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The Canadian Foundation for the Americas (FOCAL) is no longer in operation. This website documents FOCAL's activities and accomplishments throughout its existence. Thank you for your interest in the work of FOCAL.

Policy Papers & Briefs 2003

Redefining Hemispheric Security After September 11
Juan Pablo Soriano and Donald R. Mackay
FOCAL Policy Paper
April 2003

This policy paper examines the elements of continuity and change that the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 in the United States had on the process of redefining the inter-American security architecture.The attacks have accelerated a process of re-examination that began to emerge within the inter-American system at the conclusion of what is broadly referred to as the Cold War. This serious and sustained dialogue on hemispheric security and military related issues was driven, in the main, by the Summit of the Americas process and was conducted in a manner that examines both fundamental principles of security as well as institutional responsibilities and their capabilities. In attempting to capture this process, the paper takes a look at the positions of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the United States, as the policies of these countries will have an important impact on the special conference on hemispheric security that the Organization of American States will hold in May 2003.
Response from CEPPRA to FOCAL's paper on Hemispheric Security

 

Culture and Trade in the Americas: Possible Approaches in Support of Development Objectives
Donald R. Mackay
FOCAL Policy Paper
April 2003

 

Surplus Values: The Americas at a Crossroads in the Corporate Social Responsibility Debate
Paul Alexander Haslam
FOCAL Policy Paper
April 2003

Canada and Canadian companies are widely accepted as world leaders in corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. Yet, Canadian multinational corporations (MNCs) have been in the international news recently, not for their responsible corporate practices, but for actions that have been interpreted as breaking norms of acceptable business behaviour. The apparent coexistence of business decisions having a deleterious impact on labour, the environment and local communities, together with a stated corporate commitment to social responsibility raises an important question: do corporate social responsibility policies have a demonstrable effect on business behaviour and the local impact of foreign investment? Are CSR values necessary or are they “surplus” values? By considering the political-economic context of CSR initiatives in Latin America and the Caribbean, this policy paper calls into question the appropriateness of a number of “articles of faith” of the CSR movement – including the widely held belief that CSR codes should remain voluntary – and identifies the central issue limiting the effectiveness of CSR in the hemisphere as governance. The paper concludes with recommendations for a strategy to advance the CSR debate in Latin America.

 

The Impact of Migration in the Caribbean and Central American Region
Manuel Orozco
FOCAL Policy Paper
March 2003

Central America and the Caribbean are experiencing the economic and social effects of new transnational actors, namely an emerging diaspora. These diasporas constitute important factors integrating their countries of origin in the hemisphere’s economy. This paper offers an analysis of these changes,with particular attention to the impact of migration on Central America and the Caribbean and addresses the development of migration from this region to the changes of the economies from agro-exporting to labour exporting societies. An important focus of this paper is on worker remittances as a major source of economic impact. It will also stress the importance of growing linkages beyond the family at the communal, social and political levels. The economic and business contributions of Central American and Caribbean citizens living in Canada and the United States are immense and signal a new type of relationship, not only in labour mobility, but also in trade and investment.

Also available in Spanish: Impacto de la emigración en la región del Caribe y de América Central

 

Argentina: Governance in Crisis
Paul Alexander Haslam
FOCAL Policy Paper
March 2003

Although the origins of the crisis were to be found in poor economic policy decisions that led to a chaotic devaluation, its dramatic denouement in December 2001 and subsequent development over the course of 2002 were deeply conditioned by political factors. The Argentine crisis was and remains a crisis of governance in the most profound sense. It was neither predetermined nor unpreventable. In this sense it reflected a deep failure of the political class to adequately respond to the circumstances that confronted them. This failure was itself rooted in a tangled web of economic, political and socio-cultural incentives that touched every aspect of the Argentine political and economic system. Understanding the reasons behind the Argentine debacle and why it unfolded in a sad parody of crisis over the course of most of 2002 is the purpose of this paper. The nature of the crisis requires a systemic approach to the problem and for this reason the paper will use the concept of governance to identify and examine the factors that contributed to it. This analysis then forms the basis for assessing to what extent the Argentine government has been able to master these challenges and lay the basis for self-sustaining economic and political development. It concludes with an assessment of the challenges for the future and recommendations for Canadian foreign policy towards Argentina.

 

Mexique: l'art de la négotiation politique
Jean-François Prud'homme
FOCAL Policy Paper
January 2003

 

A View of the Hemisphere

 

LBmaps1

Explore the link between governance and development.