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The political economy of Canadian oil export policy, 1949-2002 Open Access


Other title
energy policy
regulation theory
political economy
oil policy
Canadian politics
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Whyte, Tanya
Supervisor and department
Laxer, Gordon (Sociology)
Urquhart, Ian (Political Science)
Examining committee member and department
Urquhart, Ian (Political Science)
Laxer, Gordon (Sociology)
Aitken, Rob (Political Science)
Department of Political Science

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Arts
Degree level
This thesis uses a staples-based political economy approach, supplemented with regulation theory, to investigate why Canadian governments pursued interventionist or non-interventionist approaches to oil export policies over the years 1949-2002. Three distinct paradigms over this time period are identified and examined at multiple levels of analysis, with a focus on power relations as causal factors. Structural biases of the Canadian economy, namely staples dependence and continentalism, combined with entrenched political cleavages of national identity and federalism to influence the success or failure of paradigms of oil export policy. External crises and power shifts precipitated the creation and destruction of these paradigms. In between these transformations, hegemonies formed based upon social, political, and economic arrangements that mutually supported the negotiation of major structural cleavages. Finally, conclusions are drawn about the role of labour as a catalyst for the development of a new interventionist, anti-continentalist paradigm in oil policy.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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