Political Science - Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

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Contesting discourse: Can deliberative democracy mitigate protracted ethnic conflict in Israel?

Author: 
Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

This paper examines the question of whether deliberative democratic processes can be used to effectively mitigate protracted ethnic conflict in Israel. By examining peacemaking strategies used in the past, it tries to explain why peace has been elusive in Israel and what steps must be taken in order to make the regime more legitimate as well as build a lasting peace. A constructivist approach is used to demonstrate the malleability of hardened identities as well as the opportunity for deliberation. While it is not sufficient to create a lasting peace, the paper concludes that through the deliberative democratic process of contesting discourse in public spheres, citizens can engage in meaningful dialogue. Over time this dialogue can contribute to more legitimate institutions and peaceful interactions among citizens.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Department of Political Science - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Research Project (M.A.)

A feasibility study: can Paraguay learn from the Brazilian sugarcane ethanol program?

Author: 
Date created: 
2010
Abstract: 

This research investigates the feasibility of Paraguay developing a productive sugarcane ethanol sector, by drawing from the Brazilian experience with biofuels. Brazil is clearly a key case for examining whether there are certain lessons which can be extrapolated for other developing countries, such as Paraguay which have the factor endowment conditions to grow sugarcane and use it for the development of an ethanol industry. This study is framed around the following question: to what extent can the Brazilian ethanol program be replicated in Paraguay? This project’s framework for analysis is based on three categories: political and institutional arrangements that govern the value chain of ethanol in Brazil and Paraguay. These categories include: an evaluation of the multiple stakeholder’s intricately involved; the economic costs and benefits; and sustainability requirements which must be incorporated in order to credibly assess environmental gains and penalties associated with this renewable source.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
D
Department: 
Department of Political Science - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

Exploring the relationship between democratization and corruption in the Philippines, 1986-2006

Date created: 
2010
Abstract: 

This project examines why corruption levels in the Philippines did not perceptibly improve during the periods of 1986-2006 when the country embarked upon a series of democratization measures. The research finds that several factors were involved: an entrenched political culture of patronage politics; weakness in the judicial system; decentralization of corruption networks; and deficiencies in civil servants’ wages. The research concludes that these factors are unlikely to be effectively addressed in the Philippines until democracy is consolidated. While the democratizing processes that came into being at the end of the Marcos regime established an ‘institutional democracy,’ democratic norms, values and practices have not yet become entrenched in the deeper fabrics of society. Without developing these, it is likely that corruption will continue to plague the country. Democratic consolidation―that is, enhancing institutions and making politicians and bureaucrats more accountable to civil society―is therefore most important in reducing corruption.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
M
Department: 
Department of Political Science - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Research Project (M.A.)

Do political preconditions affect environmental outcomes? Exploring the linkages between proportional representation, Green parties and the Kyoto Protocol

Date created: 
2010
Abstract: 

Is there a relationship between positive environmental changes, a quick ratification of the Kyoto Protocol and preconditions such as green party presence and a Proportional Representation (PR) electoral system? The findings suggest that Proportional Representation electoral systems are correlated with green parties in legislatures. PR is also correlated with a faster time to ratify the Kyoto Protocol after December 1997, as well as the change in percentage of world total carbon emissions. The presence of green parties in cabinet and legislatures does not have a statistically significant relationship to the dependent variables. Finding very little correlation between PR, green party presence, and better environmental outcomes may indicate that even in a PR system, those politicians with an environmental agenda often set aside their convictions and go along with the majority in the coalition they have joined.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
A
Department: 
Department of Political Science - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Research Project (M.A.)

Harm reduction and supervised safe consumption sites: Ideas and policy in Toronto and Vancouver

Author: 
Date created: 
2010
Abstract: 

In 2003, the city of Vancouver opened North America’s first supervised injection site, Insite. Insite presents a case where the municipal government initiated change in drug policy and responded to a health crisis. It provides a case for understanding change in the ideas that guide policy making. In Vancouver, policy-maker’s decisions were informed by the idea of harm reduction. The extent to which this occurred is unique to Vancouver, and such developments have not taken place elsewhere in North America. In order to understand how this happened, Vancouver has been compared with Toronto. Through elite interviews and analysis of primary documents, the process of policy change in Vancouver and policy stability in Toronto are traced. Ultimately, in Vancouver an alignment of the public, media, politicians and police occurred, and all actors recognized the need for an alternative to the existing enforcement approach and Insite was part of that alternative.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
L
Department: 
Department of Political Science - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

