Techniques of governmentality, neoliberalism, technological determinism, and the McKenna miracle: a New Brunswick case study

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University of New Brunswick


The purpose of this thesis is to examine the promise of the information and communications technology sector (ICT) as the engine that would drive New Brunswick’s economic development strategy during Liberal Premier Frank McKenna’s ten-year mandate from 1987-1997. This mandate was driven by a set of socioeconomic policies, infused with principles of neoliberalism and globalization, which the New Brunswick government deployed in an attempt to condition its citizens to participate in a newly envisioned knowledge-based economy. Through an interdisciplinary, explanatory, case study methodology I will demonstrate that the entire McKenna mandate was underpinned by the rhetoric of technological determinism and executed through processes of governmentality. While successful in ushering in an era of neoliberalism the mandate failed to create a self-sufficient society and a knowledge-based economy in the province.