New PDF release: Contentious Politics in North America: National Protest and

By Jeffrey Ayres, Laura MacDonald

ISBN-10: 023022427X

ISBN-13: 9780230224278

This can be the one booklet of its sort dedicated to exploring contentious politics from a North American standpoint together with protests, social pursuits, transnational competition, and emergent neighborhood governance approaches among Canadian, U.S. and Mexican country and civil society actors.

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Extra resources for Contentious Politics in North America: National Protest and Transnational Collaboration under Continental Integration (International Political Economy)

Example text

0 in March 2003. Neoliberals in Canada, like those elsewhere, targeted Crown corporations and state regulatory activity (Laux 1991: 289–291). Governments privatized a significant range of Crown corporations. Under the Mulroney governments, and their successor Liberal governments in the 1990s, incrementalism and ‘stealth’ produced fundamental change in the social policy area. Common techniques included transforming universal into selective programs, tightening eligibility requirements and imposition of ceilings on program costs (see McBride 2005).

Thus, government restrictions on freedom of trade and investment are a major target of neoliberals. In the late twentieth century, a plethora of international trade and investment agreements were signed, all underpinned by liberal trade theory, itself rooted in Ricardo’s theory of comparative advantage. Comparative advantage provides the rationale for viewing free trade as a welfareenhancing, positive-sum situation from which all participating states benefit. 3 Skepticism is partly based on the belief that the assumptions underlying comparative advantage may not hold in real-world situations (Urmetzer 2003: 65–73), and result, instead, in growing inequality between states and classes.

However, the much more sparse institutional structure established by the NAFTA agreement, in contrast with the wide range of institutions established in the EU, presents a very different political opportunity structure. In our view, the failure of policy makers to attempt to build bridges with civil society opponents of free trade has created a deeply polarized political environment that limits potential for constructive discussion about the future of North America. This book will help researchers, policy makers and activists develop a better understanding of the perspectives, goals and initiatives of civil society actors in their efforts to contest the still exclusionary mechanisms of governance across North America.

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Contentious Politics in North America: National Protest and Transnational Collaboration under Continental Integration (International Political Economy) by Jeffrey Ayres, Laura MacDonald


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