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NAFTA and Cross-Border Relations in Niagara, Detroit, and Vancouver

Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly


This paper addresses two questions. First, does free trade, and particularly economic integration, lead to a process of functional interdependency and to cross-border linkages in North America? Second, do politics and institutions mediate this process? Specifically, how does the intergovernmental network linking local, regional, provincial/state, and federal institutions mediate this process and impact local level initiatives?
To investigate these questions, this work focuses on cross-border relations in three metropolitan border areas: the Canadian-American border regions of Niagara-Niagara, Windsor-Detroit, and Vancouver-Seattle. This study takes a Canadian perspective and thus primarily focuses on Canada, Ontario, and British Columbia, and on Niagara, Windsor, and Vancouver and their border regions. The findings presented in this paper suggest that economic integration may lead to cross-border institution building when borderland communities also share the same value system.

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