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Catalyzed by NAFTA in the 1990’s, North America emerged as a reality before Robert Pastor articulated “The North American Idea” in his widely read book. While centered in Mexico, Canada, and the United States, however, the North American Region should ultimately reach from Colombia to the Arctic and from Bermuda to Hawaii, a much broader region that Pastor originally envisioned.

This essay is part of the series, "Strengthening North American Ties - A Must For Competitiveness," by the Wilson Center's Mexico and Canada Institutes. 

About the Author

Alan D. Bersin

Alan D. Bersin

Global Fellow;
Assistant Secretary for International Affairs and Chief Diplomatic Officer for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Policy, and Vice President of INTERPOL for the Americas Region
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Mexico Institute

The Mexico Institute seeks to improve understanding, communication, and cooperation between Mexico and the United States by promoting original research, encouraging public discussion, and proposing policy options for enhancing the bilateral relationship. A binational Advisory Board, chaired by Luis Téllez and Earl Anthony Wayne, oversees the work of the Mexico Institute.   Read more

Canada Institute

The mission of the Wilson Center's Canada Institute is to raise the level of knowledge of Canada in the United States, particularly within the Washington, DC policy community.  Research projects, initiatives, podcasts, and publications cover contemporary Canada, US-Canadian relations, North American political economy, and Canada's global role as it intersects with US national interests.  Read more