Non-governmental influence on Arctic policy through parliamentary committees in Canada and Russia

Regions: North Slave Region

Tags: social sciences, public policy, governance

Principal Investigator: Marlin, Marguerite (1)
Licence Number: 15826
Organization: McMaster University
Licenced Year(s): 2016
Issued: Feb 03, 2016
Project Team: Karen Bird (Research Supervisor, McMaster University), Marguerite Marlin (Principal Investigator, McMaster University), Stephen McBride (Thesis committee member, McMaster University)

Objective(s): To determine the extent to which representation of Arctic interests is accomplished through different parliamentary systems and through parliamentary committees in particular.

Project Description: This research examines two parliamentary states with large Arctic expanses and more Southern political centers – Canada and Russia – in order to determine the extent to which representation of Arctic interests is accomplished through different parliamentary systems and through parliamentary committees in particular.

The main research question is: What are the key historical, institutional, and procedural conditions in the Arctic-focused parliamentary committees in Canada and Russia, and how do these affect the success of deliberations? Other key points of inquiry concern how institutional and procedural conditions within the parliamentary committees in each country have been established, and how/to what extent results of parliamentary committees are transmitted into policy in the wider parliaments.

Beyond examining transcripts of parliamentary committees and related policy documents, a core element of the methodology for the project is to interview non-governmental representatives who have previously appeared before parliamentary committees. Their assessment of the committee process is an important set of perspectives to include in the analysis, as it informs conclusions drawn about the current functions of deliberations for non-governmental participants and what needs to be changed about the parliamentary committee system in order to allow for greater influence both of participants on committees and committees on Parliament as a whole.

Some interviews will be conducted remotely, and for the rest the research team will travel to the communities where participants are.

The research team will be interviewing members of non-governmental organizations in the NWT who have previously acted as participants on parliamentary committees. Highlighting their perspectives through this research will give an additional platform for the public profile of the individuals and their policy recommendations. The research team will also have the opportunity to speak with participants about what has been learned so far in terms of strategies used by Northern NGOs and other interest groups to maximize their influence through policy committees.

The research team will send draft results of the thesis in June-July 2016 to all participants of the study by email or post, and allow them to comment on them before submitting a final draft in August-September of this year.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from March 28, 2016 to April 8, 2016.