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The Canada-U.S. Border After September 11th: The Politics of Risk Constructed

Heather Nicol


Many significant changes have occurred in North American security and border management since September 11, 2001. There has been much speculation about how Canada-U.S. relations will change, as well as the broader issue of what this means for North American regionalism economic integration and transnationalism. This chapter suggests that if we are to find the answers to these questions, we need to appreciate the context in which security, border management and transnational cooperation has evolved in North America in recent times. We also need to appreciate that the final outcome will not be solely the result of U.S. decisionmaking, but will involve negotiating consensus and cooperation with its neighbors in order to manage the risks posed by closed or open borders. The way in which security risk is constructued, politicized and publicly discussed in instrumental in maintaining the border and in setting the tone for border management. So also are issues such as technological application, identity politics and historical nationalisms, institutional capacity for transnationalism.

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