Machines vs. industries? The political economy of development in the Peel Watershed




Ruby, Gordon

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The Peel Watershed Planning Process began in the Yukon and Northwest Territories in 2004. This thesis describes the Peel Watershed Planning Commission and the main interests influencing the planning process. I explore the explanatory potential of several theories draw from urban political economy -- John Logan and Harvey Molotch’s growth machine thesis, Clarence Stone’s regime theory, and Bob Jessop and Neil Brenner’s account of rescaling the state – and suggest that each of these theories can be used to explain certain aspects of Peel Watershed politics. Then I turn to the assimilationist literature on First Nations in Canada – represented by the 1969 White Paper, Tom Flanagan’s First Nations?, Second Thoughts and Frances Widdowson and Albert Howard’s Disrobing the Aboriginal Industry – and contrast it with an alternative literature, represented especially by Paul Nadasdy’s Hunters and Bureaucrats. I argue that these literatures draw attention to aspects of the politics of planning that are neglected in the urban political economy literature, but are of obvious importance in the context of the Peel Watershed. Although questions of community preservation and wealth accumulation are central to the Peel Watershed planning process, worldviews and ways of life are also at stake. This suggests that we have to look at the politics of planning in very broad terms.



Peel Watershed, Yukon, Urban Political Economy