The Politics of Linkage

Power, Interdependence, and Ideas in Canada-US Relations

By (author) Brian Bow
Categories: Political Science
Publisher: UBC Press
Paperback : 9780774816960, 232 pages, April 2010

Table of contents



1 The Social Foundations of the Special Relationship

2 Power, Interdependence, and Ideas

3 Nuclear Weapons, 1959-63

4 Arctic Waters, 1969-71

5 Oil and Gas, 1980-83

6 War in Iraq, 2001-4

7 Diplomatic Culture: Exceptions, Rules, and Exceptions to the Rule




This book cuts through the rhetoric that clouds debates about Canada’s “special” relationship with the United States.


Do Canada and the United States share a special relationship, or is this just a face-saving myth, masking dependency and domination? The Politics of Linkage cuts through the rhetoric that clouds this debate by offering detailed accounts of four major bilateral disputes. It shows that the United States has not made coercive linkages between issues. In the early Cold War years, the exercise of American power over Canada was held in check by a genuinely special diplomatic culture but since then has been held back only by interest groups and institutions. This revisionist account of Canada-US relations is essential reading for anyone interested in Canadian politics, American foreign policy, or international diplomacy.


Bow makes [it] clear, the conditions that made that golden age possible are gone for good.

- Robert Teigrob, Ryerson University

The judges in the 2010 Donner Prize competition for the best book on Canadian public policy made no mistake to choose Brian Bow’s Politics of Linkage. Bow has crafted a splendid exploration of the past six decades of the United States-Canada relationship that must be ranked among the most profound on the subject.

- John Herd Thompson