The art of making policy

If you've gone through airport security lately, you've probably grumbled once or twice about the long security lines and 'random' pat-downs.

While you may blame this inconvenience on precedents set by our neighbours to the south, the policy creation is far more complicated, explains U of L Master of Arts (Political Science) student Christina Marcotte.

For her thesis, Marcotte analyzed the creation of two post-9/11 policies: the Container Security Initiative (CSI) and the NEXUS Trusted Traveler Program, using the Policy Streams model developed by American political scientist, J. Kingdon.

"I wanted to take a look at where the ideas for these programs came from and what the impetus was for adopting them," says Marcotte, who was supervised by political science professor
Dr. Geoffrey Hale.

Marcotte first became interested in security policy as a student intern at the European Institute of Public Administration, in the Netherlands. She worked for a researcher who asked her to gather details about North American foreign policy to compare with EU policy.

Hale says Marcotte is an unusually thoughtful student with a penchant for time management. "Not only did she stay ahead of her deadlines – which few students do – she also made time to serve as vice-president internal for the Graduate Students' Association."

From his office across the hall, Hale was often pleased to see a steady stream of students visiting her office.

"That is a wonderful sign of leadership," he says.

Now that she has completed her thesis, Marcotte is gearing up for a job as a junior commerce officer with Industry Canada – a position where Hale knows she will find success.

"Christina has the capacity to bridge worlds. That's a skill set she strengthened very well while she was here."