Whose National Security?: Canadian State Surveillance and the Creation of Enemies

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Gary William Kinsman, Dieter K. Buse, Mercedes Steedman
Between The Lines, 2000 - Political Science - 293 pages

Would you believe that RCMP operatives used to spy on Tupperware parties? In the 1950s and '60s they did. They also monitored high school students, gays and lesbians, trade unionists, left-wing political groups, feminists, consumer's associations, Black activists, First Nations people, and Quebec sovereignists.

The establishment of a tenacious Canadian security state came as no accident. On the contrary, the highest levels of government and the police, along with non-governmental interests and institutions, were involved in a concerted campaign. The security state grouped ordinary Canadians into dozens of political stereotypes and labelled them as threats.

Whose National Security? probes the security state's ideologies and hidden agendas, and sheds light on threats to democracy that persist to the present day. The contributors' varied approaches open up avenues for reconceptualizing the nature of spying.


* "APEC Days at UBC: Student Protests and National Security in an Era of Trade Liberalization," Karen Pearlston * "Remembering Federal Police Surveillance in Quebec, 1940s-70s," Madeleine Parent * "The Red Petticoat Brigade: Mine Mill Women's Auxiliaries and the Threat from Within, 1940s-70s," Mercedes Steedman * "Spymasters, Spies, and their Subjects: The RCMP and Canadian State Repression, 1914-39," Gregory S. Kealey * "In Whose Public Interest? The Canadian Union of Postal Workers and National Security," Evert Hoogers

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Origins of the National InSecurity State
Defining a Security Threat Three Examples
Education under Cover
Redefining a Security Threat Newer Enemies
The Machinery of State in Action Means and Consequences
Finding Security in the Archives
Old Methods and Recent Trends
The Continuing Surveillance State

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About the author (2000)

Gary Kinsman, Dieter K. Buse, and Mercedes Steedman teach at Laurentian University in Sudbury.

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