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International Affairs Building, Room 802
In line with the University Seminar on Latin America’s current emphasis on new theoretical and empirical approaches to understanding the Americas, Dr. Robert A. Pastor will discuss the ideas put forth in his new book The North American Idea: A Vision of a Continental Future(Oxford University Press, 2011). In it, Dr. Pastor argues that to compete against an increasingly more economically powerful Asia and a united Europe, the United States needs to find a more effective form of collaboration with its two largest trading partners--Mexico and Canada. The paramount challenge for North America is to bridge the income gap between Mexico and its two northern neighbors. A second challenge is to define a new approach to transnational issues—domestic issues that can’t be managed or solved without new regional institutions. To accomplish this requires that the three governments construct a North American Community that would be different from Europe’s and would be competitive, secure, and progressive in addressing a comprehensive agenda for the region and all three countries. This requires a paradigm shift in the way the three countries think and deal with each other and overlapping problems. That means integrating the “North American Idea” into the consciousness of the citizens of all three countries.
Dr. Robert A. Pastor is Professor and Director of the Center for North American Studies at American University in Washington, DC. He was National Security Adviser for Latin America during the Carter administration and a consultant to the State and Defense Departments during the Clinton administration. Dr. Pastor founded and directed the programs on Latin America and democracy at The Carter Center from 1985-98 and was a Professor at Emory University and a Fulbright Professor at El Colegio de Mexico. He received his doctorate in Government from Harvard University and is author and editor of 17 books.