Congratulations, Dr. Paul Esau!

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Just before the 2022 year-end holidays (December 20, 2022), Paul Esau successfully defended his PhD dissertation entitled, “A Departmental Dilemma: The Genesis of Canadian Military Export Policy, 1945-1960.” Esau’s study seeks to explain Canadian government contradictions between policy on paper and in practice, by exploring the evolution of conventional military export policy in the key years between 1946 and 1960.

After the Second World War, Canadian policymakers struggled to reconcile the commercial and strategic benefits of selling arms with the political risks in both the domestic and international environments. They often found themselves trapped between the idealistic multilateralism which ostensibly guided Canadian foreign policy, and the pragmatic considerations incentivizing Canadian arms sales. The dissertation argues that the resulting “contradiction” or policy/praxis gap, can be construed as hypocrisy and remains a foundational component of Canadian military export policy today.

Dr. Paul Esau studied at Wilfrid Laurier University and is grateful for the supervision of Dr. Kevin Spooner and the support of his committee members Dr. Mark Humphries and Dr. Alistair Edgar (also from Laurier), as well as Dr. Matthew Hayday from the University of Guelph. Dr. David Webster (King’s College at Western University) was his external examiner. Paul would also like to thank the community of grad students at the Laurier Centre for the Study of Canada, including Eric Story, Brittany Dunn, Kyle Pritchard, and Emily Oakes.

Earlier 2022 Successful PhD's

The Tri-U history program also congratulates Dr. Evan Cater and Dr. Dan Attrell both of the University of Waterloo for their successful defences held earlier in 2022. On October 21, Evan Cater defended his dissertation entitled, “Stand Fast for Peace & Freedom: A Study of Foreign Policy of the British Labour Party in Opposition 1931 to 1940." Dan Attrell’s thesis was entitled, “Intelligentia Spiritualis: Platonism, the Latin Polemical Tradition, and the Renaissance Approach to the Prophetic Sense of History,” defended on June 13, 2022.