Dismantling dependency, disarming a boom: petro-politics and the staples state in an era of climate crisis




Noble, Paul

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This thesis has two central objectives. First, drawing on both the insights contained in the staples approach and the frames and narratives mobilized by contemporary political actors, it attempts to provide insight into the political-economic drivers underpinning the large and growing political influence of the Canadian oil sands. Second, it assesses the effects of this influence on Canadian society and the Canadian state. This influence is observable materially, as with the federal government’s oil sands-oriented policy changes and mobilization of the state security apparatus in its defense, and in less concrete ways, as with the rise of discourses conflating national interest with continued oil sands expansion. This thesis concludes that the effects of this influence have been negative and profound, and in an era of climate crisis, alternatives to Canada’s dominant political economic trends must be urgently sought.



Canada, Canadian Political Economy, Bitumen, Oil sands, Tar sands, Pipeline, Staples