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

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An intersectional analysis of Aboriginal women in the Downtown Eastside and B.C.'s income assistance policy

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No, item is not peer reviewed.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

This project uses intersectional theory to analyze the socio-economic status of Aboriginal women in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Intersectionality emphasizes that the life experiences of some individuals are shaped by, not only one, but multiple forms of oppression. Through an interpretive analysis of first person interviews with members of B.C.'s income assistance policy community, I find that gender and ethnicity contribute to structuring the socio-economic status of Aboriginal women in this area. Specifically, gender and racial stereotypes in the labour market and everyday public life shape their material well-being. Strengthening income assistance in conjunction with other social policies may help Aboriginal women improve their socio-economic status. However, government action alone will not solve the problem. The mere existence of gender stereotypes of women and racial stereotypes of Aboriginal people means that gender and ethnicity will continue to contribute to shaping the socio-economic status of this group.

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

Canada’s Military intervention in Afghanistan: combining realism and constructivism in the analysis of Canadian foreign policy decision-making

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No, item is not peer reviewed.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

This paper examines four key Prime Ministerial decisions about Canada’s military involvement in Afghanistan since 2001. It is often argued that Canadian prime ministerial behaviour on foreign policy matters can largely be understood by the need to negotiate a compromise between two oft-conflicting demands: the political need to respond to the normative desires of an often anti-American and peacekeeping-loving populace; and the need to accommodate American security demands in order to protect Canada’s vital economic interests. The political story of Canada’s military mission in Afghanistan since 2001 is how easily these two demands coexisted until Canadian casualties began mounting in early 2006. Two arguments are advanced about how this co-existence persisted: Canada’s peacekeeping narrative proved not nearly as powerful and monolithic as is often portrayed; and the impact of past policy decisions on future ones skewed decision-making in favour of a continuation of Canada’s military commitment to Afghanistan.

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

Divided loyalties, many hats, and punctuated worlds: the challenges of political, administrative and stakeholder collaboration for federal public servants in Canada

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

While network studies have focused on mapping out the structural linkages between participants within a policy network, less attentionhas been paid to the behaviours of policy actors. Attention to network behaviour is important because it varies and with implications for the performance, legitimacy, and effectiveness of government. This dissertation seeks to examine actor behaviour by investigating the challenges, opportunities, and coping strategies of public servants who work in policy networks. Interviews were conducted with forty-five Canadian federal public servants across four horizontal initiatives: the Mackenzie Gas Pipeline Project, the Sector Council Program, Team Canada Inc, and the Federal Initiative to Address HIV/AIDS in Canada. Together with organizational documents and reports, these interviews highlight the limited ability of networks to support long-term policy development, translate political ambiguity into policy outputs, generate effective leadership, and adopt new collegial cultures. Reconfiguration of existing accountabilities, renewal of central agency support structures, and increased senior leadership might help public servants to overcome key network challenges: gaining inclusion, obtaining commitment, facilitating collegiality, and achieving agreement. This work highlights the importance of actor-centred understandings of collaboration. It reveals distinct challenges for public servants when they collaborate with other public servants, stakeholders, and political actors and uses a framework of rule contestation due to an institutional deficit to understand why they face these challenges. In turn, the concept of rule contestation raises important questions regarding the fit of current political and administrative arrangements for governance in an increasingly networked era.

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

We can: implementing a 100% renewable energy policy in BC

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

What mix of generation would provide British Columbia with the optimum electricity system? Energy analysts have critiqued the 2007 BC Energy Plan; A Vision for Clean Energy Leadership in regard to its goal of aiming for a 90% renewable energy mix. By failing to full embrace renewable energy at 100%, this goal fails to obtain the maximum range of benefits to be accrued from the province’s electricity system. Beginning with a thorough analysis of the literature, and personal interviews, this project examines outside critiques of the Energy Plan by sources from the non-for-profit sector, private energy developers, and the government itself, in order to make the argument that a move towards 100% renewable electricity generation makes economic, final, and technical sense. This cost-benefit analysis will compare non-renewable with renewable sources of electricity in terms of how they fair in terms of costs, supply security, employment opportunities, creating innovation clusters, and impacting the environment.

