Drifting Together: The Political Economy of Canada-U.S. Integration / Edition 3

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Drifting Together examines the effects of free trade on Canada-US relations beyond the dimensions of trade and investment flows. It traces the impact of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on Canada’s cultural policies, communications regulations, cross-border regional interactions, social policy, defence and security policy, and foreign policies beyond the Canada-US relationship. This analysis sets the transformation of Canada-US relations against the backgrounds of both economic history and theories of economic and political integration. John McDougall argues that while the members of the NAFTA are highly unlikely ever to undertake the form of political integration adopted by the European Union, Canada is already engaged in a process of policy harmonization with the United States that amounts to political integration by stealth. Thus, the "integration question" is, for Canada, essentially a question of preserving its democracy.

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What People Are Saying

Thomas Keating
John McDougall has provided a masterful account of the bilateral relationship. Combining history with current events, theory with everyday experiences, McDougall sketches the economic forces, policies, and practices that have brought the two nations ever closer to political integration. Driven by Canadians' economic needs and the harsh reality of the persisting security concerns of American officials, the two countries are, in McDougall's view, destined to drift together. McDougall takes the reader through the different economic practices of the United States and Canada and the interests and circumstances that brought them to a free trade agreement in 1989. Yet McDougall is most effective in demonstrating the non-economic effects of these economic measures and the profound challenges they present to Canadian sovereignty and Canadian values. While McDougall acknowledges that this might very well be part of a global phenomenon that challenges many nation-states, the future of Canadian sovereignty hangs in the balance. At a time when Canadians are worried about both maintaining good relations with the United States and preserving what's left of Canadian sovereignty, McDougall has provided an essential guide as to how Canadians got here and what their prospects are for surviving intact. This is one of the best accounts of Canadian-American relations to appear in many, many years.
Gilbert R. Winham
Stating that Canadians face an "autonomy/prosperity trade-off" in their relations with the United States, McDougall has focused on one of the enduring truths and dilemmas of Canada's national existence. In a wide-ranging analysis, Drifting Together masterfully provides the tools needed to understand Canadian political economy in a post-9/11 world.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781551117805
  • Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Higher Education Division
  • Publication date: 5/10/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 363
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

John McDougall is Professor of Political Science at the University of Western Ontario. He is the author of The Politics and Economics of Eric Kierans: A Man for All Canadas(McGill-Queen's, 1993), which was nominated for the Governor General's Literary Award.

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Table of Contents


List of Abbreviations


  1. The Analysis of Canada-US Integration: Theory, Key Concepts, and Scope
  2. Canada-US Relations at the Turn of the Century
  3. The Evolution of the North American Economy I: The US
  4. The Evolution of the North American Economy II: Canada
  5. The Origins and Nature of North American Free Trade Agreements
  6. Political Integration in Europe and North America
  7. North American Regionalism
  8. North American Integration and Canadian Culture
  9. Free Trade Agreements and Canadian Social Policies, Attitudes, and Values
  10. Canada-US Relations in the Twenty-first Century: The Emergence of North American Politics

Conclusion: Does Canada Still Make Sense?



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