Who identifies with Europe? A multi-level analysis of European identity and political support for a European community

Date created: 
2010
Abstract: 

In today’s European politics, European integration and further enlargements of the European Union (EU) are two of the most salient issues on the political agenda. Public opinion is becoming increasingly decisive for EU policy-making, and it is crucial to identify the factors that shape European identity and public opinion about the integration process in order to understand and predict the dynamics of European integration. I argue a European identity that indicates support for the EU is a “civic” or “political” identity that reflects economic and political values and principles promoted by EU institutions. Employing survey data from the 2005-2006 World Values Survey for 17 European countries, I evaluate the effects of utilitarian and national identity factors on European identity. The results of the multiple, multi-level linear regression analysis indicate that economic and political factors on both the macro and micro level shape European identity and support for European integration.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
S
Department: 
Department of Political Science - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Research Project (M.A.)

Framing action: assessing the impact of obesity framing on program design in British Columbia

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009
Abstract: 

The percentage of Canadians who are overweight or obese has risen dramatically in the past twenty years, prompting federal and provincial governments to take action on obesity. This thesis studies the impact of obesity framing on program design in BC. The focus of this thesis is two-fold. First, it is demonstrated how ideas and discursive processes are framing obesity as a health individualism construct. Second, it is shown how dominant obesity orthodoxy is impacting the design and creation of obesity intervention strategies in BC. It is shown that antiobesity literature has been instrumental in framing obesity as a serious health problem for which individuals are ultimately responsible. Moreover, it is argued that obesity program design in BC has centered on obesity as a health individualism construct, which has had the effect of relegating Government to a resource-base, relying on nodality-based policy instruments such as self-serve e-health resources and information campaigns.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
M
Department: 
Dept. of Political Science - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

From unaided politicians to unnoticed cabinets? The development of British Columbia’s executive branch of government

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009
Abstract: 

While British Columbia has changed considerably since the province first entered confederation in 1871, many of its political institutions remain intact. This thesis explores the evolution of one of these institutions—the political executive—in order to better understand contemporary politics in British Columbia. The research presented herein suggests that British Columbia has evolved from a traditional executive, when the province entered confederation, to a departmentalised executive in the 1960s and 1970s. The mid to late 1970s brought about an institutionalised executive while, more recently, British Columbia has moved towards a first minister centred model of government. The study concludes by examining some of the implications of a first minister centred executive. In particular, the thesis suggests that first minister centred government poses challenges to the conventions of responsible government. First minister centred government may also be detrimental to the customary relationship between the political executive and the public bureaucracy.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
P
Department: 
Dept. of Political Science - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

Women incumbents in Canada and the decision to run again: an exploratory study

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009
Abstract: 

In analyzing the problem of women’s underrepresentation in elected office, many scholars have pointed to one dimension of the “supply side” problem: women are generally less willing to run for office. However, when it comes to the decision to run for re-election, women appear to be as likely, if not more so, to run again than their male counterparts. This exploratory study uses data from interviews with female Canadian MPs to explore this apparent paradox. The results suggest that for female officeholders, the decision to run again is influenced by at least five factors. These are: a desire to seek a return on the investment that is made when entering a career in politics, a desire to carry out specific policy objectives, an increased sense of confidence, reduced role conflict related to work and family responsibilities, and an overall level of satisfaction with the experience of being an officeholder.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
L
Department: 
Dept. of Political Science - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Research Project (M.A.)

Who gets in? A sub-national comparative study of immigrant integration in British Columbia and Bavaria

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009
Abstract: 

Successful integration of immigrants into the labour market is not only crucial for maintaining immigrants’ livelihood, but more generally to secure social cohesion and a sense of belonging. Recent research in this area has provided a broad theory base for categorizing countries according to their integration approach. While this study builds on these findings, the focus lies on investigating labour market participation of immigrants on the sub-national level. Specifically, this study investigates settlement outcomes in British Columbia, Canada, and Bavaria, Germany. The results indicate similar participation rates of immigrants in British Columbia with the exception of income levels. Immigrants in Bavaria, however, lag behind in all areas of labour market integration vis-à-vis the non-immigrant population. The key for understanding these different developments is found in the larger context of the host countries’ experience with previous immigration, integration policies and the institutions of the labour market as well as immigrants’ background.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
A
Department: 
Dept. of Political Science - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)