Theses & Dissertations

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    All is fair in law and war, or is it? Examining the PRC's use of "lawfare" in the South China Sea disputes
    (University of Guelph, ) McKendry, Clare; MacDonald, David
    International law has been regarded as a means of protecting state interests and punishing transgressors, but this does not always work well in practice. This thesis is concerned with the assertion by scholars that law has evolved into a more aggressive means to advance state objectives, also known as “lawfare”. The scholarship on lawfare also highlights the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as the world’s leading practitioners of lawfare. China’s attempts to garner international legitimacy for its “sovereignty rights” claims are promoted under its lawfare strategy most notably in the South China Sea. This thesis examines China’s lawfare to uphold its claims to the region. I argue that China is advancing its sovereignty claims to the South China Sea in three areas: its inconsistent interpretations of international law, maritime law enforcement in the region, and challenging the 2016 Permanent Court of Arbitration case initiated by the Philippines.
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    Can Global Mining Companies Ensure a Just Energy Transition?
    (University of Guelph, ) Urrets-Zavalia, Macarena; Johnson, Craig
    This study examines the role of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting in Argentina's lithium mining industry, which has seen increased demand due to the global focus on climate change. A central aim of the research was to analyze the standards, commitments, and mechanisms that major lithium mining companies in Argentina have used to govern extraction and processing on selected lithium-bearing frontiers. The methodology included archival research that documented national and provincial laws, company documents, and relevant news reports, as well as 27 interviews with key informants from government, industry, civil society, and academia. The study identified 10 indicators of reporting strength and found that larger companies with closer ties to end producers were more likely to have clearly defined ESG metrics and reports. The research provides valuable insights into the ways in which multinational mining firms measure and report ESG standards on one of the world’s fastest-growing lithium frontiers.
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    Governing Jordan: Modeling policy-making processes in an authoritarian monarchy
    (University of Guelph, ) Karmel, Ezra; Johnson, Candace
    Growing attention is being paid to policies in authoritarian regimes, but studies of the policy-making processes themselves remain heavily focused on democratic countries, particularly those in the Global North. In the absence of a concerted focus on authoritarian policy making, our understanding of these processes has primarily been informed by comparative politics scholars studying transitions from authoritarianism to democracy. As a result, policy making has frequently been assumed away, reduced to the relatively straightforward product of the interests of dictators and their elites. This research study builds upon burgeoning efforts in the authoritarian legislatures and public policy literature to confront these assumptions. Drawing on the case of Jordan, the thesis asks how the sensitivity of a policy issue affects the policy-making process in an authoritarian monarchy. The study finds, firstly, that reductionist assumptions about authoritarian policy making only hold true when certain issues are being addressed; in the case of Jordan, the King and his institutions closely control policy making when an issue is sensitive, but the process is much more pluralistic when less sensitive issues are being addressed. The study finds, secondly, that, regardless of the issue, the process is highly complex, involving the dynamic interactions of a range of executive and legislative actors across a series of decision-making arenas. The study contributes to the emerging research on policy making in non-democratic contexts in two ways. Firstly, it uses the case of Jordan to draw in the neglected category of authoritarian monarchies, providing a broader empirical basis for theory building around authoritarian policy making. Secondly, it extends the close-range approach that has thus far been used to understand authoritarian legislatures to examine the entire policy-making process, focusing, in particular, on opening up the black box of authoritarian executives. This research also contributes specifically to the Middle East studies literature, showing how the investigation of a range of phenomena in the region – such as decentralization processes – would benefit from serious engagement with policy-making processes. The findings are most directly applicable to Jordan and other authoritarian monarchies, but they will also provide insights for the wider universe of authoritarian regimes.
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    The Policy Diffusion of Civil Asset Forfeiture in Canada
    (University of Guelph, ) Stevenson, Gavin; Baker, Dennis
    Since 2001, eight Canadian provinces have enacted civil asset forfeiture statutes, with Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador abstaining. These policies allow provincial governments to seize property that has been used for, or is the result of, unlawful activity. Due to their novel nature, this paper explores the manner in which civil forfeiture policies have diffused across the Canadian federation, their changes over time, and their resemblance to one another. Through a content analysis of relevant policy documents, as well as interviews with key policy actors, this research finds that the provinces have learned from jurisdictions both domestically and abroad when developing their own policies. Additionally, despite the potential for considerable policy variance, adopting provinces have adhered to a relatively consistent legislative framework, though more recent policy innovations, including administrative forfeiture and unexplained wealth orders, illustrate more pronounced differences amongst jurisdictions.
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    All Hands On Deck?: The State of Municipal Climate Change Strategizing in Ontario
    (University of Guelph, ) Gillis, Jacqueline Alexandra; Levac, Leah; MacDonald, David
    The impacts of climate change have become increasingly wide-spread and dire, leading to an intensification of questions around how we can best respond to the climate emergency. Academic literature has identified two broad shifts in responses to climate change. First, cities have increasingly become leaders in climate change strategizing. Additionally, cities have emphasized working with external partners to collaboratively develop and implement their strategies. Second, there have been increasing calls for Indigenous knowledges to inform climate change strategies. These calls partly reflect the holistic nature of Indigenous knowledges and the strengths of strategies informed by them. This dissertation uses a mixed-methods approach to understand how Ontario municipalities have responded to these shifts and evaluates the state of climate change strategizing in Ontario. Using thematic analysis, the dissertation examines data derived from a survey, interviews, and document analysis to understand what kinds of policies Ontario municipalities are implementing, what external partners are being engaged with, and why. Given the key research finding of limited engagement between Ontario municipalities and Indigenous Peoples, the dissertation applies an anti-colonial informed integrative framework for collaborative governance to understand the factors that inhibit and encourage municipal-Indigenous partnerships. The dissertation concludes that a web of system context variables (as defined by the integrative framework) challenge the ability for municipal staff to collaborate with Indigenous Peoples. Additionally, the heavy reliance on frameworks provided by transnational municipal networks (TMNs) impedes early and ongoing partnership between Indigenous Peoples and governments. Finally, the dissertation suggests that Indigenous Peoples may not desire to partner with the governance institutions of settler colonial state. In offering these conclusions, the thesis makes important theoretical, empirical, and practical contributions that may support the future development of more robust responses to climate change.