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Title: Incentives, Opportunities, and Unintended Consequencse: An Economic Perspective on the African Charter and Canada's Foreign Policy Objective
Authors: Terrazzano, Gianfranco
Issue Date: Sep-2016
Citation: Terrazzano, Gianfranco. (2016). Incentives, Opportunities, and Unintended Consequencse: An Economic Perspective on the African Charter and Canada's Foreign Policy Objective ( Unpublished master's thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.
Abstract: There is a major link between underdevelopment and the risk of conflict. Canada’s largest and most immediate security threats comes from organizations in fragile regions. These regions suffer from weak governments, dismal economies, and violent conflict. In Sub-Saharan Africa, weak governments, underdevelopment, and conflict seem to go hand-in-hand. As such, this region has a long history of instability and violent conflict, and has become a breeding grown for radical terrorist organizations. Global Affairs currently has “ten countries of focus” in Sub-Saharan Africa, and is working towards promoting economic and human development, promoting peace and security, and promoting democracy, governance, human rights and the rule of law. There are two main issues that this capstone looks to address. First, this capstone examines the effectiveness of four policies – aid, trade, military intervention, and the promotion of democratic regime change – used by Canada and the international community in fragile regions. While examining the democracy-economic development-conflict nexus, this capstone also analyzes whether Canada’s efforts to spread democratic institutions and encourage democratic regime change have helped accomplish policy objectives. Along with contributing to the debate on the effectiveness of certain policies, this capstone contributes insight on whether democracy is a cause of progress or arises as a consequence of progress. There are four main policy implications addressed in this capstone. First, there is little evidence to suggest that democracy causes economic growth and reduces the likelihood of conflict in fragile states. In fact, there is substantial evidence to suggest the contrary. Second, there is evidence suggesting that economic growth and prosperity improves democratic institutions and reduces the likelihood of conflict. It appears that democracy does not initiate growth but emerges from economic growth. As democracies mature, the institutions then foster further prosperity. Third, if Canada wishes to use democratic institutions as a policy tool, efforts should be focused on the least well off countries. Democratic regime change, however, does not appear to be an effective policy tool in low-income countries. Economic growth must be emphasized before democratic regime change is emphasized. Finally, when constructing foreign policies, policymakers must account for the various incentives and opportunities faced by numerous actors, and consider the likelihood that unintended consequences may emerge from intervention.
Appears in Collections:Master of Public Policy Capstone Projects

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