Politique comparée

B09 - Borders and Boundaries, Geography and Politics

Date: Jun 13 | Heure: 08:30am to 10:00am | Salle:

Chair/Président/Présidente : Valentin Pautonnier (Université de Montréal)

THE 49th Parallel: Balancing Cooperation With Sovereignty: Sara McGuire (Drexel University)
Abstract: The Canada-United States border is oft touted as the ‘longest undefended border’ in the world. While the neighboring states view each other as allies and participate in numerous bilateral initiatives and international alliances, there is an inherent power balance that characterizes Canada-US relations. While the two states have historically sought to work together to manage their shared interests pertaining to the 49th parallel, the power imbalance in the Canada-U.S. relationship is evident in the way in which policies hare drafted and implemented. Distinct phases in cooperation are noticeable when examining border policies. The ‘Smart Border’ phase ushered in by the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. has given way to a perimeter approach to border relations in more recent years. Canada has addressed border policies in a manner that favors collaboration with the United States on shared issues pertaining to immigration, security, and trade while, at the same time, protecting Canadian sovereignty. In recent years, the COVID 19 pandemic and differing approaches to immigration have highlighted the power imbalance between Canada and the US. While there has been policy divergence, Canada and the US have continued to demonstrate a desire for collaboration. Ultimately, the ‘special relationship’ between Canada and the US indicates a continuing desire and willingness by both states to cooperate when addressing shared border concerns.

Is the geographical divide really increasing in Western countries? A new methodology to identify and describe a differentiation phenomenon involving economics and voting: Valentin Pautonnier (Université de Montréal)
Abstract: Research in political science has been focusing on the increase of an electoral geographic divide phenomenon in the US and Western Europe in the light of a located rise of populism in the last decades. A possible explanation lies in a widening of social and economic structures between regions of a same country over time in a globalizing context creating well-integrated and left-behind areas. This draft and in-progress article aims first to record if a deepening of the geographical divide is occuring at local levels such as constituencies and counties in Germany, the UK, Denmark, France, and the USA. This mostly descriptive study innovates by using a Gini coefficient applied to parties scores separately in each region at a given election time. It ends up giving a global Electoral Gini index for the given period and the given country. A regional concentration HHI index is also used to strengthen these results. A final component analysis integrating sociodemographic data as well as voting behavior is also undertaken. This step determines if differentiation is uniform across Western countries, notably by examining if there is a similar pattern of “left behind” areas more and more different from the dynamic and more diverse ones. The preliminary results indicate a long-term increase in voting differentiation between constituencies over time since the 80's, alongside a populist and new left vote also subjected to more concentration than other parties, but without a clear recent deepening.

Peace Building in South Asia: Exploring through lenses of Structure, Culture and Rationality: Muhammad Sajid (University of the Punjab, lahore-Pakistan)
Abstract: Durable peace in South Asia is still a fantasy. This research attempts to find out causes of failure of peace building between Pakistan and India. Due to its comprehension, the concept of peace building has been used. Using paradigms of comparative politics i.e. Rationality, Structure and Culture as well as some theories of International Relations, this research aims at finding the real causes of failure of peace building attempts. Though conflict and peace is studied under the umbrella of International Relations, this research is also an attempt to explain peace building by using theories of comparative politics. It focuses on how and why individual and collective human agency and structural solutions failed in peace building in South Asia. It also explains how ethnic structure, factional politics, ideological indoctrination in politics, building of extreme nationalist narrative, territorial disputes and non-political elites posed hurdles in the way of peace process. By mapping existing literature, this research not only fills the gap by finding root causes of peace building failure but also suggests possible solutions of peace building between the two states.

Crossing Borders, Thinking Borders: Knowledge Production in and from the (Post)Colony: Tka Pinnock (York University)
Abstract: Caribbean feminist scholarship reminds us of the importance of a host of ethical concerns in conducting research in (post)colonial settings, specifically, that our research must be concerned with which lives our work construct, how we undertake that construction and for what and whose purpose (DeShong and Kempadoo, 2021). In these ways, knowledge production is an ongoing intellectual and political project for Caribbean/feminist scholars across a range of disciplines, with resonance for those who study politics. Aligned with the CPSA conference theme, drawing on my fieldnotes reflecting on participant observation and open-ended interviews with craft vendors in Jamaica, this paper offers critical commentary on ethnographic practice in postcolonial contexts and what it means for knowledge production in the discipline [of political science], particularly in the field of comparative politics where qualitative research techniques take center stage (Mahoney, 2007). Grounded in a conception of ethnography as an exploration and crossing of borders (Pachirat, 2018), I pursue the following three themes: first, the ‘ethnographic self’ as border traveller [and crosser], and its generative potential in knowledge production. As Shehata (2013) claims the researcher’s ‘ethnographic self’ is a conduit of research. Secondly, I explore the theme of conducting research in and producing knowledge about the (post)colony as a diasporic subject. Thirdly, borrowing from Mignolo’s ‘border thinking’ (2000), I delve into knowledge production from the (post)colony and its implications for disciplinary boundaries. In dialogue with broader scholarship in critical methodologies, I pursue these themes to argue that a decolonial ethnographic practice may allow political scientists deeper insight into central concepts of interest, and a rethink of the roles of power, language and ethics in qualitative research.