Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Public Policy (PhD)

Degree Level



Public Policy


Alvaro Durand-Morat

Committee Member

William D Schreckhise

Second Committee Member

Annie Royer


Assurance stabilisation des revenus agricoles;Canadian agriculture policy;Corporatism;Punctuated equilibrium theory;Risk management program;Social construction of target population


Through policies or programs, states can influence industries to align with their vision of what a sector should become. However, this vision is subject to influence from actors of the industries which emphasize the importance of the relationship between the state and interest groups. In this dissertation, we observe the evolution of 9 Canadian agriculture risk management programs implemented by two provincial governments between 1990 and 2020 to understand how such programs coped with the new trends in agriculture. Through a review of parliamentary discussions and official documents, we evaluate the factors that justified program evolution based on the combination of the punctuated equilibrium and the social construction of target population theories. Our results show that risk management programs tend to align with the vision of agriculture carried out by the main interest groups. By doing so, new visions have a harder time to gain support and see programs being adapted to their reality. The long-lasting vision can then build on its accumulated political resources to direct support to similar farmers. Moreover, since these farmers are perceived as beneficial contributors to the society, they find governments generally favorable to their requests. This could then explain why risk management policies have seen their budgets greatly increased over the timeframe we covered as well as the multiplication of programs. On the other hand, the new visions in agriculture had a harder time to receive risk management programs adapted to their reality. Since most risk management policy discussions are realized through negotiations between the state and a dominant farming group, this group should ensure to include these new visions inside its discourse to maintain its legitimacy. Were the new visions to obtain enough attention by the state through other means, it could destabilize the polity and reduce the influence of farmers on agricultural policy.