The Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act (2015) targets immigrants suspected of engaging in polygamy. While polygamy is already illegal in Canada and non-immigrant polygamous arrangements exist within Canadian borders, the framing of polygamy as a foreign practice portrays this familial arrangement as a threat to Canadian national values. Effects on women and children have traditionally provided a convincing argument for state regulation of polygamy; however, the combination of state under - and over - enforcement suggests that relying solely on a harm framework inadequately captures the complexities of state treatment. In this paper, I argue that the state's primary motivations for defending monogamy are not necessarily rooted in the avoidance of harm but in the preservation of a particular type of citizenship.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL
Journal Canadian Journal of Political Science
Gaucher, M. (2016). Monogamous Canadian Citizenship, Constructing Foreignness and the Limits of Harm Discourse. In Canadian Journal of Political Science (Vol. 49, pp. 519–538). doi:10.1017/S0008423916000810