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

Will the colours fade? The successes and failures after the orange revolution in Ukraine

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

Thesis explores the aftermath of the Orange Revolution in Ukraine. The author identifies the most insightful approaches in understanding revolutions today. Structural theories of revolutions and conventional transitology share a negative evaluation of the nature of the Orange Revolution concluding that it is not a revolution. Agency-centered theories of revolutions and the critical school of transitology evaluate the same event positively due to their emphasis on civil society. Analysis of the after-Orange tendencies demonstrates that the negative trends (political instability and power struggles) do not threaten the long-term democratic developments in Ukraine. The positive results of the Orange Revolution (civil society maturity and increased political participation) are fundamental for democratic governance. The author concludes that agency-centered theories are more insightful in studying the new generation of non-violent revolutions, whereas structural theories retain a conservative outlook on revolutions and neglect the positive changes that are the result of the Orange Revolution.

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

The risk-laden approach to investing Canadians’ pensions: an analysis of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and its market-based investment strategy

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

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) has introduced substantial risk into the investment of Canadians’ public pensions by moving assets from secure government bonds to market-based equities, real estate and hedge funds. This risk, because of the recent economic recession, has resulted in substantial losses to the Board’s portfolio assets of over $17.5 billion in this current fiscal year alone. Under the guise of its internally developed “Policy on Responsible Investing,” the CPPIB invests the assets without concern for corporate social responsibility, promising to engage with rather than divest from irresponsible corporations. This adherence to a market-based investment philosophy has resulted in Canadians’ pension assets being risked and lost. The CPPIB therefore eschews its fiduciary responsibility to protect Canadians’ pensions for the foreseeable future. Failing the implementation of better risk management strategies including the reallocation of assets, new contributions may be required to fund future pension liabilities.

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

A common humanity: regional organisations & humanitarian intervention

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

Humanitarian intervention is a contentious issue in international relations, but remains an important policy option. At the centre of recent debate is the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty and The Responsibility to Protect. The Responsibility to Protect attempted to balance state sovereignty with the responsibility of the international community to protect populations in danger. The recommendations contained plausible thresholds for which to trigger action, but the mechanism for using military force, the Security Council, was not realistic. Regional organisations, are much better suited to conducting the complex military operations involved in humanitarian intervention missions. In examining past cases of humanitarian intervention missions by the United Nations and regional organisations in both Europe and Africa, and conducting a comparative case study analysis, it is evident that regional blocs have a higher probability of success in ending hostilities and stopping egregious violations of human rights compared to the United Nations.

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

Adaptation or innovation? The effectiveness of global environmental regimes

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

The growing importance of the discourse on climate change raises some interesting questions regarding the creation and evaluation of international regimes. When is a regime effective? Through analyzing two competing approaches to evaluating regimes, the instrumentalists and critical theorists, this project shows the deficiencies in the current discourse. Instrumentalists focus on observable means-ends standards of efficiency, while critical theorists ask fundamental questions regarding intersubjectivity. Influenced by both of these schools of thought, this project develops an analytical framework for evaluating regimes that differentiates between different sources/levels of change (regulative, normative, and cognitive) and types of change (adaptation and innovation).When this framework is applied to the cases of the Ozone regime and the Climate Change regime, interesting counter-intuitive findings emerge that offer alternative evaluative criteria for considering the effectiveness of global environmental regimes.

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

In search of balance: must Canadians choose between security & freedom?

Author: 
Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

The problem this work will examine is the democratic deficit that currently exists in Canada in relation to oversight of the national security program. It is argued that the bodies tasked with monitoring security and intelligence activities are incapable of acting as an effective check on state power due to persistent under-resourcing and the absence of authority to issue binding recommendations. This project will present a legislative based oversight model that has the capacity to mitigate the risk posed by counter-terrorism investigations. As confidence in the existing oversight framework has been severely eroded as a result of the mishandling of the investigation involving Maher Arar it is clear the time has come to establish an accountability regime capable of ensuring that agencies are conducting security operations in a manner in harmony with the rule of law and international human rights standards.

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

The critical relationship between large resorts and the state in developing sustainable tourism in the Caribbean: the case of the Dominican Republic

Author: 
Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

Tourism is a growing industry. If tourism projects are sustainable, tourism can be used by developing economies as a source of economic development. However, this is not an easy goal to achieve. This project reviews, through primary and secondary sources and field research, the important relationship between large resorts and the state that affects the outcome of tourism development in the Dominican Republic. It begins by outlining the problem of unsustainable tourism and then moves on to discuss sustainable tourism. It then places the Dominican Republic into the discussion and identifies the actors involved in the development of tourism. It examines how the relationship between those actors affects sustainable tourism development in regards to the environment, the tourism sector and the community. It argues that there is little consistency in the government civil service, and problems within the relationship cannot be rectified until the government itself becomes sustainable.

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