Harper's New Northern Narrative

Studenteropgave: Speciale (inkl. HD afgangsprojekt)

  • Osmund Lindberg
4. semester, Culture, Communication & Globalisation, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
The Harper Era (2006-2015) has been analysed in many different arenas, both domestic and foreign: a shift from peacekeepers to courageous warriors, one from Liberals in the East to Conservatives in the West, and from liberalism to realism. This thesis, however, will argue that Harper seek to replace the classic peacekeeping narrative with a Northern narrative.
The method used throughout this project is primarily focused on the thematic analysis of texts — both primary (speeches, mainly) and secondary (academic articles, mainly). However, Qualitative Content Analysis has been utilised on some of the primary sources as well.
Theories in this project are those of neoliberalism, neorealism and nation branding. The three research questions are as follows:
• How is/was Canada a middle power, and to what extent was Canada a middle power under the Harper Government?
• To what extent did Canada rebrand itself to the international community during Harper’s reign?
• To what extent did Canada’s new brand correspond with the foreign policy exercised in the Harper era?
The conclusions of this thesis are that while Canada, in a historical context, can be considered a middle power, this status has been somewhat weakened during Stephen Harper’s reign. Further, it concludes that as peacekeeping — not only a foreign relations trait of Canada’s, but one that unifies the nation — has declined, Stephen Harper has sought to replace this narrative with one of Northern sovereignty.
Ultimately, this thesis concludes that the Harper Government’s foreign policy has been characterised by electoral considerations at home. What did, at times, seem as haphazard foreign policy, has actually been foreign policy designed to win votes at home. The endgame is, arguably, to replace the Liberal peacekeeping narrative with a Conservative Northern narrative.
SprogEngelsk
Udgivelsesdato1 feb. 2016
Antal sider56
ID: 226947763