McBride’s, “Paradigm shift: globalization and the Canadian state” explores the impact of globalization on politics, economy, and society from a Canadian perspective. The book systematically presents various issues, changes, and effects in transforming Canadian state-society relations and civil society through various phases of globalization. This reflective journal analyzes McBride’s central arguments, critical ideas in the study, and a reflection on the author’s overall insights on a Canadian paradigm shift. Critically, McBride posits that globalization has changed how people perceive the state’s role and function.
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Central Arguments in the Book
The book argues that globalization and the emergence of a new social contract in the Canadian state fundamentally transformed state function and roles, leading to a paradigm shift. McBride notes that globalization led to increasing state market orientation rather than playing the traditional interventionist role. Based on the book, the author argues that the changes resulted from the fragmentation and specialization of the Canadian civil society and emergent individualism and consumerism among citizens. The author argues that various domestic and international forces created shifts from the Keynesian paradigm to neo-liberalism, as witnessed in the Canadian state.
Critical and Distinctive Ideas
The author presents insightful critical ideas on the impact of globalization through various sections in the book. Noteworthy, the book’s first section harbors the main idea of the changing nature of the Canadian state’s role and function, first through international conditioning and then through the waves of domestic neo-liberalism. The author’s second main idea discusses the neo-liberalism of the Canadian state at national and international levels, which facilitated changes and globalization in the 1970s. Furthermore, the book presents the idea of globalization and its major implications on the Canadian state, especially changes to state sovereignty and its capacity to control the political, social, and economic future. Markedly, another distinctive highlight is that globalization has had major implications on Keynesian state welfare, where it led to economic privatization and commercialization, deregulation, and fiscal austerity of the public sector in Canada; hence, affected labor markets, development, fiscal and monetary policy, health and education and other sectors of the economy. The author posits that since the 2000s, Canadian society has continued to experience increasing political polarization and disenchantment of traditional political systems through activism, increasing social fragmentation and inequality. Globalization and international conditioning through international treaties and agreements such as GATT, NAFTA, IMF, and WTO have also transformed the state’s role in shaping future political and economic outcomes. Canada now increasingly depends on these global economic forces. Finally, the idea of domestic neo-liberalism, shaped by the globalization waves since the 1970s, continues to cause radical transitioning and restructuring of the Canadian state’s roles and policies.
The book critically evaluated the impact of globalization on the Canadian state by addressing critical issues that constrain the federal role in political and economic policies. Therefore, the author attempts to answer questions such as: what implication has globalization caused in state politics and economy? How has it challenged state autonomy and opportunities? And what approaches can state policy-makers adopt to revive the role of the Canadian government amidst globalization’s increasing effects of international conditioning and domestic neo-liberalism?
The book offers valuable and important insights approach to the challenges and opportunities of globalization in the Canadian state. The author has presented numerous main points to show the increasing interdependence of global economies through international conditioning. Overall, the arguments offered by the author are relevant and thoughtful as they persuasively cover various phases of paradigm change, especially from Keynesian through social liberalism to neo-liberalism. The author also addresses the role of neo-liberalism in globalization or vice versa and the impacts of globalization on nation-states adequately, which is of critical interest to policy-makers and political activists.
McBride, S. (2001). Paradigm shift: globalization and the Canadian state. 79-116.