Chaire de recherche du Canada en économie politique internationale et comparée (CRÉPIC)
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Subventions et projets de recherche
2012-2013 Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Québec Studies

Research project : Bilateral relations between Québec and the US: the perception of the “attentive public”.
Québec is part of a small select group of very active non-sovereign federated states in international relations. In 2011, Québec’s Ministère des Relations internationales (MRI) had a budget of C$ 124 million and employed 549 civil servants, with some 259 posted abroad. An accurate count would also include employees of other ministries who work on such international matters as economic affairs (promoting exports, attracting foreign investment, addressing free trade issues), border security (growing in importance since September 11, 2001), immigration policy, environmental issues, education, and culture. MRI estimates total Québec government expenditures on international affairs at $350 million. This is the highest figure of any federated state in the world.

It comes as no surprise that the United States, by far Canada’s biggest trading partner, is now the primary focus of Québec paradiplomacy. Québec maintains one “Délégation générale” in New York, four “Délégations” in Boston, Atlanta, Chicago and Los Angeles and one “bureau” or office in Washington. In 2000, for the first time since the 1960s, the overall budget from the MRI dedicated to international activities in the United States has outgrown the budget directed toward France.

Given the phenomenal growth of trade with the United States since the 1990s, Québec’s prosperity has come to depend on access to the American market. Since 2010, the Québec government’s US strategy is aimed at the ongoing enhancement of Québec’s position as a leading partner of the United States. It was accompanied by a “2010-2013 Action plan” that includes multiple measures. Since then Québec’s strategies south of the border focuses on five big issues: 1) economy, 2) energy, 3) environment, 4) Identity and culture and 5) security (MRI, 2010, 2010a, 2010 b).

Research Question
The question that will be addressed by this research is: What is the perception of Québec among the “attentive public” in the United States? Does the “attentive public”, those people who are interested in Québec-US relations within the American society, have a positive or a negative opinion of Québec? This research will be conducted around five major issues for Québec: 1) economy, 2) energy, 3) environment 4) identity and culture and 5) security.

The reason why this research needs to be done is that while we have a lot of information about the international strategies of the government of Québec, we have much less information about, and feedback from, the numerous targets of these international strategies. The goal of this research is to develop a qualitative study of the image of Québec within the “attentive public” who are interested in questions related to Québec (for example, the Plan Nord, Hydro-Québec in the US, security issues after 9/11…) and transborder issues. This research will allow us to know, in international relations terms, if Québec has soft power or not in the US.


2010-2012 Subvention du Secrétariat aux affaires intergouvernementales canadiennes pour une recherche portant sur la place du Québec dans les négociations de l’accord de libre-échange entre le Canada et l’Union européenne.

Les relations intergouvernementales canadiennes et les traités de libre-échange : le rôle des provinces canadiennes dans les négociations de l’accord de libre-échange entre le Canada et l’Union européenne.

La recherche proposée s’inscrit dans un programme de recherche sur le fédéralisme, les relations intergouvernementales canadiennes et les traités internationaux. En fait, la question de la place des provinces canadiennes dans les négociations commerciales du Canada renvoie à la question fondatrice de la science politique contemporaine : qui gouverne ? Comment sont prises et mises en œuvre les décisions en matière de politique étrangère lorsque les champs de compétence des provinces sont concernés? Quel est le rôle du Québec et des autres provinces canadiennes dans la conclusion (négociation, signature et ratification) et la mise en œuvre (application) de traités internationaux lorsque ceux-ci touchent leurs champs de compétence particuliers?

L’objectif général de cette recherche est de faire la lumière sur le rôle des provinces canadiennes dans les négociations de l’Accord économique et commercial global entre le Canada et l’Union européenne. Son objectif plus particulier est de comprendre et d’évaluer le rôle des provinces pendant le déroulement de ces négociations.

L’originalité de cette recherche, unique au Canada, repose sur le fait que son auteur a conclu une entente de collaboration avec le ministre du Développement économique, de l’Innovation et de l’Exportation, représenté par la sous-ministre, Christyne Tremblay, au nom du gouvernement du Québec. Cette entente, qui a été avalisée par le négociateur en chef, Pierre Marc Johnson, et le premier ministre, Jean Charest, lui donne un accès privilégié à des documents confidentiels, mais aussi à l’équipe de négociateurs du gouvernement du Québec pendant toute la durée des négociations. L’auteur sera ainsi à même d’observer la dynamique intergouvernementale canadienne pendant les négociations comme telles. Une recherche de ce type est inédite dans l’histoire des relations intergouvernementales et du fédéralisme canadien.


2009-2012 Équipe de recherche PIERAN (Programa Interinstitucional de Estudios sobre la Region de Américana del Norte) sur le fédéralisme et l’intégration nord-américaine.

In the last years, the presence of the local governments in international issues has greatly increased. In North America, these actors have been developing an intense international activity since late XX century and early XXI. In general, local governments, in a municipal and state level, strive to position themselves in the international game in order to drive the development of their communities.

The increase in external activities from these actors is caused by both internal and external factors. From a systemic perspective, a greater economic independence and a growing globalization have encouraged the sub national governments to insert themselves in the international dynamics. In the state level, the processes of democratization and decentralization, as well as the economic liberalization and the increase in the migratory flows, have provided the local governments with a greater discretion to participate in international issues.

In this context, this project seeks to analyze, from a compared perspective, the international relations of the sub national governments in Mexico, Canada, and the United States after the signing of the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The research questions that will guide the project will be: Has the NAFTA been a relevant factor in the increase of international activity in the local governments of North America? Has this activity become an engine for greatest region integration?