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Chapter 5 On Hemispheric Governance "We kick against the pricks of our necessity. Yet, strangely, we are in love with this necessity. Our natural mode is therefore not compromise but 'irony', the inescapable response to the presence and pressures ofopposites in tension" Malcolm Ross (1954) Introduction Canadians have a distorted view of the world system and their own place in it. This is inherited both from the post-World War II experience, when Canada stood tall among nations because of the fact that somany of them had been badly damaged during the 1939-45 war period, and from the activist Pearson era, when Canada played a leadership role in world affairs. One can get a visual sense of this aggrandized self-portraitin the maps of the world as presented inAir Canada in-flight magazines. In these maps, Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouverare nodes toward which every portion of the world appears to converge. A less parochial perspective would reveal that Canada, as a middle-power country, is a relatively minor actor on the world scene, and that it is increasingly losing power to transnational institutions. Canada still represents a small if not insignificant portion of world production and trade. But over the past 40 years, the relative importance both of Canada's government and of its banks has declined considerably on the world scene. Canada has had to make a number of adjustments to external constraints. Consequently, Canada has had to increase its capacity to adapt to external exigencies. Therefore, a keener appreciation of the causal texture of Canada's 85 The New Gee-Governance environment has become quite crucial, if one is to venture a diagnosis about the prospects for the country in the next century. Indeed, the sort of effective governance likely to evolve in Canada will be dictated to a large extent by this context. In this chapter, there will be no attempt to reconstruct the entire web of connections linking Canada to every other actor on the world scene. Rather, the focus will be on Canada's hemispheric circumstances. The rationale for this choice is that Canada is embedded in the Americas. The geopolitical context of the country is obviously broader than Pan-America. Canada is a member of many international clubs (OECD, G-7, the Commonwealth, la Francophonie, etc.); it is linked historically, culturally, and politically to European powers; it is connected through immigration and increasing trade flows with Asia; and it is having some impact onAfrica through its aid programmes. But mostly, Canada's reality is dominated by its embeddedness in the Americas. This makes the hemispheric governance system amatter of crucial interest for Canadians, for the governance regime that is likely to evolve in the Americas will not only be an important echo chamber through which global forces will reach Canada, but also an instrument through which Canada may be able to participate actively in global governance issues, and to exercise more influence over its circumstances in the next century. The first two sections ofthe chapterbriefly sketch Canada's position within the six Americas, and examine the hemispheric dynamics as they unfold. The next two sections review some ofthe challenges and choices generated by hemispheric governance issues, outline the most likely scenario, "a distributed governance scenario through flexible regimes for the Americas", examine the impact of this prospective scenario on Canadian governance, and the action agenda it calls for. The conclusion underlines the reasons why the process of emerging hemispheric governance is bound to be slow, and requires considerable creative politics. Canada and the six Americas Canada is nested in abroad ensemblethat is usuallypartitioned into threeportions (North America, Central America and the Caribbean, and South America). But this is an ensemble of some forty countries which canbe partitioned more usefully from our point of view into six families: 1. North America: Canada, United States of America, Mexico; 2. the Caribbean: Jamaica, Trinidad andTobago, Barbados, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Guyana, Suriname, French Guyana, Antigua andBarbuda,theBahamas,Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Christopher-Nieves, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines; 86 On Hemispheric Governance 3. Central America: El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua; 4.Andean community: Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile; 5. Mercosur: Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay; and 6. Cuba Figure 6: a snapshot of the southern portion of the Americas UNITED STATES Source: RSC 2000. 87 The New Geo-Governance These countries have evolved a variety of integrative arrangements over the past 40 years:the Canada-USAFree TradeArea (FTA),the NorthAmerican Free...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780776617176
Related ISBN
9780776605944
MARC Record
OCLC
243584697
Pages
300
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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