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Using same-sex marriage as a presently salient site of cultural struggle, this article asks whether the U.S. can expect economic integration with Canada-on the scale envisioned by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)-without feeling the influence of Canadian culture. The author comes at this question from the United States side because, while much has been written from Canadian points of view as to whether it is possible to protect and maintain national differences in the face of economic integration with the United States, very little has been written about whether economic globalization in North America could mean that Canadian cultural norms will make their way, in some version or another, to U.S. soil. The author argues that recent legal, economic, social, and technological developments make it increasingly unlikely that the United States can continue to reject same-sex marriage (with very few exceptions) when Canada has already endorsed it. The article suggests that NAFTA is, in fact, an integrationist project, and concludes that the U.S. will not be able to maintain its historic stance of political and cultural isolation - at least vis-ei-vis Canada - in the face of economic globalization. This leads the author to ask whether international and comparative legal methods are able to account for norm harmonization and emerging relationships under regional trade agreements. The author suggests that the answer is "not entirely. "Transnational economic integration may require a shift in the way we think about transnational relationships, economic globalization and the "nation-state." In the end, the author argues for a transnationalization of methods to better understand these concepts and phenomena.

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UCLA Journal of Internal Law



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