CPSA 2016 Annual Conference Programme

Canadian Political Science Association

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May 31 to June 2, 2016
University of Calgary
Calgary, AB


Teaching and Research Skills Development


Session: M3 - Lunch / Déjeuner - Three Minute Thesis Competition (Heat 1)


Date: May 31, 2016 | Time: 12:00pm to 01:30pm | Location: Science Theatres 127 | iCal iOS / Outlook



Chair/Président: Renan Levine (University of Toronto Scarborough)



Participants & Authors/Auteurs: (Click titles for Abstract and Paper.)arrow

Kate Daley (York University) : Why Waterloo Region is Committed to the Fight Against Urban Sprawl


Abstract: "“Smart growth” means growing up instead of out. It means limiting urban sprawl over environmentally sensitive areas and prime farmland by making vibrant spaces for more people in core areas. The Region of Waterloo has been more supportive of Ontario government efforts to require smart growth than other municipalities. The Region of Waterloo, it turns out, did not simply follow provincial directives. In many ways, the Region was leading the provincial government’s smart growth policies. How did this happen? Based on interviews, archival materials, and published accounts, I explain why the Region of Waterloo has been so quick to support provincial plans, and to defend local plans despite costs and controversy. I argue that there are two main factors that are central to explaining growth management politics in Waterloo region. The first is its municipal government structures. Support for smart growth has relied heavily on the area’s two-tier regional arrangement, which provides both strong urban and strong rural representation. Government structures and growth management approaches have changed together in the Waterloo area over the last several decades. The second is politicians. Elected officials are individuals with different experiences and beliefs. Growth management politics in the Waterloo area have been shaped by a strong rural regional chair, individual councillors with diverse local backgrounds, and old interpersonal agreements and disputes that persist into new issues. This study shows that accounting for local government structures and the meaningful choices that specific politicians make within them can provide robust explanations of local government policymaking."


Poland Lai (York University) : Disability’s Encounter with Legislation and Governance: Long-Term Care Homes in Ontario


Abstract: This dissertation takes up the problem of law’s encounter with disability by developing an inquiry into the implications of changes to regulation and governance in the long-term care home sector (commonly known as nursing homes) in Ontario between 2004 and 2012. The research is situated within two intersecting theoretical lenses: New Governance literature and disability scholarship. New Governance can be described as a school of legal thought that is positioned as “new” because it is the opposite of “old” command-style, fixed-rule regulation. The New Governance literature is used primarily to gain insight into the techniques and instruments of regulating and governing – both empirical and normative basis – the care, treatments and living circumstances provided in long-term care homes. I rely on concepts of barrier, impairment and gendered disability from disability scholarship to draw out questions and gaps in the literature. Three main research methods are used: 1) detailed examination of the contents of publicly available government reports; 2) legislation and case law; 3) interviews with key informants. I argue that the current legal framework has created new or strengthened existing processes and procedures to allow people with disabilities to make claims for inclusion and participation in making decisions about regulatory regimes. However, these processes and procedures are more likely to create an appearance of legitimacy of decisions – often made without adequate consideration of gendered disability. The result is a limited attention to and understanding of accommodating the needs and differences of persons with disabilities in regulation and governance.


Ozge Uluskaradag (Concordia University) : What Determines Successful Health Policy-Making Under Politicized Bureaucracies? The Case of France and Turkey


Abstract: The policy advice role of political appointees’ has been widely acknowledged by the literature. However, the main determinants’ of political advisors’ success, thus the success of policy outcomes haven’t been fully discussed. In this paper, I aim to answer two questions: What forms of politicization allows more than others the emergence of favorable policy outcomes? What are the institutional dynamics that allow and prevent successful policy-making under politicized bureaucracies? In order to elaborate, I compare two politicized bureaucracies’ health policies, namely France and Turkey. I look at health policy because, politicization when/if results in unfavorable policy outcomes, can contribute to health inequalities, which is a crucial problem. Therefore, to look at the impact of politicization in health policy making, is not only informative about why some countries experience persistent health inequalities but also can shed light onto the nature of the policy process that might lead to those inequalities. To elaborate, I chose two countries that are similar in terms of their bureaucratic, institutional and corporatist structures, but experienced different-good and bad-policy outcomes in health namely France and Turkey. I argue that first, the policy success under politicized bureaucracies depends very much on the type of policy input that they are able to generate from societal actors who are involved in specific policy domains as well as the institutional differences in corporatist structures. While the presence of such processes allowed France to better target and reduce some health inequalities, the absence of it resulted in increasing health inequalities in Turkey


Theo Nazary (McMaster University) : The Political Engagement of Youth in Whitefish River First Nation


Abstract: Over the last several decades Canadian interest groups have increasingly looked to the courts as a venue for achieving their policy objectives. The political importance of strategic litigation is now well recognized; however, little attention has been paid to whether this particular type of political action has evolved over time. While changes in how citizens and groups politically mobilize are evident in the public sphere, what about the legal sphere? And do changes in one affect the other? This chapter will consider whether particular interest groups are now more likely to employ social science evidence in their rights-based challenges. The use of social science evidence in the courts has important implications for the policymaking process – it has the potential to reopen what once appeared to be settled case law, creating opportunities for outsiders to gain political power and limit the policy choices of governments. However, unlike other changes in political participation, the resource intensive nature of this approach to litigation may also act as a barrier to access. By looking at Supreme Court cases dealing with the topic of doctor-assisted dying, this chapter will analyze interest groups’ use of social science evidence, consider both the opportunities and risks this approach presents for Canadian politics and policymaking, and whether digital media is likely to play a role in strategic litigation moving forward.


William Barclay (Carleton University) : Niccolò Machiavelli, the Baron de Montesquieu, and the Destabilizing Effect of Ideological Migration on States


Abstract: With the rapid onset of globalization, state borders have been rendered porous, which has allowed people, and, more importantly, their ideologies, to travel freely between states. Although many people argue that the migration of people and their ideologies enriches the political constitution of states via cross-cultural discourse, if states with high immigration rates are analyzed, it becomes evident that the injection of foreign ideologies has not enriched the political constitution of these states but, rather, has destabilized them. When a foreign ideology is injected into a society, this ideology entrenches itself and establishes a social locus of norms, values, and ideology that conflicts with the state’s pre-existing values and ideology. As the state struggles to accommodate these conflicting ideologies within its political constitution, the state deviates from its fundamental goodness and the political constitution that had previously made it successful. The state then becomes trapped in the untenable position of attempting to reconcile and express fundamentally conflicting values and ideologies, which causes untold social conflict amongst its citizens as well as the state’s inevitable collapse. This thesis will describe and analyze the security threat that is presented by the migration of people and their ideologies between states. Moreover, this paper will utilize the works of two pre-eminent and diametrically opposed political theorists, Machiavelli and Montesquieu, in order to communicate the parallels that exist between the causes of the collapse of the Roman Empire and the current social conflict and decline that is occurring in many E.U. nations, such as France.