A DANGEROUS WORLD: STEPHEN HARPER’S POST-MAIDAN UKRAINE POLICY
Dowie, Mitchell Conor 1989-
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The thesis puts forward a neoclassical realist theory of the Harper government’s response to the Ukrainian crisis, which draws upon a number of theories, including Power Transition theory, to examine the determinative role played by variables at the system-, unit-, and individual-levels of analysis. The Ukrainian crisis was enmeshed in a broader struggle between state actors with different and competing visions of world order – highlighting the importance of system-level incentives and constraints. The Harper government’s response to the crisis nonetheless reflected Mr. Harper’s ideas and vision of world order, which differed substantially from his predecessors. Amidst the most serious geopolitical crisis of the post-Cold War era, these ideational differences conditioned the shape and direction of Canada’s response in important ways, affecting the Harper government’s response with an unusual degree of robustness and urgency. Individual-level variables including ideology are of particular importance to understanding the shape and direction of the Harper government’s response. Nevertheless, Mr. Harper’s worldview did not emerge in a vacuum. Unit-level variables including elite culture played a critical role in shaping Mr. Harper’s threat assessments and strategic preferences – which were reflective of his worldview. Thus, as the thesis will demonstrate, the Harper government’s response to the Ukrainian crisis was shaped by determinants at all three levels of analysis.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
CommitteeSmith, Charles; Romanow, Roy; Khanenko-Friesen, Natalia; Bell, Colleen
Copyright DateMay 2018
Ukraine, Canada, Stephen Harper, Foreign Policy, neoclassical realism, Maidan, Euromaidan, Ukrainian crisis, Russia