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Law and Public Policy

D10(b) - Roundtable: Social Policy Change in Canada, Mexico, and the United States

Date: Jun 5 | Time: 10:30am to 12:00pm | Location: SWING 310

Chair/Président/Présidente : Tracy Fenwick (Australia National University)

Rianne Mahon (Balsillie School of International Affairs)
R. Kent Weaver (Georgetown University)
Anahely Medrano (Centro de Investigación en Ciencias de Información Geoespacial)
Daniel Béland (McGill University)

Abstract: Since the beginning of the Trump presidency, much has been written about the future of NAFTA and, more generally, the future of the relations among Canada, Mexico and the United States. Combining an in-depth look at each country with a comparative perspective and direct attention to transnational issues such as immigration and trade, this roundtable seeks to improve our understanding of, and stimulate debate about, the future of social policy in North America. Questions raised include: 1) How can we characterize recent social policy changes in Canada, Mexico and the United States? Are the main changes about retrenchment, expansion, or a mix of both? What political factors have driven these changes? 2) How do patterns of social policy reform in the three countries under consideration compare? What are the main differences and similarities between these patterns? 3) Finally, how do transnational processes such as immigration and trade involving these three countries intersect with national and sub-national policy debates in each country? This roundtable will take the form of short, 10-minute presentations by each of the panelist, followed by a discussion among the panelists and the other people in attendance. Rianne Mahon will talk primarily about Canada, Kent Weaver about the US, and Anahely Medrano about Mexico, before Daniel Béland brings the comparative and transnational perspective to the fore. The objective is not to fully answer all the above questions but to find better ways to think about them to foster better comparative social policy research in North America.