2015: Volume 8, Issue 1, pp. 31-51

The March to Militarism in Canada: 
Domesticating the Global Enemy in the Post-9/11, Neo-liberal Nation

Kirsten Kozolanka



In Canada, as in other Western countries, much media and scholarly attention surrounding the “War on Terror” has focused on cases in which primarily Muslim citizens have been detained and charged under the anti-terror law passed hastily in 2001. However, little analysis has been conducted on how legislation and communicative strategies on terror have re-framed the domestic neo-liberal agenda, and, in so doing, fostered a militarized culture of surveillance and fear of the enemy inside its borders. This paper examines the Canadian government’s domestic politics of terror through its communication on the inter-related issues of crime, defence, security, and immigration that are propagated through the lens of the global War on Terror. Using parliamentary records, public documents and media stories, the paper suggests that, over time since it came to power in 2006, the government has invoked both the Muslim Other and a subtler, more generalized domestic enemy in order to capitalize on public concern and fear of terrorism to justify its neo-liberal legislative agenda and consolidate its power within the broader neo-liberal project. More than a decade after the events of 9/11, this case study and other research now exist on how the neo-liberal Canadian state uses fear and patriotism to achieve its domestic objectives through legislative and communicative strategies.


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