Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Professor Jack Richardson


Since 1958, Canada and the United States have cooperated in the air/aerospace defence of the North American continent under the terms of the North American Aerospace Defense Agreement (NORAD). This thesis examines Canadian defence programs, and uses the findings to test the assumptions of two international relations theoretical perspectives, the realist paradigm and Immanuel Wallerstein's capitalist world-economy model. On the basis of the case study, the thesis argues that the Canadian military, in its professional cooperative association with the U.S. military, develops a defence agenda which reflects the U.S. military's defence policy preferences for Canada, an agenda that often runs counter to the Canadian government's defence policy positions and/or its expressed policy preferences. In addition, the Canadian defence production industry, organized like the military, both within Canada and across the Canadian/U.S boarder, has economic interests in the defence policy positions taken by Canada. Both actors have the means to exercise significantly their influence on the policy formulation process. In mediating the interests of these two actors, as well as its own political, strategic and economic interests, the Canadian government often finds its political/strategic interests compromised, and hence the making of "strategic miscalculations" in defence policy as it relates to NORAD. In applying the assumptions of the two theoretical perspectives to these findings, the thesis argues that the major assumptions of the realist paradigm have to be relaxed in order to explain Canada's defence policy positions in the international realm as they pertain to NORAD, while the assumptions of Wallerstein's model require two correctives in order to perform well as a theoretical guide to explaining Canada's position within the NORAD defence alliance.

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