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    CPSA Students Caucus Meeting








    Congrès annuel de l'ACSP 2019 - 4 juin 2019
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    Workshop: The Official Languages Act at 50
    Le 50e anniversaire de la Loi sur les langues officielles








    Congrès annuel de l'ACSP 2019 - 4 juin 2019
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    Reception: Department of Political Science
    University of British Columbia








    Congrès annuel de l'ACSP 2019 - 4 juin 2019
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    Association canadienne de science politique
    Programme du congrès annuel de l'ACSP 2019

    LA POLITIQUE AUTREMENT;
    PARLER FRANC, PARLER VRAI

    Organisé à l'Université de la Colombie-Britannique
    Mardi le 4 juin 2019 au jeudi 6 juin 2019
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    Discours présidentiel
    François Rocher, CPSA President

    Vie et mort d’un enjeu
    la science politique canadienne
    et la politique québécoise

    Location: CIRS 1250
    Mardi le 4 juin 2019 | 17 h 00 - 18 h 00
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    Keynote: UBCIC Grand
    Chief Stewart Phillip

    Asserting Indigenous
    Title and Rights in 2019

    Location: CIRS 1250
    Mardi le 4 juin 2019 | 10 h 30 - 12 h 00
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    Keynote Speaker: Wendy Brown
    In the Ruins of Neoliberalism:
    Our Predicaments:
    the Rise of Anti-democratic
    Politics in the West

    Location: CIRS 1250
    Mercredi le 5 juin 2019 | 14 h 00 - 15 h 30
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    Keynote Speaker: Roland Paris
    Canada Alone?
    Surviving in a Meaner World

    Location: CIRS 1250
    Jeudi le 6 juin 2019 | 10 h 30 - 12 h 00

Droit et analyse de politiques



D17 - Canadian Gun Control Policy

Date: Jun 6 | Heure: 10:30am to 12:00pm | Location: SWING 108

Chair/Président/Présidente : Kathryn Harrison (University of British Columbia)

Discussant/Commentateur/Commentatrice : Kathryn Harrison (University of British Columbia)

A Punctuated Equilibrium Analysis of Canadian Gun Control Policy, 1989-2012: Tim Heinmiller (Brock University)
Abstract: The period from 1989 to 2012 was a tumultuous one for Canadian gun control policy. The Montreal Massacre in December of 1989 sparked a movement for stronger gun control measures, culminating in the passage of the Firearms Act in 1995. This legislation established universal firearms registration in Canada but, after its scandalous implementation, universal registration was repealed through the Ending the Long-Gun Registry Act of 2012. These various policy changes make Canadian gun control policy an excellent test case for investigating the mainstream theories of the policy process and this is the project that Prof. Matt Hennigar and I have recently undertaken. This paper is part of that larger project and it investigates how well Punctuated Equilibrium Theory (PET) explains Canadian gun control policy in the 1989-2012 period. Using data on the number of registered firearms in Canada, the paper shows that there were two clear policy punctuations during the period, one in 1995 and the other in 2012. The paper then undertakes a content analysis of 1,421 Globe & Mail articles to determine whether the PET explanation of policy punctuations is accurate in this case. The results show that the PET explanation is supported for the 1995 policy punctuation, but is only partially supported for the 2012 explanation, raising questions about PET as a theory of Canadian policy-making.

167.Heinmiller.pdf


A Social Constructivist Analysis of Canadian Gun Control Policy, 1989-2012: Tim Heinmiller (Brock University)
Abstract: The period from 1989 to 2012 was a tumultuous one for Canadian gun control policy. The Montreal Massacre in December of 1989 sparked a movement for stronger gun control measures, culminating in the passage of the Firearms Act in 1995. This legislation established universal firearms registration in Canada but, after its scandalous implementation, universal registration was repealed through the Ending the Long-Gun Registry Act of 2012. These various policy changes make Canadian gun control policy an excellent test case for investigating the mainstream theories of the policy process and this is the project that Prof. Matt Hennigar and I have recently undertaken. This paper is part of that larger project and it investigates how well the Social Constructivist Framework (SCF) explains Canadian gun control policy in the 1989-2012 period. The SCF posits that policies are designed to confer benefits and burdens on target populations – such as firearms owners, in the case of gun control policy – and that target populations are socially constructed as ‘deserving’ or ‘undeserving’. As a target population’s social construction changes, the policies affecting them also change, so that there is a close association between social constructions and policy outcomes. This hypothesis is tested by undertaking a content analysis of Hansard transcripts focused on policy elites’ assertions about target populations in Canadian gun control debates. The results show that the SCF hypothesis explains the design of Bill C-17 in 1991, partially explains the design of the Ending the Long-Gun Registry Act in 2012, and does not explain the design of the Firearms Act in 1995.

168.Heinmiller.pdf


Rational Choice Institutionalism and Canadian Gun Control Policy, 1989-2012: Matthew Hennigar (Brock University)
Abstract: Canadian gun control policy underwent a number of sharp changes in the 25 years following the 1989 Montreal Massacre, most notably in the creation of the universal gun registry by the federal Liberals in 1996 and the Conservatives’ cancellation of the registry’s long-gun portion in 2012. These policy shifts, however, have been the subject of little systematic analysis using public policy theories or approaches (but see Fleming 2012, Newman & Head 2017). The proposed paper is part of a larger project (with Tim Heinmiller) that aims to fill this gap by seeking to explain firearms policy change in three key “episodes”—the two noted above, and the more modest changes adopted by the Progressive Conservatives shortly after the Massacre—though the lens of several policy theories. The focus here is to determine the extent to which rational choice institutionalism can explain the policy changes. Starting from Downs’s (1957) simplified assumption that the primary goal of governing parties is to retain power, the paper hypothesizes that Canada’s electoral and parliamentary systems gave an incentive for parties to propose distinct and dramatic changes to gun control policy, but also structured the ability of the governing party to deliver. Consistent with the literature on “veto players” (Tsebelis 2002), we would expect majority governments to be able to adopt policy changes that are more radical, and more rapidly, than minority governments. This and hypotheses on the direction of policy changes will be tested for each of the three episodes.

222.Hennigar.pdf




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