Allan Tupper


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Theses completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest theses.

What comes next? Transfers of power in the Canadian context (2021)

This thesis examines government transitions. Focusing primarily on Westminster nations and Canada in particular, I analyze the crucial periods in the political cycle in which new governments first take the reins of power. Though vitally important for new governments, studies of transitions have typically received little attention from political scientists, often overshadowed by the elections that precede them and the governing that comes after. This thesis attempts to provide a foundational account of the existing knowledge surrounding these transitions as well as proposing numerous paths forward for future research. The thesis is separated into two major parts. The first draws upon existing research, identifying the typology, phases, and key themes surrounding transfers of power. This first section also examines transitions among Westminster nations. The second part identifies three areas in need of further research: intraparty transitions, the impact of transitions on the public service, and the role the media plays as power changes hands. Analyzing each of these subjects in turn, I propose detailed research designs through which political scientists can expand our understanding of government transitions and their implications for both the short and long-term prospects of these new governments.

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Mapping alternative systems of accountability in residential long-term care in British Columbia and Ontario (2018)

Cases of abuse and neglect frequently arise in residential long-term care facilities. This thesis studies the systems of accountability within the residential long-term care sectors of British Columbia and Ontario. Using structured comparative case studies and documentary analysis it categorizes existing mechanisms of accountability into the five conceptions of accountability established by Bruce Stone. These are: parliamentary control, managerialism, judicial quasi-judicial, constituency relations and market. It then applies Richard Mulgan’s theory of accountability deficits to identify areas where the current mechanisms fail. Overall, it finds that contemporary reliance on alternative service delivery for the delivery of residential long-term care has significantly increased the need for new and different systems of accountability. The thesis then assesses how mechanisms of accountability can be adapted while maintaining a system that includes alternative service delivery. Changes will require clear definitions of the role of accountability mechanisms and emphasis on preventative mechanisms. Improving systems of accountability in long-term care is important, as there will be increased pressure on such systems from an ageing Canadian population. This thesis contributes to the Canadian public administration literature by examining the relationship between alternative service delivery and a complex hybrid accountability system.

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The league of legends: an exploratory public service bargain analysis of United Nations secretaries-general (2018)

This paper attempts to explain the variation in leadership style among United Nations Secretaries-General. In doing so, I co-opt the typology of public service bargains (PSB), traditionally used to understand the behavior of public servants acting on behalf of their political masters. I frame the Secretary-General as an international public servant, working as the agent of the five permanent members of the Security Council. The historical PSB analysis of Secretaries-General demonstrates that the clear majority of Secretaries must possess diplomatic competencies in order to manage their multiple principals on the Security Council who often have clashing interests. However, Secretaries-General are increasingly found to need administrative prowess in the face of financial strain within the United Nations and pressure from members states for reform. Further, breakdowns in the bargain are identified, which lead to misplaced blame on the Secretary-General.

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The trouble with Translink? Assessing the forms of accountability in use within a Canadian public transit agency (2018)

This thesis analyzes the forms of organizational accountability used within the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority, a public transit agency better known as TransLink. It considers whether accountability is used as a virtue within TransLink, and also considers whether accountability is used as a mechanism within the agency. The use of accountability as a virtue entails the provision and availability of information about an organization’s behaviour and its operational outcomes. The use of accountability as a mechanism involves systems of obligation within an organization that include possibilities for sanctioning actors based on their behaviour, or otherwise obligating changes within an organization in response to its performance. An overview of TransLink’s history and governance structure is first provided. A review of some of the literature on public sector accountability then follows. The thesis then develops an identification strategy for determining what evidence would be consistent with the use of accountability as a virtue and as a mechanism within TransLink. Ultimately, this thesis concludes that at TransLink accountability is used as a virtue, but not as a mechanism. A major implication of this accountability arrangement for residents of Metro Vancouver is that TransLink makes lots of information available about its operations and strategies. While on the other hand, no strong accountability institutions can easily compel TransLink to make major changes to itself. This thesis suggests that establishing institutions and procedures that promulgate the use of accountability as a mechanism within TransLink would help to make it an overall more accountable and better public organization. To this end, TransLink should be an organization where accountability is used as both a virtue and as a mechanism.

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Vancouver NGOs as Agents of Settlement Program Delivery and the Financing of Immigration Policy in Canada (2016)

In 1971, Canada undertook a multicultural policy that dignified all Canadians as equal regardless of cultural background. It was a celebration of Canadian diversity. Immigration policy is very important in Canada, as approximately a quarter of a million newcomers make Canada their home every year. Since newcomers are settled into Canada by means of arms length organizations not direct government service delivery, it is important that the service delivery is assessed and continually improved upon. The following research questions will be explored: How are immigrant settlement programs funded in Vancouver? Does this result in issues with their advocacy work? The interviews reveal that the funding structure does result in issues with the advocacy work of settlement organizations. Several recommendations will be provided to improve Vancouver's settlement NGOs.

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An Institutional Analysis of the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (2015)

This paper analyzes the effects of Canadian institutions on the development, structure, and mandate of the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission as a modern regulatory agency. The research focuses on Canadian institutions of federalism and Westminster parliamentary government in order to identify key CRTC features and outcomes that reflect these institutions. This analysis is developed by beginning with a general overview of the literature regarding the effects of institutions in order to identify the significance according to institutional theory. Further, the rise of regulatory regimes and status of regulatory agencies are detailed in order to give greater context to the CRTC. The evidence suggests that the institutions of both federalism and Westminster parliamentary government have influence on the structure and mandate of the CRTC. The primary conclusion of the research is that the CRTC is an institution of Westminster parliament but it is not an institution of federalism per se; rather, it is an institution that results from efforts to manage the effects of Canadian federalism. The research concludes that institutional analysis of regulatory agencies is a legitimate and viable research area, and suggests several valuable future research pursuits.

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Current Students & Alumni

This is a small sample of students and/or alumni that have been supervised by this researcher. It is not meant as a comprehensive list.

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