Laura Spitz


Given its potential significance for democracy, sovereignty, government, governance, and justice in each of Canada, the United States, and Mexico, North American integration qua integration has thus far received surprisingly little attention from legal scholars and social scientists. While an expanding body of research explores the dynamics of continental integration in other contexts (especially Europe) and/or examines the meaning of globalization, regionalism, and multilateral internationalism in a general sense, the specific constitution of an integrated North American space remains largely undertheorized. This Article aims to advance the literature in this area by examining legal discourse as an example of the integrative processes by which North America is constructed as a region. Specifically, it examines a series of proceedings arising from a challenge by the United Parcel Service of America Inc. ("UPS') to Canadian policies and practices in the non-monopoly courier market under the North American Free Trade Agreement ("NAFTA'). While explicitly invoking the terms and conditions of NAFTA, UPS's claims call into question the ground upon which NAFTA may be said to operate: namely, an ideational, juridical, and physical space called 'North America.' The author argues that these proceedings recognize and form part of something we might call integration discourse, installing or (re)inscribing integration as part of a conceptual or ontological framework that plots particular notions of nationalism, regionalism, and globalization in relation to one another; naturalizes a nascent body of integration law that connects and defines national, regional, and global identities; and authorizes specific actors, positions, and foundational concepts that serve, in part, to constitute North America as a distinct- and distinctly integrated-region