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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Arts
August 31, 2016
Canadian Excellence


North American Integration

NO301 is open to all 3rd and 4th year Laurier students. The course can be used as a 3rd year program requirement for students pursuing a joint-major honours program in North American Studies (Canadian and American Studies stream students) and can also be used to fill a requirement for the North American Studies minor.

In 2012/13, the course is offered in the winter term. The course is taught by Dr. Debora VanNijnatten

(Cross-listed as PO301).

Course Overview

After the North American Free Trade Agreement came into being in 1993, politicians, analysts and journalists assumed that the three countries of North America - Canada, the United States and Mexico - would develop ever closer ties. The dominant vision at the time was one where North America as an emerging "region" would rival the European Union on the global economic and political stage. However, 19 years later, although one might argue that there are more and varied interactions across borders on the continent, North America does not appear to have become an integrated region in the way that so many expected.

This course approaches 'North American integration' as a phenomenon which merits closer, empirical scrutiny. In order to frame our discussion, our first task will be to engage in some discussion of what the term "North American integration" actually means. What, if anything, is integrating? What are the drivers of integration, i.e. are they only economic, or are there political, cultural and other forces at work? How might these various forces interact? Do we see signs of integration from the top-down or from the bottom- up? What is the scholarly consensus with regards to the current and projected pace of integration in North America (to the extent there is consensus)? Finally, what are the perspectives of various policy actors with respect to "the integration project"?

Course Syllabus

The current course syllabus, as well as course syllabi from previous years, are posted as they are available on the Course Outlines page of the program website.