Patrick McLane is a doctoral student in the Faculty of Arts, department of Sociology.

Discourses on Security Certificates: Canadian Democracy Negotiates its Limits

My dissertation examines the ways discourses which posit that Canada is an inclusive and multicultural nation come to support suspicion and exclusionary immigration measures when the beliefs and practices of individual non-citizens and specific non-European social orders are said to be incompatible with Canada’s open society. The project examines Canadian Parliamentary debates on immigration security, national security policy documents, immigration related Federal and Supreme Court rulings and the security provisions of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. It works to unpack how discourses about the need to protect Canadian multiculturalism enable: 1) a problematic distinction between Canadians and others, 2) specific legal approaches to immigration and security, and 3) a conception of the Canadian nation state as a certain kind of sovereign power. The dissertation aims to contribute to a more genuinely inclusive Canadian politics by opening multicultural discourses to their own limitations. 

keywords: Canada, Multiculturalism, Immigration, National Security, National Identity, Sovereignty, Socio-legal Studies, Critical Race Studies, Critical Discourse Analysis, Social Theory