2022 Shortlist

Announcing the 2022 Donner Prize Shortlist

Cooperation & Social Justice (University of Toronto Press)

In six tightly written, highly original essays, Heath provides innovative, clear ideas of political philosophy that touch on important policy topics today ranging from capitalism vs socialism, profit, egalitarianism, stigmatization, and race relations. This very impressive book will be important for policy makers, challenging them to consider their policy proposals through the lens of feasibility as well as some basic facts of human behavior, which can often collide with abstract ethical and legal principles.

Joseph Heath is Professor in the Department of Philosophy and the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto. A fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Trudeau Foundation, Heath is the author of several books including Enlightenment 2.0, which won the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing in 2015, and The Machinery of Government, which won the Donner Prize for best book in public policy in 2020.

Dream States: Smart Cities, Technology, and the Pursuit of Urban Utopias (Coach House Books)

Lorinc has given us a fascinating, superbly researched book that explores the actual meaning of those two hackney words “Smart Cities”. Both sound and original, with touches of humour, it covers urban infrastructure from sewers to pandemics and climatic shocks to governance, in both historical and current perspectives. This will be of interest to a broad range of readers in private and public realms, and across many sectors including urban planning, engineering, education, transportation, and public health.

John Lorinc is a Toronto freelance journalist and editor focusing on cities, politics, business, climate change, and local history. John has won numerous National Magazine Awards for his journalism and was the 2019–20 Atkinson Fellow in Public Policy, which produced a series of ten articles on smart cities that were the basis of Dream States.

Booze, Cigarettes, And Constitutional Dust-Ups: Canada’s Quest for Interprovincial Free Trade (McGill-Queen’s University Press)

This book skillfully weaves together an understanding of international and domestic trade policy, a review of legal cases, history and, refreshingly, consideration of the actual practical operations of tribunals and secretariats. The author explores ways of analysing and including Indigenous considerations, and draws on economics, political science, history, constitutional and administrative law to tell a stirring account of Canada’s changing approaches to removing internal trade barriers.

Ryan Manucha is a scholar of interprovincial trade law. A graduate of Harvard Law, he has written extensively on the topic of Canada’s economic union for the nation’s leading think tanks, published works in outlets such as The Globe and Mail, CBC Radio.  He was recently commissioned to provide policy analysis to a provincial government.

The Next Age of Uncertainty: How the World Can Adapt to a Riskier Future (Allen Lane Canada)

Poloz has written a big-picture analysis with concrete policy ideas for what both business and the public sector should do as we move into the next age of uncertainty. He describes the five “tectonic” forces — demographics, technological progress, inequality, indebtedness, and climate change — bringing the five strands together with insight, accessibility, and anecdote. Poloz stresses that uncertainty is here to stay, and we must learn to incorporate it into our policy making. Well-written, clear, and focused, this book is necessary for anyone with an interest in our economic future.

Stephen Poloz is one of the world’s foremost economists with over 40 years of experience in economic and investment research, forecasting, banking, and policymaking. After a long career at Export Development Canada, ending as President and CEO, he recently finished a seven-year term as Governor of the Bank of Canada. He is currently a Special Advisor for Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP.

Canadian Policing: Why and How It Must Change (Delve Books)

There has been much written about policing in Canada, however this book stands out for the breadth of its analysis; the multiple reasons, persuasively invoked, to bring about fundamental change; and the wide-ranging nature of the remedies proposed. Not only are the issues clearly defined, the analysis sound and solutions identified – this book digs deep into the system to explain the why and the how, and provides a new light on the future of policing and public safety in Canada.

Kent Roach a professor at University of Toronto Faculty of Law, was elected to the Royal Society of Canada in 2002, awarded the Molson Prize for contributions to social sciences and humanities in 2017 and appointed to the Order of Canada in 2017.  His numerous books have won dozens of awards.  He has served on a number of commissions of inquiry including the Maher Arar, Ipperwash, Air India and Goudge inquiries.