M12 - Three Minute Thesis Competition (Preliminary)

Date: Jun 13 | Heure: 12:00pm to 01:30pm | Salle:

Isabelle Côté (Memorial University)
Matthew Mitchell (University of Saskatchewan)

Prizes! Winner $700; first runner up $400; second runner up $200
Prix ! Le/a lauréate 700 $ ; deuxième place 400 $ ; troisième place 200 $

We are grateful to the sponsors of this competition: ABACUS-DATA and the Department of Political Science of Kwantlen Polytechnic University.
Nous remercions les commanditaires de cette compétition : ABACUS-DATA et le département de science politique de la Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

Suivre la science, ou suivre l’incertitude ? Étude comparative de l’impact de l’incertitude et des émotions sur les politiques sanitaires durant la pandémie de COVID-19 au Québec et en Suède: Antoine Lemor (Université de Montréal)
Abstract: Au commencement de la pandémie de COVID-19 les gouvernements cherchent à mettre en œuvre des mesures efficaces pour protéger les populations. Ils disent « suivre la science ». Les connaissances scientifiques sont pourtant incertaines, et cette incertitude est reproduite avec chaque nouveau variant. On connait mal le mode de transmission du virus, ses caractéristiques, et même l’efficacité des mesures est incertaine. Sur quelles bases scientifiques les décideurs se sont-ils appuyés lorsqu’ils ont affirmé « suivre la science » ? Ma thèse explore cette problématique en se penchant sur le Québec, particulièrement sévère durant la pandémie, et la Suède, plus permissive. Pourquoi ces différences ? Ma recherche révèle que l'interface science-politique publique—c’est-à-dire l’organisation institutionnelle du conseil scientifique et de la décision—joue un rôle clé car elle module l’effet de l’incertitude. La littérature montre que l’incertitude produit des comportements de protection. Toutefois, des différences existent entre scientifiques et décideurs. Les décideurs, imputables face au public, peuvent recourir à des réactions préventives sans preuves solides. Les scientifiques, professionnellement habitués à l'incertitude, peuvent adopter une approche plus mesurée fondée sur des preuves. A l’aide de méthodes mixtes composées d’une analyse de réseau décrivant les deux interfaces science-politique publique, et de méthodes poussées d’analyse du langage naturel mesurant l’incertitude, les sentiments négatifs et leurs impacts, ma thèse montre que comparativement à la Suède, l’incertitude a été au Québec le principal moteur de la sévérité des mesures. Dans une interface politiquement centralisée, c'est l'incertitude plutôt que la science qui guide souvent les décisions.

JustInflated: Pierre Poilievre’s Neoliberal Populist Style on YouTube: Aidan Harris (University of Guelph)
Abstract: I analyzed Pierre Poilievre’s 2022 Conservative leadership campaign videos. My questions were: (1) to what extent did Poilievre perform the populist political style on YouTube during his leadership campaign? (2) If so, was his online style of populism uniquely Canadian? I conducted a qualitative and quantitative content analysis of his YouTube campaign videos. YouTube was chosen for three reasons: (1) it is an understudied platform in the digital politics literature, (2) it is the second most popular social media platform in Canada (only behind Facebook), and (3) it has been identified as a place for right-wing radicalization with a strong affinity towards populism. The results of my study revealed that Poilievre consistently performed a populist political style unique to the Canadian tradition of neoliberal populism. Unlike the radical-right populism of Europe and the United States, neoliberal populism places a greater emphasis on fiscal restraint, small government, and a free market economy. In this regard, Poilievre spent much of his campaign on national and pocketbook economics while framing these issues under the populist dichotomy of ‘the people’ versus ‘the elite’. Overall, this paper makes several contributions to the digital politics literature and the Canadian literature on populism. First, it provides an in-depth analysis of YouTube, a social media platform that is understudied in political science. Second, it makes a theoretical contribution by reworking Moffit’s (2016) original approach. Third, it makes a methodological contribution by creating a codebook for populist performances. Lastly, this paper contributes to the Canadian literature on populism.

First Black Prime Minister: The Five Stages of Representation and Professional Mobility in Canadian Politics: Eli Rose (University of Toronto)
Abstract: In a modern liberal democracy, does being Black or perceived as racialized lower one's chance of becoming Prime Minister of Canada? What would it mean for Canada to have its first Black Prime Minister? The paper explores obstacles within Canada’s party system preventing more effective and substantive political representation of Black Canadians and their interests, introducing the concept of Black mobility in Canadian politics and exploring the limitations of Black representation. The work takes a theoretical and qualitative approach, while incorporating quantitative analysis published by other scholars, to study and explain the relationship between identity and political career structures. Specifically, the paper discusses how systemic factors related to identity influence and change the trajectory of individual and political careers. The traditional entryway into politics is quite established, but from a theoretical lens, the paper questions if other paths are feasible and desirable, and what the strengths and benefits from alternative pathways to elected office are. Theories of mobility attempt to explain alternatives or adjustments to well-established systems, which are clearly oppressive in nature, to achieve more equitable, diverse, and inclusive political systems, processes, careers, and candidate pools. With no literature and data to rigorously consider the possibility, likelihood, or significance of a Black Canadian elevating to the highest office in Canada, the work is truly novel and not only fills a gap in political science and social science literature but creates a new way of thinking about Canadian politics that takes a more real-world approach.

