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Brian Dijkema

Brian Dijkema is Program Director, Work and Economics at Cardus and senior editor with Comment. Prior to joining Cardus, Brian worked for almost a decade in labour relations in Canada after completing his master's degree with Cardus Senior Fellow, Jonathan Chaplin. He has also done work on international human rights, with a focus on labour, economic, and social rights in Latin America and China. Read More ›

Bio last modified June 1st, 2017.
Articles by Brian Dijkema
  • Freedom’s Fullest Function

    Brian Dijkema

    During a recent debate evening at our Ottawa office on the resolution that “the sole purpose of business is to maximize profit,” Cardus’ Director of Work and Economics, Brian Dijkema, eloquently argued the “nay” position.

  • What the Government Should Do

    Brian Dijkema

    The two leading campaigns are a case study in how politics in Ontario have developed. The choice offered is one side which suggests that government is the key player for "good" in Ontario, while the other side suggest that the markets are the key to making Ontario a better place to live. In many ways, the Ontario election debate is a case study in Cardus's assertion that "the coinage of our contemporary debate is the left or the right—what governments should do and what they shouldn't do." This debate will show very clearly how "we naturally default to fewer and fewer institutions to solve the problems of the day.

  • Regimes of Tolerance

    Brian Dijkema

    The Law Society of Upper Canada and the Nova Scotia Barrister's Society have decided that while the institution that teaches lawyers in British Columbia—TWU's forthcoming law school—is constitutionally acceptable, its graduates are not fit to practice law. That is, neither LSUC nor NSBS have submitted that Trinity Western's code of conduct policy is unconstitutional—they know this because the Supreme Court ruled very clearly that it is constitutional. They also are fully aware that in the same decision, regarding teachers who were taught at TWU and were required to sign the same Community Covenant, there was, as Albertos Polizogopoulos put it last week, "no evidence that TWU's students, who had signed and abided by the Community Covenant, demonstrated any discriminatory behaviour in the exercising of their duties as teaching professionals."

  • It Really Is All About You

    Brian Dijkema

    The individual today is the measure and the mark of almost all of our public life. The most vociferous debates in our law revolve around individuals. In Canada, at least, the question of selling, ending, or controlling one's body is settled on the question of what limits, if any, are appropriate to place on the individual, whose freedom to choose is presumed to be—because of our constitution—the highest end of political life.

  • Turn your back to them

    Brian Dijkema

    It says something that Quebeckers, when faced with a PQ party that offered the religious cleansing of the civil service (just for starters), opted instead to run into the arms of a party so deep in charges of corruption it makes the expulsatory end of a sewer rat smell like a spring daisy. The PQ is dead, long live the Québécois!

  • The Other Side of the Economics Coin

    Brian Dijkema

    In an astonishing break from the economics party line, Harvard economics professor Greg Mankiw pulled back the curtain on the inner workings of his profession and told all. "Our recommendations," he shares, "are based not only on our understanding of how the world works, but also on our judgments about what makes a good society." The fact that Mankiw frames these confessions as "a dirty little secret" says something about the (in)ability of most economists to think of themselves as philosophers.  After all, the first rule of the philosopher is to confess that you know nothing.

  • The Business of Patronage

    Brian Dijkema

    Why? The museum does not cost a dime to enter. It cost a mint to build, and likely costs a mint to maintain, but the visitor need not open her wallet for anything other than to buy a glass of wine to enjoy in the plaza. Anyone—anyone—can come in and enjoy it all. And all of its riches are available not as a result of public largesse, but of private patronage; particularly the patronage of J.

  • Hammering at the Big Questions

    Brian Dijkema

    And we hear lots of thoughts too on social architecture; it's what Cardus does. Thinking and building go together. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

  • Canadian Christmas in the Reflektive Age

    Brian Dijkema

    Our picture of Christmas is shaped, in large part, from the transference of imagery from Europe. We in North America are so accustomed to the tableau of images from Europe that we rarely stop to think of how an event in a little shed in a dry and dusty town in Palestine came to be associated with candles, snow, and green boughs.

  • Seeking Empty Stomachs

    Brian Dijkema

    So, to those who prefer a calm stomach to one churned by the useless product of the day, allow me to offer an ancient prescription.

  • Simon Says: Faith is Great for Business

    Brian Dijkema

    Max Weber credited the Protestant ethic with giving rise to capitalism. Now it sometimes seems as if it is the Buddhist ethic that is keeping capitalism going. The Protestants stressed rational calculation and self-restraint. The Buddhists stress the importance of "mindfulness"—taking time out from the hurly-burly of daily activities to relax and meditate. In today's corporate world you are more likely to hear about mindfulness than self-restraint. 

  • Remembering How?

    Brian Dijkema

    We can try to remember by way of the glory or the courage of war, or indeed by the horrors. We can remember viscerally—feeling the planes rumble overhead, hearing the cannons fired, seeing the veterans in their dwindling numbers. So how do we remember, as people living in a time vastly different from the great and tragic battles at Vimy, Amiens, Passchendaele, Dieppe, or Juno?

  • Law Good, Virtue Better

    Brian Dijkema

    These, and not whether or not Toronto's image is going to suffer, are the questions that I'm asking as Canadians continue to wallow in the griping mire of news stories about a mayor who admits to smoking an illegal drug while in office, and yet will not resign. This refusal to resign is only the most egregious of host of other violations of political custom.

  • Contingency in Politics

    Brian Dijkema

    Whether it is aimed at electoral success, control of the legislative process, or control of popular opinion, this way of framing issues is a means to acquire or maintain power. In each case, the morphing of a problem from a complex problem with a variety of different solutions to a binary choice between two options is motivated by questions of power.

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