Iván Farías Pelcastre

The institutionalization of regional integration in North America

Supervisors: Luis Cabrera and David Bailey

My research is centred on the analysis of regional integration in North America. In my thesis, I aim to determine whether social, political and economic developments in the region give proof of the emergence of a transnational political arena between Canada, Mexico and the United States.

I claim that current analyses of regional integration in North America are based on the assumption that the process is limited to an intergovernmental arrangement construed upon the convergence of national interests over market integration. However, I claim that, despite the absence of supranational bodies, North American regional politics reflect the emergence of a “site of collective governance” which most of studies have failed to acknowledge. The emergence of this site of collective governance would have provided the arena through which common policies have started to emerge inexplicitly but noticeably between the three North American countries.

I propose that a clearer understanding of this integration process requires the re-examination of current theoretical approaches to regional integration, specifically Liberal Intergovernmentalism and Supranational Governance.

I expect that my research will enable other scholars to assess how institutional change occurs amidst regional integration processes, thus contributing to the reassessment of current theoretical approaches to regional integration in Europe, North America and elsewhere.


I am a third-year PhD student at the Department of Political Science and International Studies. I am funded by the National Council on Science and Technology (CONACyT), Mexico and the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom.


  • 2009 – To present Ph.D., Political Science and International Studies
    University of Birmingham, United Kingdom
  • 2007 – 2008 M.Sc., Urban and Regional Studies
    University of Birmingham, United Kingdom
  • 2002 – 2007 B.A., International Relations
    Tecnológico de Monterrey, Campus Estado de México, Mexico

Research interests

  • Regional Integration Theory
  • European Integration
  • North American Politics and Relations (U.S., Canada and Mexico)
  • International Political Economy
  • International Security (Borders and Migration) 

Professional memberships

  • American Political Political Science Association (APSA)
  • British International Studies Association (BISA)
  • International Association for Political Science Students (IAPSS)
  • International Studies Association (ISA)
  • Political Studies Association (PSA)

Teaching responsibilities

  • POLS 214 International Relations Theory
  • POLS 105 Introduction to International Relations

Conference papers

Bringing Transnational Actors Back into the Integration Picture. II Annual Graduate Student Conference in International Relations. Boston University, Boston, United States, February 2012

Challenges and Opportunities for Cross Border Cooperation in North America. LXXII Annual Conference of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA). Baltimore, United States, March 2011 (Co-authored paper)

A Common Policy Space on Environmental Protection in North America. II Graduate Network Conference of the Political Studies Association (PGN-PSA). University of Oxford, United Kingdom, December 2010

Still Open for Business: North American Economic Integration after 9/11. X Millennium Conference of the Comparative Interdisciplinary Studies Section of the International Studies Association (CISS-ISA). Venice, Italy, July 2010


Farías Pelcastre, I. (2011). Mexico, Singapore and the Food Crisis in the Horn of Africa. Región MX. Year 2 (18), 16-17.


Email: IXF773@bham.ac.uk

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