Evolving Environmental Management: an Analysis of the Environmental Policy Implications for British Columbia of Affirming the Goals of UNDRIP through DRIPA: Julye-Anne McKenny (Wilfrid Laurier University)
Abstract: Given the rise of Indigenous self-determination movements globally, British Columbia (BC) became the first jurisdiction in Canada to legislatively implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which was announced in 2006. In 2019, the Legislative Assembly of BC announced the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (DRIPA). While UNDRIP is very broad and addresses many areas of governance, of particular interest is how DRIPA has impacted environmental policy in BC. Provincial environmental policy has overlapping jurisdiction with First Nations and is a vital part of meaningful reconciliation. Environmental management within BC is increasingly done through a government-to-government approach which includes both collaborative environmental programs with First Nations and programs resting solely within provincial jurisdiction. This research will use case studies from each of these categories to analyze how changes to environmental policy since the implementation of DRIPA meet the mandate of UNDRIP.

Constrasting Conceptions of Nature Expressed by the Aesthetics of Nazism and Surrealism: Ali Yasin (Carleton University)
Abstract: Despite being a ubiquitous aspect of all human communities, aesthetic expression and sensibility have traditionally been characterized as peripheral to politics (Mullin, 1996)(Sanders, 1998). However, several political movements have explicitly tied their ideologies to the forms of artistic expression they encouraged and facilitated. This intertwining of aesthetics and political thought was clearly visible in the radical political climate of the early 20th century, particularly in the case of Nazism on the far right, and the Surrealist movement on the radical left. To what extent were these aesthetic considerations of these movements interwoven with their political paradigms? As distinctly modern political ideologies/movements, Surrealism and Nazism were both rooted in a desire to profoundly alter not only the political organization of their surrounding communities, but more fundamentally, their collective modes of political subjectivity as well (Mosse, 1996). Political subjectivity in this context refers to the dynamic web of normative perspectives and symbolic signification, which structures the collective behavior and culture of a political community and informs the discrete subjectivity of its various constituents (Rahimi, 2016). Both movements recognized that an alteration of this political subjectivity entailed a radical re-imagining of the experiential relationship between the individual and their community, as well that between a community and its wider ontological milieu in ‘nature’. Despite envisioning alternative modernities which were antithetical to one another, Surrealism and Nazism each identified aesthetic sensibility and its immersion in somatic experience, as being the primordial site of these inherently subjective relationships. By analyzing the ideological thought in the political literature of Nazism and Surrealism, as well as the aesthetic approaches, particularly those expressed by the work of Leni Riefenstahl and Toyen respectively, this paper assesses the aesthetic understanding of nature held by each movement, and its intertwining with their political paradigms. By doing so, it demonstrates that the aesthetic dimension of these movements was not simply a means of propagating the new subjectivity they envisioned, but the sphere in which it was conceived and embodied.

Parler français ou bien le parler? Le rôle de la langue et de l’accent dans la construction de l’identité québécoise et leurs effets sur les attitudes envers la diversité ethnoculturelle: Haroun Aramis (Université Concordia)
Abstract: Quelle place occupe la langue dans l’identité nationale québécoise? Depuis des siècles, la province francophone martèle l’importance de sa culture distincte au Canada et la langue en est sa manifestation la plus saillante, voire la plus fondamentale. Pour cette raison, les politiques publiques qui visent à défendre la langue sont bien établies dans le paysage politique québécois. Ceci dit, au-delà des politiques et discours publics, on en sait très peu sur l’importance qu’accordent les membres du groupe majoritaire à cette caractéristique dans la construction de leur identité québécoise. Et force est d’admettre qu’on en sait encore moins au sujet de l’accent québécois, bien qu’il soit un marqueur identitaire fort de la nation depuis la Révolution tranquille. Cette étude examine les façons dont les Québécois tracent les frontières identitaires concernant la langue et l’accent. Nous évaluons ainsi si la langue et l’accent ont une importance similaire parmi les répondants. Nous vérifions également de quelle façon l’importance de la langue et de l’accent définit des attitudes d’exclusion ou d’inclusion envers la diversité ethnoculturelle. En somme, cette étude permettra de comprendre s’il est fondamental de s’intéresser à l’accent lorsque l’on étudie la langue dans l’étude de l’identité nationale, une approche jusqu’à présent très peu utilisée. La recherche repose sur un sondage réalisé au Québec en ligne en 2022 auprès de 2 401 personnes du groupe majoritaire (non-membre d’une minorité visible ni autochtone, dont la langue maternelle est le français).

