The Canada-EU Turbot War of 1995 and the Cybernetic Model of decision-making

Brendan Howe, Matthew Kerby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This paper examines how and why in March 1995 certain elements of the Canadian government decided to take unilateral forceful action against foreign fishing off the Grand Banks and go against a long tradition of cooperation and multilateralism. In particular, it will address to what extent existing models of decision-making (in particular rational and bureaucratic models) adequately explain the process that went on in Ottawa at this time. The findings are that even though the bureaucratic politics model of decision-making can be used in a parliamentary structure like Canada, it is insufficient to explain Canadian decision-making processes during the Turbot War, and thus must be supplemented by a more inclusive cybernetic approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-179
Number of pages19
JournalRound Table
Issue number401
StatePublished - Apr 2009


  • Canada
  • Ecology
  • European Union
  • Fishing
  • Gunboat diplomacy
  • Northwest Altantic Fisheries Organization


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