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Selinger's thesis goes AWOL

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Just for fun, I’ve been trying for a few months to get a copy of Premier Greg Selinger’s doctoral thesis, the one he wrote as a student at the prestigious London School of Economics.

It’s called Organising Hope: Reflections on Strategic Civic Engagement in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, 1978-1988.

I have no idea what that means. But someone, it might have been NDP MP Pat Martin himself, told me the thesis deals in part with the idea of relocating the downtown rail yards and redeveloping that no-man’s-land, an idea Martin has championed.

That might make for interesting reading. Plus, Selinger was pretty left before he became finance minister, and some say he’s gently steering the province in that direction now, after years of Doer’s careful centrism. I thought it might make a neat blog, comparing the student Selinger to Premier Selinger.

Anyway, there’s a copy of Selinger’s thesis at LSE’s library and at the British Library. I called LSE, thinking they might help out a Canadian with a quirky request about a famous former student and maybe Fed-Ex me a copy. They were not amused. So I asked a friend, an academic here, to request the copy on interlibrary loan, which she happily did.

Turns out, after months of waiting, the British library can’t find Selinger’s thesis and LSE won’t part with theirs.

So, I was about to give up on what’s really kind of a silly exercise until I realised I have a day to kill in London at the end of the month as part of my holiday.

So, instead of going to Liberty of London or the Tate Modern, I might make my way to the LSE library and see if I can talk the nice librarians into photocopying all 355 pages of Selinger’s thesis for me.

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About Mary Agnes Welch

Mary Agnes Welch joined the Free Press in 2002, first as a general assignment reporter and then covering city hall and the Manitoba legislature before moving to her current post as public policy reporter.

Before Winnipeg, she worked at the Windsor Star and the Odessa American, a small daily newspaper in West Texas. There, in addition to covering more than 20 counties, she took high school football scores from coaches all over West Texas by phone every Friday night.

Mary Agnes is a graduate of Columbia University’s journalism school, has won several Western Ontario Newspaper Awards and has been part of two teams of reporters nominated for a Michener Award. In 2011, she was nominated for a National Newspaper Award in the beat category. She is also the former national president of the Canadian Association of Journalists.

She once misspelled "Shih Tzu" in the paper and received 37 emails from angry dog-owners.

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