Religious Minorities in Diaspora: A Study of the Political Mobilization of the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Community in Canada and the United States: Lilian Estafanous (Queen's University)
Abstract: As a diasporic community, Copts in North America have seized political opportunities and engaged in vigorous activism, resulting in the establishment of a plethora of organizations. However, despite their best efforts, most Coptic organizations have experienced limited influence. This study, focusing on Copts as a previously overlooked immigrant minority, aims to explain the disparity in their transnational mobilization efforts through two questions: How do Copts in the diaspora establish organizations and advocacy groups in Canada and the US? Furthermore, what factors influence the type of activism they engage in and the sustainability of their organizations? The study starts by exploring the historical background of Copts in Egypt and their interactions with the Muslim majority. It then examines how the Coptic diasporic community was formed through various waves of migration, resulting in the globalization of socio-political grievances from Egypt. A critical aspect of the research is its differentiation between the various types of Coptic organizations in North America, including human rights advocacy associations, charitable and philanthropic organizations, and educational foundations. Lastly, by drawing upon various approaches in social movement theory, the dissertation examines the primary advocacy challenges encountered by the Coptic diaspora. The study reveals that the nature and sustainability of Copts’ diaspora activism are influenced by a complex interplay involving the church, the regime, and the Copts. These factors are closely tied to 1) opportunities and constraints in both origin and residence countries, 2) diaspora organizational capacity, and 3) the framing of Copts’ traumatic memories and grievances rooted in their cultural and ideological origins.

Uncovering Women's Agency Within India’s Plural Legal Setting: Sreemoyee Majumder (Carleton University)
Abstract: In post-colonial societies like India the complexity of multi-ethnicity and multi-religiosity led to the adoption of legal pluralism; a pluralistic system of personal laws derived from religious customary practices for the governance of the family. Within this setting adjudication in family law disputes especially those involving Gender-Based Domestic Violence (GBDV) is often shared between the Indian State and non-state actors such as women's organisations, Special Cells rendering support to the State police, and local religious tribunals, with significant implications for women’s rights. While this is an emerging filed of study in India, domestic violence within this context has not been much explored. The present research seeks to fill this gap from within a theoretical framework advancing feminist principles of positionality1 and agency2. Kolkata, West Bengal, has been chosen as a site because under the present Trinamool Congress rule the Government has adopted some noteworthy police reforms and gender sensitive policies. The study also seeks to investigate the role of two understudied yet potential actors in the matter- non-kin neighbours and local clubs3. I plan to conduct ethnographic research on women survivors of GBDV and the local clubs based on interviews and non-participant observation from summer 2024 with aid from New Light, a Kolkata-based NGO working in the field of gender violence issues. To interview GBDV survivors with the utmost sensitivity I have undergone a training for feminist counselling with domestic violence case workers of Swayam, a reputed women’s organisation in West Bengal.

Ancestry.com, Big Data, & The Will to Identity: Toward a Genealogy of Genealogy: Hailey-Ann Walker (Carleton University)
Abstract: The advent of genetic testing and ancestry services has transformed personal and familial genealogy from the niche pursuit of family tree hobbyists to a multi-billion-dollar industry. Ancestry.com dominates this industry and has amassed over 22 million DNA samples and an astonishing collection of over 40 billion archival artefacts including international birth, marriage, and death records, census and voter data, immigration and travel records, military enlistment and casualty records, school and church directories, and tax, crime, land, and will records. Increasingly, Ancestry’s massive datastores have become embroiled in contemporary controversies around data privacy, genetic science, immigration, and law enforcement. More broadly, Ancestry.com data has become an expedient way for politicians, academics, and citizens alike to historically and scientifically ‘validate’ (or ‘invalidate’) ancestral and ethnic claims in a wider ‘culture of identity’, wherein the will to know, broadcast, and authenticate one’s roots and ethnic belonging saturates public life. As such, this project contends that archival relics and genetic material have ascended new status as a mode of political capital (both symbolic and material) which is neither reducible to market logics nor under the exclusive purview of the state. This research examines the emergence and evolution of Ancestry.com and the digital consolidation and deployment of Ancestry data across a transversal and interactive culturalgovernmental field. In doing so, the project breaks rich empirical terrain upon which we can better problematize the multitude of practices through which the private and leisurely genealogical pursuits of individuals and families are rendered a convenient assemblage in the management and governing of populations.