Prairie Capitalism revisited: Canada, bitumen, and the resource colony question

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3 Citations (Scopus)


The 1979 classic Prairie Capitalism controversially asserted, "we find no confirmation of the thesis that provinces, heavily dependent on the exploitation and sale of staples, are thereby placed in a permanent position of political dependency vis à vis external capital" (Richards and Pratt 1979, 8). Developments in the years since have confirmed the book's analysis, and this has clear implications both for our understanding of the trajectory of Canadian capitalism, and for our assessment of the core tenets of Canadian political economy. Further, an appreciation of the contemporary utility of this aspect of the analysis in Prairie Capitalism is a necessary corrective to the contemporary "resource colony" discourse associated with Canada's bitumen sands industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)222-255
Number of pages34
JournalJournal of Canadian Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep. 2015


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