School of Policy Studies

School of Policy Studies
School of Policy Studies

New Frontiers in Public Policy: A Conference in Celebration of Keith Banting

September 23 - 24, 2016

Delta Hotel, Kingston Waterfront and
Queen's University, Kingston, ON 

 View the Agenda for this event here

Federalism and the Welfare State in a Multicultural World

This workshop will take stock of the social contract in Canada, focusing on three of its key dimensions: federalism, social policy, and multiculturalism. Each of these needs to be periodically updated, and the most recent federal election, in October 2015, indicates a public desire as well as the political will to renew the social contact.  Current realities render this re-examination timely, for the social contract is fraying. Introducing their volume on Inequality and the Fading of Redistributive Politics, Banting and Myles warn: Canadian “governments have not responded energetically to the evidence of growing inequality, and they have not modernized the policy architecture in light of new social risks confronting Canadian families. Action and inaction, sins of omission and sins of commission, have weakened the redistributive state” (2013: 3).

The core of the workshop will be 11 presentations by leading Canadian and international academics – senior and emerging scholars – focusing on three broad themes: federalism, the welfare state, and multiculturalism, as well as a series of structured discussions between academics and policy-makers on the links between academic research and public policy-making (see program below).  This structure has been selected in part as a reflection of Dr. Keith Banting’s distinguished contributions to scholarship and public debate, on the occasion of his retirement from the Queen’s School of Policy Studies and Department of Political Studies. While he is retiring, his core interests in understanding the forces that shape the social contract in Canada, and his commitment to linking academics and practitioners, remain as timely and relevant as ever.

The presenters showcase the domestic and international reach of Banting’s work, both in academic and policy circles, as well as his influential role in supervising and mentoring graduate students and emerging scholars. Post-conference, a volume of the papers will be published under the editorship of Elizabeth Goodyear-Grant, Richard Johnston, Will Kymlicka, and John Myles.


Conference Partners:  Institute on Intergovernmental Relations and the School of Policy Studies at Queen's University