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Governance structures, bargains and processes in the Saskatchewan uranium industry : 1970 - 2010



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This thesis examines the shift in governance structures, bargains, and processes in the Saskatchewan uranium industry between the 1970s and 2000s. Using a framework based on international political economy, the thesis analyzes the security, production, financial and knowledge structures that shaped the environment of the province’s uranium industry. In addition, an analysis of bargains created between and among structures helps provide further insight into the industry. Through this type of analysis, the thesis draws comparisons between the Allan Blakeney New Democratic Party and the Brad Wall Saskatchewan Party governments’ attempts to expand the uranium cycle in Saskatchewan. Due to conditions both internal and external to their administrations, the Blakeney and Wall governments engaged in two different processes, one closed and one open. Looking at these two events through content analysis, studying official statements, public documents, government positions and media reports, this thesis explores the circumstances that engendered two different processes and the outcomes each process produced. The 1970s and 80s refinery debate relied on a state-centric process that limited relationships with the industrial sector and the societal sector. These factors contributed to the failure of the provincial government to win the refinery contract. Given different governance structures during this era, the outcome reached for the refinery may have been different. Two decades later, the nuclear energy debate in the 2000s benefitted from evolved governance structures. The state engaged in a stronger working relationship with industry and a more open discourse with the public. However, the increased governing versatility remained unable to counteract economic forces at the global level. Both cases exemplify the difficulty expanding an industry as complex and contentious as uranium despite substantial change in governance models.



Saskatchewan, uranium, governance



Master of Arts (M.A.)


Political Studies


Political Studies


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