The Criminalization of Political Dissent: A critical discourse analysis of Occupy Vancouver and Bill C-309

Date created: 
2014-08-11
Identifier: 
etd8513
Keywords: 
Criminalization, social control of protest
Security, surveillance, Occupy
Anti-masking, ATI/FOI requests
Abstract: 

Liberal democratic states have increasingly characterized expressions of political dissent as problems of ‘security’ that legitimize ongoing processes of pacification and securitization. In Canada, securitization has allowed for omnibus crime bills, increased surveillance and the continued curtailing of due process. This thesis employs the political economy of scale and anti-security literature to analyze two specific security cases – Occupy Vancouver and the making of anti-masking legislation. I draw on Access to Information and Freedom of Information releases from municipal, provincial and federal governments to explore the criminalization of political dissent, by focussing on pre-emptive social control tactics used during the two cases. These cases highlight the use of liberal ideology, the interoperability of multiscalar governance, and othering processes that construct dissenters as unlawful and illegitimate. This research provides a nuanced understanding of the tactics used to justify pre-emptive control, with the view to destabilizing the liberty-security regime.

Document type: 
Thesis
Rights: 
Copyright remains with the author. The author granted permission for the file to be printed, but not for the text to be copied and pasted.
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Wendy Chan
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.
Statistics: