from the Police, 1977-82
The Charter of Rights and Freedoms
The CCLA: A Case Study in National Social Movement Organizing

8 The Newfoundland-Labrador Human Rights Association
Nineteen Sixty-Eight: International Year for Human Rights
"The very survival of the organization depends on your generosity": The NLHRA
"The greatest single threat to equality of religion and freedom of worship": The Case of Denominational Education
The NLHRA: A Case Study in State Funding

9 Conclusion
The New Anti-Liberals? Comparing Generation
Divided We Stand: A National Rights Association
State Funding
Rights Activism in the Age of Protest



Dominique Clément's Canada's Rights Revolution is a major contribution to the historical and sociological literature on human rights in Canada. It is comprehensive, well organized, and makes a persuasive argument about the nature of human rights activism through the framework of social movements theory.
-- Brian Howe, author of Restraining Equality: Human Rights Commissions in Canada

Rights advocacy is a topic of immense practical and historical significance. Dominique Clément does Canadian researchers a great service with this impressive historical analysis of leading social-movement organizations that have made rights advocacy their stated aim. This is important and original scholarship, to be sure.
-- Matt James, author of Misrecognized Materialists: Social Movements in Canadian Constitutional Politics

This book is a good introduction to civil liberty and human rights advocacy, and to important issues facing Canadian social movements. It is well suited to upper level undergraduate courses and for those researching and teaching on the history of Canadian mobilization. It also has the potential to spark debate over Canadian SMO dependence on federal government funding.
- Howard Ramos, Dalhousie University, Canadian Journal of Sociology, 2008, Vol. 33, Issue 4

Sample Chapter

Front Matter and Chapter One

Related Topics

Other Ways To Order

In Canada, order your copy of Canada's Rights Revolution from UTP Distribution at:

UTP Distribution
5201 Dufferin Street
Toronto, Ontario
M3H 5T8

Phone orders: 1(800)565-9523 or (416)667-7791
Fax orders: 1(800)221-9985 or (416)667-7832

Ordering information for customers outside Canada

2001 UBC Press
2029 West Mall, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, V6T 1Z2
t. 604.822.5959 | f. 604.822.6083 | e.
Vancouver Web Design by Internet-Exposure