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Big Picture Realities

Canada and Mexico at the Crossroads

Daniel Drache

Publication Year: 2008

In the post-NAFTA era, Canada and Mexico face dramatic and irreversible changes from the Bush revolution in foreign public policy, the rising economic power of China and India, new concerns about border security and human rights, and the trends of economic integration. The essays in Big Picture Realities: Canada and Mexico at the Crossroads address the sea change in the political economic order of North America and chronicle the attempts of Canada and Mexico, two very different societies, to come to terms with the accumulated and often contradictory effects of micro and macro changes.

Contributors are Canadian and Mexican scholars and leading authorities in security, immigration, human rights, foreign policy, Canada-Mexico relations, and market integration. This book is particularly valuable for public policy experts and scholars and students in international relations.

Published by: Wilfrid Laurier University Press


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-viii

It was a unique event because it brought together a group of Mexican and Canadian experts to work on the big picture realities that are defining inter-state relations in North America. It is infrequent that Canada and Mexico have such an opportunity to explore the ways in which social and economic agendas are being rethought following the introduction of the ...

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Introduction: Big Picture Realities in a Post-NAFTA Era

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pp. 1-32

The attentive reader will discover that the primary concept behind this collection refers to the dramatic sea changes in the political-economic order of North America. Ideally, every government wants to manage these big picture realities rather than be managed by them. Public authority has to be focused in order not to be blind-sided. At present, leading, pace-setting institutions such as the ...

Part 1. NAFTA: A Closed Chapter or a Fresh Start?

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1. Bon Anniversaire NAFTA: The Elusive and Asymmetrical Benefits of a Decade of North American Integration

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pp. 35-54

Almost fifteen years after the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) there is no urgent need to proceed to the next stage in integration.1 Increasing trade facilitation, improving the system of trade dispute panels, and reducing the transaction costs of a security-first border remain a set of generalized concerns for all three governments. Further integration projects have ...

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2. Towards a North American Economic and Security Space

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pp. 55-70

Mexico has reached a critical juncture in its economic and security relations with the United States. As a result of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the two countries saw their trade and investment relations undergo exponential growth. 1 In 2000, trade flows reached US $263 billion, making Mexico the second most important US trading partner and ranking it among the most ...

Part 2. The Inescapable Border: Immigration Flows, Human Rights, and Political Refugees

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3. Rights at the Borders: Human Rights and Migration in the Canada-Mexico Relationship

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pp. 73-86

This chapter considers the interplay of immigration flows, human rights, and political refugees in the Canada-Mexico relationship. At stake are crucial topics with major implications for significant numbers of people, the intensity of which has been dramatically underscored by the recent heated debate in the United States over proposed immigration law reforms in that country.1 Behind these ...

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4. Human Rights and Mexican Foreign Policy

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pp. 87-104

The subject of human rights is not new in Mexican foreign policy although there is no question that its importance has significantly increased in the last five to ten years. Since the end of the Second World War, Mexican foreign policy, like that of many other countries, has faced the dilemma of supporting the principle of non-intervention or promoting the protection of human rights. In dealing ...

Part 3. The Bush Revolution in Foreign Policy: Canada and Mexico at the Crossroads

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5. The Inconsistent Neighbour: Canadian Resistance and Support for the US Foreign Policy Counter-Revolution

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pp. 107-122

While all countries have to react to American foreign policy, the United States’ two continental neighbours experience this dilemma with a particularly acute intensity. Given their near-total dependence on selling their exports to American customers and given the enormous power asymmetry between the global superpower and its geographical periphery, Canada and Mexico have encountered ...

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6. The Bush Revolution in Foreign Policy and Mexico: The Limits to Unilateralism

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pp. 123-136

The arrival of George W. Bush in the White House has produced radical changes in American foreign policy. These changes, which have been characterized by some authors as an irreversible revolution, represent a turning point for US international relations. However, this revolution is not about furthering America’s goals but, rather, about policy instruments. Furthermore, the Bush revolution in ...

