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The Canadian state-as-mediator in deep conflict: The implications of Kyoto Protocol ratification

Posted on:2005-11-01Degree:Ph.DType:Dissertation
University:Simon Fraser University (Canada)Candidate:Ablenas, RobertFull Text:PDF
GTID:1456390008488965Subject:Political science
Conflict relating to global climate change is a matter of urgency. Management, rather than resolution, of such conflict leaves humans in an unsustainable relationship with the environment and jeopardizes the well-being of present and future generations. A framework is proposed for understanding the connection between the processes of policy formation and the Canadian state's intervention in conflict, including the conflict generating, and generated by, global climate change. In this type of intervention, the Canadian state facilitates and steers the participation of public- and private-interest collective actors in the review of certain conflicts' underlying norms. The Canadian state warrants the name state-as-mediator because its role as intervener parallels that of a mediator. This intervention resembles an exaggerated form of mediation, and warrants the name hyper-context mediation.; Hyper-context mediation typically assures the persistence of conflicts rooted in norms; such persistent conflict is distinguished as deep conflict. The dissertation argues that deep conflict is characterized by three factors. First, equal treatment admits participants into hyper-context mediation despite differences in ability and willingness to pursue mutual understanding. Second, the Canadian state-as-mediator is unable to steer all participants into cooperative behaviour, exacerbating the unevenness of the playing field. Third, the Canadian state's partiality to private interests encourages policymaking that maintains the status quo and, thus, deep conflict.; The dissertation's content analysis of news items in Canadian national newspapers reveals the societal discourse behind Canada's ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, which addresses global warming and climate change. The dissertation argues that Kyoto Protocol ratification, a rare instance when hyper-context mediation resolves deep conflict, provides a template for reform of the Canadian state's conflict intervention and identifies eight sites where such reform is needed: inadequate opportunities for participation in the review of norms; acceptance of wilful distortion of communication; resignation concerning present forms of free market liberalism; submission to counterproductive societal expectations; state commitment to, but not compliance with, global regimes in the public interest; indifference regarding public communication rights; disinterest in other forms of alternative dispute resolution as models for conflict intervention; and approval of the standard decision-making practices of collective actors.
Keywords/Search Tags:Conflict, Canadian, Kyoto protocol, Climate change, Hyper-context mediation, State-as-mediator, Global
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