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private-public sector entities to advance an agenda of initiatives designed to foster a closer and more extensive cooperation between North America and the EU and, indeed, among all four of the geographic areas surrounding the Atlantic Ocean - that is to say, the Atlantic Rim.

3.The Atlantic Rim as a Concept.

Until the First International Congress of the Atlantic Rim in Boston, in 1994, the Atlantic Rim did not exist as a concept.  As has been shown in the previous section of the paper, all reference to Atlantic interaction prior to the 1990's was limited to the relationship between North America and Europe. North-South relations had the character of formal or informal colonial dominance and subordinacy that to many participants and observers were exploitative in nature and not something to celebrate or to which they wanted to give institutional structure and permanence.

The adoption of democratic political processes and market-based economic decision-making throughout the Western Hemisphere has made Latin America attractive to both North America and Western Europe. The promise of such developments in the near future in several key countries in Africa suggests a potential for that continent which has never before been there.  International relationships that are based on democracy and markets, rather than central direction and control, are far more likely to be relationships among partners that are, at least in a formal sense, relationships of equals rather than of domination.  Each stage in the evolution of relations among nations calls for its own conceptualization and structures; hence, the appropriateness and relevance of the Atlantic Rim notion as we move from the 20th century to the 21st.  Figure I identifies the geographic entities that comprise the Atlantic Rim area.  The emphasis in entirely on relationships that are in essence pan-Atlanticxii in nature, hence relations among the United States, Canada and Mexico, and between the European Union and non-EU Europe are excluded. In Figure II are presented the six regional relationships that will be the subject of Atlantic Rim interaction.  Canada, The United States and Mexico are clustered into North America, Central and South America are represented by Latin America, the EU is the sole actor in Western Europe and all of Africa is taken as one entity rather than as Mediterranean, Sub-Sahara, and South Africa.  In a more detailed examination of the individual relationships this aggregation could be removed.

The profound changes that have taken place during the post-WWII period have altered dramatically: 1) the nature of the relationship among the participating nations and 2) the identity and role of the participants.  The first point has already been noted, but it is of equal importance to the increasing participation in international and intercontinental relations by firms, non-govern- mental organizations, state/provincial governments, commissions and agencies with both private and public sector participation, and a variety of municipal level authorities.  If creation of the "global economy" has in part been a process in which national governments impose constraints on their ability to intervene in economic matters, it has also been a process that has given new “pan-Atlantic” seems to be far more specific.

Figure 1

Africa

US

The

Canada

Non  EU

Europe

Union

Contemporary Atlantic Rim Linkages

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