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Kenneth H McRoberts


Political Science

Director, School of Public and International Affairs

Language and Society

Official Languages in Canada

Politics and Government



University of Chicago


University of Chicago

Research Interests Keywords

language and society; official languages in Canada; politics and government; Quebec.


  •  2004: Officer, Order of the Academic Palms, Government of France
  • 1985: Royal Commission on the Economic Union and Development Prospects for Canada: for preparation of "Unilateralism, Bilateralism and Multilateralism", research study
  • 1989: Ontario Arts Council: to support preparation of Breaking the Impasse
  • 1986: Ontario Arts Council: to support the preparation of the third edition of Quebec: Social and Political Crisis.
  • 1985: SSHRC Research Grant: "Business, Labour and the State in Ontario and Quebec: Taxation and Industrial Relations Policy, 1960-1985," (with other collaborator)
  • 1980: SSHRC Research Grant: "Patterns of Public Finance in Ontario and Quebec, 1950-1980," (with other collaborator)

  • Catalonia: Nation Building Without a State (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2001). Catalan version: Catalunya. Una nació sense estat (Barcelona: Proa, 2002).
  • Misconceiving Canada: The Struggle for National Unity (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1997), pp.384; second printing, 1998. French-language version: Un Pays à refaire: L’échec des politiques constitutionnelles canadiennes (Montreal: Les Éditions Boréal, 1999).
  • Beyond Quebec: Taking Stock of Canada, Editor and Contributor (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1995), pp. 435, second printing, 1999.
  • The Charlottetown Accord, the Referendum and the Future of Canada, Co-editor and contributor with Patrick J. Monahan (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1993), pp. 361.
  • English Canada and Quebec: avoiding the issue. Sixth Robarts Lecture (Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies, York University, 1991), pp. 64.
  • Quebec: Social Change and Political Crisis (coauthored with Dale Posgate) Toronto: Mc­Clelland & Stewart, 1976, pp. 216; second printing, 1978; third printing, 1979. Revised edition, 1980, pp. 325; second printing, 1981; third printing, 1985. (This edition contains two new chapters; four existing chapters were expanded. Solely responsible for these materials). French-language edition: Développement et modernisation du Québec, (Montreal: Editions Boréal Express, 1983), with introduction by Daniel Latouche. Awarded publication grant by Social Science Federation of Canada. (Responsible for verifica­tion of translation and preparation of special preface). Third edition –sole author (Toronto: Mc­Clelland & Stewart, 1988, pp. 530; second printing, 1989). (This edition contains two new chapters and major expansion of several existing chapters.) With postscript, 1993 (Toronto: Oxford University Press, pp. 556.
Journal Articles

  • "Per què els estats tenen polítiques lingüístiques: construcció d’estats i construcció de nacions" Treballs de Sociolingüística Catalana, 17 (2003), 23-44.
  • “Canada and the Multinational State”, Canadian Journal of Political Science XXXIV:4 (December, 2001), 683-714. 
  • “Why We Can’t Talk: The Lost Language of Canadian Politics”, Constitutional Forum (1997), 8:4, 82-8.
  • "Constructing Canadian Identities," Constitutional Forum constitutionnel, Vol 4, No. 4 (Summer, 1993), 93-96.
  • "Separate Agendas: English Canada and Quebec", Québec Studies, Winter, 1992.
  • "Canada's Constitutional Crisis", Current History, Vol. 90, no. 560, December, 1991, 411-416.
  • "Nationalism in Quebec: Past, Present and Future," Québec Studies, Spring, 1989, 124-129.
  • "The Determinants of Minimum Wage Rates," Public Choice, 62 (1989), 15-24 (with André Blais and Jean-Michel Cousineau).
  • Contribution to "Table ronde: la science sociale aujourd'hui," Recherches sociographiques, XXVI: 3 (1985), 491-494.
  • "The Sources of Neo-nationalism in Quebec," Ethnic and Racial Studies, Winter, 1984, Vol. 7, No. 1, 55-85. (Reprinted in Michael D. Behiels [ed.], Quebec Since 1945 [Toronto: Copp Clark Pitman, 1987], 80-107).
  • "Dynamique et contraintes des finances publiques au Québec," Politique, 3, 1983, 27-62 (with André Blais).
  • Editorial Introduction, special issue on "The State in Ontario and Quebec," Journal of Canadian Studies, Spring, 1983, Vol. 18, No. 1, 3-4, 156-159.
  • "Public Expenditure in Ontario and Quebec, 1950-1980: explaining the differences," Journal of Canadian Studies, Spring, 1983, Vol. 18, No. 1, 28-53 (with André Blais).
  • "Internal Colonialism: The case of Quebec," Ethnic and Racial Studies, 11: 3,(1979), 293-318.
  • Commentary on articles on "Quebec Perceptions of Language Economics," Canadian Public Policy, IV: 3 (Summer, 1978), 325-330.
  • "Quebec and the Canadian Political Crisis," The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 433, September, 1977, 19-32.
  • "English Canada and the Quebec Referendum," Journal of Canadian Studies, August, 1977, 108-112.
  • "Bill 22 and Language Policy in Canada," Queen's Quarterly, Vol. 83, No. 3 (Fall, 1976), 464-477.
  • "Social Communication and Mass Nationalism," Canadian Review of Studies in Nationalism, II: 1, 148-151.
Book Chapters

