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Venue Shopping and Legitimacy: Making Sense of Harper's Immigration Record

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 July 2018

Mireille Paquet*
Affiliation:
Concordia University
Lindsay Larios*
Affiliation:
Concordia University
*
Department of Political Science, Concordia University, 1455 de Maisonneuve West, Montreal QC, H3 G 1M8, email: mireille.paquet@concordia.ca
Department of Political Science, Concordia University, 1455 de Maisonneuve West, Montreal QC, H3 G 1M8, email: l_larios@live.concordia.ca

Abstract

Canadian immigration policies went through numerous changes under the Conservative party leadership of Stephen Harper from 2006 to 2015. This article provides an empirical account of immigration policy change during this era and suggests that of state-centred venue shopping can effectively account for the Harper's immigration record. In particular, it documents the ways in which immigration policies have expanded into international and regional venues, opened new venues to non-state actors, further decentralized into subnational venues and reinvested into traditional administrative and executive venues for policy making. The analysis suggests that the redeployment of the state into new and expanding venues aims to demonstrate state capacity and legitimacy as a nodal actor in immigration policy.

Résumé

Cet article présente une analyse empirique des changements aux politiques liées à l'immigration effectuées par le gouvernement de Stephen Harper entre 2006 et 2015. Plutôt que de présenter ces changements comme s'expliquant uniquement par le néolibéralisme ou l' idéologies conservatrice, cet article propose qu'ils doivent être compris comme des indicateurs de déplacement des lieux de prises de décision et de mise en oeuvre des politiques d'immigration du Canada. Par le biais du concept de “venue shopping”, l'analyse empirique démontre que les changements de politique d'immigration sous Harper ont impliqué l'expansion vers des institutions régionales et internationales, l'inclusion d'acteurs non étatiques, la décentralisation, mais aussi le renforcement des capacités des détenteurs du pouvoir exécutif. L'analyse suggère que ces redéploiements sont motivés par un désir de démontrer et de maintenir la légitimité et la capacité de l’État canadien à être l'acteur central dans la gouvernance des politiques d'immigration au pays.

Type
Research Article/Étude originale
Copyright
Copyright © Canadian Political Science Association (l'Association canadienne de science politique) and/et la Société québécoise de science politique 2018 

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Footnotes

The authors would like to thank the editors and reviewers of the journal for their helpful comments and suggestions as well as the members of the Concordia Centre for Immigration Policy Evaluation, Alexandra Dobrowolsky, Jane Jenson, Lorenza B. Fontana and Audrey Lespérance. An earlier version of this article was presented at the 2017 Canadian Political Science Association Annual Conference.

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