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From the archives

Liberal Interpretations

Making sense of Justin Trudeau and his party

Clock Watching

The nuclear threat lingers still

Spending Power

Can compassion and efficiency be combined in the use of public funds?

Krzysztof Pelc

Krzysztof Pelc is a professor of political science and international relations at McGill University.

Articles by
Krzysztof Pelc

Loan Star

An ode to the little book box March 2023
To establish the relationships that sustain the city’s life, the inhabitants stretch strings from the corners of the houses, white or black or gray or black-and-white according to whether they mark a relationship of blood, of trade, authority, agency. When the strings become so numerous that you can no longer pass among them, the inhabitants leave: the houses are

Burden of Plenty

On beating a retreat June 2022
I would write much of the manuscript during solitary marathon sessions in a cabin in the Alberta woods. That, at least, had been the plan. I had been offered a stay in a magical land of exception, the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. I had never gone to a residency, nor did I know anyone who…

Wait, Wait... Don’t Tell Me

The pros and cons of disclosure March 2021
Aren’t all the best myths really about the price of information? We have Adam and Eve ousted from Eden for wanting “the eyes of them both [to be] opened.” There’s poor Prometheus, who gets his liver pecked in perpetuity for disclosing the secret of fire and “all manner of arts” to humans. And there’s Odysseus, beckoned by the Sirens’ perilous revelation of “everything that happens on the fruitful earth.” In each…

To Nie Kanada

Our country through the eyes of others May 2019
It’s a pleasing question to consider, in a way: How has Canada been spared? Is it something we’ve been eating? Does our cold climate breed some resistance against would‑be strongmen? Over the past two years, looking at the club of Western democracies, commentators have remarked on how everyone but us seems to have come down with the same…

The Superpower Next Door

Bully for you — but at what cost? April 2019
At the height of NAFTA renegotiations last summer, I found myself facing a recurring question: What could Canada do? The Trump administration had raised tariffs on steel and aluminum in May 2018, with renegotiations well under way, and it had refused to exempt Canada, its biggest supplier of both. Trump called our genteel prime minister…

The Free-Trade Malaise

Vindication—and a change of heart—for a veteran contrarian who saw it coming March 2018
People rarely change their minds. They stick to their positions and invariably interpret new evidence in ways that confirm their prior inklings. Not only does the gut usually win out over the mind, it enlists the mind in its victories: lab experiments suggest that the more knowledgeable people are about an issue, the less likely they are to update their beliefs when faced with conflicting…