Canada’s Rights Revolution

Social Movements and Social Change, 1937-82

By (author) Dominique Clement
Categories: Social and cultural history, History: specific events and topics, History, History and Archaeology
Publisher: UBC Press
Paperback : 9780774814805, 320 pages, January 2009

Table of contents


1 Introduction

2 Canada’s Rights Revolution

3 The Forties and Fifties: The First Generation

4 Social Movement Organizations: A Brief Introduction

5 The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association

6 La Ligue des droits de l’homme

7 The Canadian Civil Liberties Association

8 The Newfoundland-Labrador Human Rights Association

9 Conclusion





In the first major study of postwar social movement organizations in
Canada, Dominique Clément provides a history of the human rights
movement as seen through the eyes of two generations of activists.
Drawing on newly acquired archival sources, extensive interviews, and
materials released through access to information applications, Clément
explores the history of four organizations that emerged in the sixties
and evolved into powerful lobbies for human rights despite bitter
internal disputes and intense rivalries. This book offers a unique
perspective on infamous human rights controversies and argues that the
idea of human rights has historically been highly statist while
grassroots activism has been at the heart of the most profound human
rights advances.


  • Winner, John Porter Tradition of Excellence Book Award from the Canadian Sociological Association 2009


This book is a good introduction to civil liberty and human rights advocacy, and to important issues facing Canadian social movements. It is well suited to upper level undergraduate courses and for those researching and teaching on the history of Canadian mobilization. It also has the potential to spark debate over Canadian SMO dependence on federal government funding.