Part 4. North American Security Perimeter: The Mega Agenda

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7. Smart Trumps Security: Canada’s Border Security Policy since 11 September

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pp. 139-152

In the immediate aftermath of the 11 September terrorist attacks, the concept of border security took on a new and unfamiliar meaning for Canada. Canadians were long used to the idea of a demilitarized, “undefended border” with the United States. At the same time, the need for a protected and monitored border had long been apparent when it came to issues such as transnational crime, ...

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8. Mexico and North American Security

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pp. 153-168

The profound economic and political changes that Mexico underwent during the 1980s and 1990s did not appear to have a significant effect on its foreign policy. It continued to maintain, right until the end of the last administration of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, a relatively isolationist position in international affairs that was more interested in domestic security with a focus ...

Part 5. Open Regionalism and the National Interest: New Dynamics of Divergence

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9. North American Energy Security: A Common or Divergent Future?

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pp. 171-184

Policy makers in the United States have long coveted Mexico’s oil and gas reserves. They would like a single North American market for oil and gas, with as much of the industry as possible being privately owned. Although many concerns remain the same as in the past—dealing with risk management and various uncertainties—the current strategy is based upon the assumption that ...

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10. The End of Neo-Liberal Regionalism in Mexico?

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pp. 185-202

This chapter explores the failure of neo-liberal regionalism as an experiment in the development of the last three sexenios in Mexico.1 In particular, it examines why this policy option has failed to advance conditions for an equitable, participative, and inclusive development in Mexico and explains the extent to which the policy’s discursive tenets have slowed down the substantive democratization ...

Part 6. Asian Turbo-Capitalism and the Brazilian Miracle: Winners and Losers?

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11. The Dragon in Aztec Lands

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pp. 205-218

The massive Asian presence in the American market continues to surge. Double-digit growth in Asian exports has produced an unprecedented cycle of industrial growth in Chinese industries. The liberalization of the Chinese economy in 1978 and its corresponding competitive advantages, especially in the cost of the labour force, has propelled the Chinese economy into the US market (Villafañe ...

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12. Brazil and Mexico: The Politics of Continental Drift

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pp. 219-234

Given their size and importance, Brazil and Mexico are not merely closely watched countries internationally but also key players in an inter-American system facing profound domestic and global challenges. By far the largest Latin American countries in population and economy, they are, at once, logical partners in strengthening regional growth and integration and historic rivals with ...

Part 7. Building the Canada-Mexico Relationship: Thinking Outside the Box

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13. Thinking Outside the Box in Canada-Mexico Relations: The Long Road from Convenience to Commitment

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pp. 237-250

Canadian-Mexican relations can be described as being driven by a sense of convenience as opposed to commitment. Rather than operating as “like-minded” countries, these two countries have based their interconnection on an instinctive need to find ways of balance vis-à-vis the United States (Cooper 1999). This habit—although loosening somewhat under the weight of multiple contacts—is ...

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14. The Future of Mexico-Canada Relations: Bilateral and Trilateral Solutions in North America

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pp. 251-268

The past four years have been a difficult period for the North American partnership. The stresses and tensions brought on by the new security concerns of the United States and the war on terrorism have made it nearly impossible for a common agenda to emerge that is of mutual benefit to all three partners. The enormous differences that have emerged in the worldviews of the countries of the ...

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15. Civil Society and the Bifurcated State: Mexico in the Latin American Mirror

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pp. 269-284

This chapter conceptualizes the relationship between civil society and the state in Latin America. Mexico embodies the ideal type of the patterns discussed later in this chapter, and this focus will help us understand the dynamics of the relationship between state and society in Mexico and the quality of the country’s democracy. Briefly stated, there is a long line of argument in social ...


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pp. 285-288


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pp. 289-300

E-ISBN-13: 9781554582334
Print-ISBN-13: 9781554580453
Print-ISBN-10: 1554580455

Page Count: 312
Publication Year: 2008