  • ‘L’avenir de la nation’ in Michel Seymour (ed.), États-nations, multinations et organisations supranationales (Montreal: Liber, 2002), 484-92, published in expanded form as ‘The Future of the Nation-state and Canada-Quebec Relations,’ in Michel Seymour (ed.), The Fate of the Nation-state (Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2004), 390-411.
  • ‘Les politiques de la langue au Canada: un combat contre la territorialisation,’ in Denis Lacorne and Tony Judt (eds.), La politique de Babel : du monolinguisme d’État au plurilinguisme des peuples (Paris : Éditions Karthala, 2002), 155-90; ; published in English version in Lacorne and Judt eds.), Language, Nation and State. Identity Politics in a Multilingual Age, (Palgrave, 2004).
  • ‘Preface: Managing Cultural Differences in Multinational Democracies’ in Alain-G. Gagnon, Montserrat Guiberneau and François Rocher (eds.), The Conditions of Diversity in Multinational Democracies (Montreal: The Institute for Research on Public Policy, 2003), iii-xi.
  • "La question nationale québécoise," in Y.Belanger, R. Comeau et C. Métivier, La Révolution tranquille 40 ans plus tard; un bilan (Montreal : vlb éditeur, 2001), 123-129.
  • “Linguistic Minorities in a Canada-Quebec Partnership” in Roger Gibbins and Guy Laforest (eds.), Beyond the Impasse: toward reconciliation (Montreal: Institute for Research on Public Policy, 1998), 187-214.
  • “Report on ‘The Quebec Referendum Results: Causes and Antecedents’”, John E. Trent, Robert Young and Guy Lachapelle (eds.), Québec:Canada: What is the Path Ahead?/ nouveaux sentiers vers l’avenir (Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 1996), 85-95.
  • “La thèse tradition/modernité: l’historique québécois”, in Mikhael Elbaz et al, Identité et modernité au Québec (Presses de l’Université Laval, 1996), 29-45.
  • “Living with Dualism and Multiculturalism”, in François Rocher and Miriam S. Smith (eds.), New Trends in Canadian Federalism (Broadview Press, 1995), 109-32. Revised for second edition, 2003.
  • "Commentary on asymmetrical federalism" in Leslie Seidle, ed., Seeking a New Canadian Partnership: Asymmetrical and Confederal Options (Montreal: Institute for Research on Public Policy), 153-58.
  • "Disagreeing on Fundamentals: English Canada and Quebec", McRoberts and Monahan, The Charlottetown Accord, the Referendum and the Future of Canada, 249-263.
  • "Federal Structures and the Policy Process", in Michael Atkinson (ed.), Governing Canada: Institutions and Public Policy (Toronto: Harcourt Brace Janovitch Canada, 1993), 149-177.
  • "English-Canadian Perceptions of Quebec", in Alain Gagnon (ed.), Quebec: State and Society, second edition, (Scarborough: Nelson Canada, 1993), 116-129. published in French translation in Alain Gagnon, ed., Québec: État et Société (Montreal: Québec/Amérique, 1994).
  • "Quebec", in Joel Kreiger (ed.), The Oxford Companion to Politics of the World, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993) 761-63.
  • "Canada: Canada and Quebec at a Crossroads", World Book Year Book. (Chicago: World Book, 1992). 113-124.
  • "René Lévesque: le grand démocrate", in Yves Bélanger et Michel Lévesque (eds.), René Lévesque (Montréal: Presses de l'Université du Québec, 1992), 149-254.
  • "Protection of Linguistic Minorities," in Daniel Drache & Roberto Perin, Negotiating with a Sovereign Quebec, (Toronto: James Lorimer, 1992), 173-188.
  • "Comments on the Meech Lake Accord", in David Schneiderman (ed.), Language and the State: the law and politics of identity, (Cowansville, Que: Les Editions Yvon Blais, 1991), 477-484.
  • "Making Canada Bilingual: Illusions and Delusions of Federal Language Policy", in David Shugarman & Reg Whitaker (eds.), Federalism and Political Community: Essays in Honour of Donald Smiley (Peterborough: Broadview Press, 1989), 141-72 (reprinted with some updating in the Globe & Mail, March 19 - April 2, 1990, under the rubric, "The Reading Edge").
  • "Quebec: Province, Nation or Distinct Society?" in Michael Whittington and Glen Williams (eds.), Canadian Politics in the 1990s (Toronto: Methuen, 1989), 98-119. Revised for 1994 & 2004 editions.
  • "La révision des interprétations révisionnistes," in Robert Comeau (ed.), Jean Lesage et l'éveil d'une nation (Montreal: Presses de l'Université du Québec, 1988), 318-321.
  • "Unilateralism, Bilateralism and Multilateralism: app­roaches to Canadian federalism," in Richard Simeon, Research Coordinator, Intergovernmental Relations, University of Toronto Press, 1985, 71-129 (research study commissioned by the Royal Commission on the Economic Union and Development Prospects for Canada).
  • "The Emergence of a Québécois Political Identity," in Jeffrey Ross et al (eds.), The Mobilization of Collec­tive Identity: Comparative Perspectives (Univer­sity Press of America, 1980), 225-256.
  • "Une crise insoluble?" in Jean-François Léonard (ed.), La Chance au coureur: ­Bilan de l'action du gouvernement du Parti québécois (Montréal: Editions Nouvelle Optique, 1978), 166-­171.
  • "An Overview of Quebec-Ontario Interprovincial Rela­tions," in Les relations économiques Québec-Ontario Economic Relations, Proceedings of York-ENAP Colloque, 1978, 215-270. 
  • "Quebec: Canada's Special Challenge and Stimulus," in Thomas A. Hockin et al, The Canadian Condominium (McClelland & Stewart, 1972), 38-59.