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Political Science General

So Near Yet So Far

The Public and Hidden Worlds of Canada–US Relations

by (author) Geoffrey Hale

UBC Press
Initial publish date
Jun 2012
General, General, Diplomacy
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2012
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2012
    List Price

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So Near Yet So Far provides an in-depth look at the multiple dimensions of Canada–US relations, particularly since 9/11. Based on almost 200 interviews with policy makers, opinion-shapers, and interest group leaders in both countries, this book considers the interaction of domestic and cross-border politics at several levels, including political-strategic, trade-commercial, cultural-psychological, and institutional-procedural. It will appeal to practitioners, scholars, and citizens of both countries who want a better understanding of how the Canada–US relationship works – and can be made to work more effectively. Balanced and fair, it gets to the core issues without distorting perspectives on either side of the border.

About the author

Geoffrey Hale is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Lethbridge. As an academic but also as a civil servant and business association representative, he has spent much of the past twenty years dealing with tax and budgetary systems and their impact on various aspects of Canada's economy and society.

Geoffrey Hale's profile page


  • Commended, The Hill Times List of Top 100 Best Books for 2012

Editorial Reviews

Hale has…composed a thorough assessment of what he calls: “the three dimensions of Canada–U.S. Relations”; the political and procedural elements of the relationship; and a detailed examination of four policy fields. Highly recommended.

Inside Queen’s Park Newsletter, For Your Bookshelf

His research is comprehensive and his understanding of both countries impressive, his drafting crystalline and at times engagingly witty…he addresses with great sophistication, and amusingly, the political-strategic, trade-commercial and the psychological cultural dimensions of a relationship that has always risked inspiring fear and loathing in Canada and indifference and neglect in the United States…he is excellent on the challenges Canada faces in engaging key U.S. actors, including the administration of the day and Congress, and the instruments Canada has developed to promote its interests in the United States…Hale’s is a “must read” for any new provincial premier in Canada (and relevant political and bureaucratic colleagues).

Literary Review of Canada

Hale’s book is a useful commentary on the history of the bilateral relationship, and an often insightful analysis of recent and current issues…overall, an informative study of an important relationship.

Choice, Vol 50, No 6

Geoffrey Hale’s So Near Yet So Far offers an original look at the public and behind-the-scenes work of Canada-US relations, but it’s probably not a pool-side read for a holiday vacation. Hale’s informative work reads more like a textbook, suited for the trade, foreign policy, and energy and resource buffs…[it] is a thoughtfully-organized read, using short chapters, concise lists and tightly-written conclusions to drive Hale’s points home.


So Near Yet So Far invites readers to rethink our relationship with an open mind, stripped of smugness or “ideological agendas.”

Blacklock's Reporter

Other titles by Geoffrey Hale