British Journal of Canadian Studies

National aspirations, governance networks and the development of Canada’s animal welfare movement

British Journal of Canadian Studies (2017), 30, (1), 91–113.

Abstract

This article discusses the establishment of governance networks related to animal welfare and rights. Situating the animal welfare movement relative to processes of nation-building in British North America and Canada during the nineteenth century, it shows how the movement’s proponents struggled and failed repeatedly to translate the considerable interest that was expressed locally in cities across that nation into a national institution that might better represent the movement at that level and on the international stage. Employing sources including state legislation, federal political debates, newspapers, and published and archival materials generated by a wide range of civil society institutions, it examines the multiple tensions that informed these efforts, and balances them against the considerable headway that the movement made in other contexts during the latter decades of the century. In doing so, the article complements well-developed discussions of state formation in Canada by underscoring the importance of civil society institutions to that process.

Cet article discute de l’établissement de réseaux de gouvernance liés à la protection et aux droits des animaux. En situant le mouvement de protection des animaux par rapport aux processus de construction de la nation en Amérique du nord britannique et au Canada pendant le dix-neuvième siècle, il montre comment les partisans du mouvements ont essayé et en plusieurs fois échoué à traduire l’intérêt considérable exprimé localement dans les villes à travers la nation en une institution nationale qui pourrait mieux représenter le mouvement à ce niveau et sur la scène internationale. En employant des sources comprenant la législation étatique, des débats politiques fédéraux, des journaux et des articles publiés et archivés générés par un grand choix d’institutions de société civile, il étudie les multiples tensions qui informent ces efforts et les positionne contre les avancées considérables que le mouvement a connu dans d’autres contextes au cours des dernières décennies du siècle. Ainsi, l’article s’ajoute aux discussions déjà bien développées de la formation de l’état au Canada en soulignant l’importance des institutions de société civile dans ce processus.

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Ingram, Darcy