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Cascadia: The (Re)Construction of a Bi-National Space and Its Residents

Signe Marie Cold-Ravnkilde, Jaidev Singh, Robert G. Lee


This paper aims to demonstrate how globalization and discourses on regional/national identities cannot only create cross-border/regional social spaces but also the criteria to select a transnational elite to occupy the cross-border space reified by interplay of myths and logic. Using the case of Cascadia, we observe a construction of regional social space, taking place along the Pacific Northwest border of U.S. and Canada, through the process of globalization. In this socially constructed region of Cascadia, two often-antagonistic groups are mutually benefiting from each other by creating a unique bi-national space. On one hand, the neo-liberal business community is redefining borders in terms of free trade while on the other hand the environmentalists are redefining borders in terms of eco-systems. However, to create and maintain this regional identity and redefinition of transnational space an effective transportation conduit is required. Because transnational travel requires a high level of governmentality to control the flow of goods and people, the construction of Cascadia and its concomitant transportation corridor, the groups involved simultaneously are creating an "othering" process. Hence, this reconstruction of bi-national space essentially shows how discourses on nationalism and internationalization co-exist, reinforce each other, and are often sub-processes of globalization.

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Print ISSN: 0886-5655
Online ISSN: 2159-1229