|dc.description.abstract||Archaeology is often presented as holding the key to understanding our collective ancestry, and yet the dominant form of archaeological work in the western world today is not guided by theory or driven by enquiry; it is primarily concerned with regulatory compliance requirements arising in the context of land or resource development. Archaeology policy implemented in this context is premised on a vague sense that public benefit that arises when archaeological resources are protected in the face of development. The public is not the sole beneficiary, however, as developers, archaeologists, and the state also benefit. These beneficiaries are connected within networks of interaction not centred on archaeological practice, but in this interaction they contribute to policy implementation, and through this they shape archaeological practice. In this thesis, I explore the consequences of implementing archaeology policy through a network of actors that includes non-archaeological interests.
In this thesis, I focus on archaeology policy from Ontario, Canada, and review archaeology policy implementation from three directions. Documented policy is used to identify the stated policy intent and the rules for implementation. These documents include statutes, regulations, and manuals, as well as documents clarifying or detailing implementation direction. These objectives are considered in relation to actual implementation practice, as revealed in open-ended interviews with public sector actors involved in archaeology policy implementation. Finally, this information is triangulated using my own experience in Ontario archaeology.
The organising theory for this research is Schattschneider’s (1960) conflict theory of politics. The theory posits that political contests, which I extend to include policy implementation, become destabilised when the scope of participation expands. As implementation contests become destabilised, the nature of the contest, and implementation objectives change. This can mean that the direction of implementation may shift from stated policy objectives to new objectives determined in the interaction of the implementing actors. In this thesis, I extend this theory further using insights from actor-network theory to admit policy documents as (textual) participants. These textual actors influence implementation by drawing new associations among participants, and at times by representing and displacing the actors who deployed them initially.
Using three case studies, I trace how implementing actors attempt to make strategic use of scope, either to expand policy application, reduce obligations, or to create a better fit between archaeology policy and other organisational functions. Intermediary policy documents are often critical in these local contests as they can be mobilised in support of private interests, or used strategically to distance central actors from local negotiations.
This research builds on the enduring insight of Schattschneider’s theory of politics, and demonstrates its utility in the study of policy implementation. By extending this theory to include non-human textual actors, the theory also gains the capacity for a richer understanding of the social forces acting in implementation, as well as engaging a significant body of social science theory. Insights to archaeology policy include identifying consequences to archaeological practice of vague policy objectives and local policy negotiations.||en