Cross border cooperation (CBC) and integration can contribute to the socio-economic development of states since they allow for international collaboration through the removal of some of the restrictions or barriers that arise from the existence of national borders. Recent academic studies on borders explain that borders have become principal zones of state transformation central to the social and economic growth and development of states and their local and regional communities. It is therefore necessary to understand and examine the factors that contribute to and shape cross-border relations and interactions. These factors can either support or negatively influence cross- border activities and cooperation levels. This, consequentially, impacts the socio-economic growth and development of cross-border regions and their respective states.
This paper examines five factors that shape and influence CBC in North America: border types, political institutions, educational institutions, border security, and social capital and inclusion. The paper studies the importance of these five factors to cross-border relations and how they influence the cooperation of North American cross-border regions. By analyzing and comparing the presence and similarities of these factors, the paper highlights the degree to which they impact the creation and functioning of cross-border interactions in two Canada-United States border regions. This will not only aid in showing how important the five forces are in shaping cooperation between border regions but will also explain why certain cross-border regions experience higher CBC levels compared to others.
Dr. John Sutcliffe
Dr. Stephen Brooks
Master of Arts