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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Arts
December 11, 2016
Canadian Excellence



Political Science

Alcantara's book shortlisted for Donald Smiley Prize

May 6/14

A book written by Laurier political scientist Christopher Alcantara is a finalist for the prestigious Donald Smiley Prize, “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.

“Alcantara’s book makes an important contribution to the study of Aboriginal politics in Canada.  The book explores factors driving both successful and unsuccessful negotiations surrounding “comprehensive land claims agreements” over the past forty years.  Alcantara relies on broad body of evidence, including interviews with officials; it represents, in short a major effort in terms of fieldwork.  This fieldwork also pays off.  Alcantara examines negotiations related to four groups: the Kwanlin Dün First Nation, the Kaska Nations, the Inuit, and Innu. Each case study is informative, and unique; but there are of course some important over-arching findings as well.  “…this book argues that variation in negotiation outcomes can be best explained by taking into account the preferences, incentives, and strategies of the negotiating parties, all of which are influenced by the institutional framework governing the comprehensive land claims process.”   In the end, Alcantara offers a valuable, theory-driven and empirically rich account of land claims negotiations in Canada.”

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. Catherines on 28 May 2014.

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