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December 10, 2016
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Laurier professor’s book finalist for prestigious political science literary prize

Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

May 9/14| For Immediate Release


Christopher Alcantara, Associate Professor
Department of Political Science
519-884-1970 ext. 3410 or


Lori Chalmers Morrison, Acting Director
Communications and Public Affairs, Wilfrid Laurier University
519-884-0710 ext. 3067 or

A book written by Laurier Political Scientist Christopher Alcantara is a finalist for the prestigious Donald Smiley Prize, which is awarded to the best book published in English or in French in the field relating to the study of government and politics in Canada.

Negotiating the Deal: Comprehensive Land Claims Agreements in Canada was written by Alcantara, an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at Laurier, and published by University of Toronto Press in 2013.

“Previous winners of this award include many of the most prominent scholars in the discipline and so it’s very exciting just to be nominated,” said Alcantara. “Usually the books that are nominated aim to address one or more of Canada’s most pressing and vexing political problems, combining scholarly rigour with practical suggestions and solutions.”

The Donald Smiley Prize, which is administered by the Canadian Political Science Association (CPSA), was established to honour the life and work of Donald V. Smiley (1921-1990) and to encourage the ideas of scholarship represented by this great Canadian political scientist. 

There were three shortlisted books for the prize this year. In its report, the prize jury praised Negotiating the Deal: Comprehensive Land Claims Agreements in Canada for making “an important contribution to the study of Aboriginal politics in Canada … Alcantara offers a valuable, theory-driven and empirically rich account of land claims negotiations in Canada.”

In the book, Alcantara examines the modern treaty process, identifying a set of factors that generate and prevent the Crown and Aboriginal governments from completing comprehensive land claims negotiations.

“Canada has been negotiating modern treaties with Aboriginal peoples since 1973, yet the process remains difficult for many Aboriginal groups,” said Alcantara. “This book identifies what can be done to increase the number of treaty settlements in Canada. It also lays out a number of alternative paths to self-determination.”

The other shortlisted books include Canadian Public Budgeting in the Age of Crises (McGill-Queen’s University Press) and Gendered News: Media Coverage and Electoral Politics in Canada (UBC Press).

The winning title will be announced at the CPSA president’s dinner in St. Catharines, Ont., on May 28, 2014.


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