Sociology Index E-Books

Continental and Continentalism

Continentalism is more influential than language. Originally associated with the American vision of a ‘manifest destiny’ of the United States to occupy the whole North American continent, continentalism now refers specifically to social and economic policies that encourage and advance economic and political integration of the countries of North America.

The term continentalism is also used generally to refer to processes of economic and political integration of continental nations. The North American Free Trade Agreement is an example of continentalism at work.

Continental in US history refers to the colonies or States of America collectively, particularly at the time of the War of Independence. Continental Congress in US history refers to the three congresses held by the American colonies in revolt against British rule in 1774, 1775, and 1776 respectively. Continentalist in US history refers to an advocate of the federation of the States after the War of Independence.

The Continent is used to refer to the mainland of Europe. The adjective "continental" refers to the social practices or fashion of continental Europe, as opposed to those in Britain.

The North American Free Trade Agreement is an example of continentalism at work. In a key study of the changing framework of Ontarian political economy, Thomas Courchene and Colin Telmer argue that the transition to the more overt form of continentalism that accompanied the CU-FTA and the NAFTA served to re-orient the Ontario economy in a way that altered its position as the metropolitan core of the Canadian economy. - THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF HIGH INCOME TAXATION, Capital taxation, path dependence and political institutions in Denmark, Steffen Ganghof - Max Planck Institute.

The strategic unity of continentalism and neoliberalism lies in the mechanism that the emerging common market provides for shifting the balance of class forces in Canada to the advantage of capital. As capital circuits become more fully continental, investment will flow to the cheapest and most compliant sections of the North American workforce. - WILLIAM K. CARROLL University of Victoria.

Clarkson, Stephen - 1988 Continentalism: The conceptual challenge for Canadian social science. The John Porter Memorial Lectures 1984-1987. Montreal: Canadian Sociology and Anthropology Association.

"Britain's decision to go to war with the Central Powers in 1914 tends thus to be explained in terms of London's assessment of how the balance of power in Europe would tilt against Britain in the case of UK neutrality, while the hesitations and ambivalence about any 'continental commitment' during the interwar years are attributed to a combination of economic and military weakness, a desire to avoid a new bloody conflict, and a sense of commitment towards global and imperial interests not European ones.

Continentalism: The conceptual challenge for Canadian social science. Pp. 23-43 in The John Porter Memorial Lectures 1984-1987. Montreal: Canadian Sociology and Anthropology Association. Clarkson, Stephen - 1988.