A Harvard-based research group recently received a $200,000 grant from the government of Quebec to support research on Canadian-U.S. relations. The five-year grant will also fund a fellowship for research on Quebec and enable academics from the province to participate in seminars sponsored by the research group.
The group, the University Consortium for Research on North America, consists of professors and graduate students from Harvard. Brandeis, and Tufts' Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and operates out of Harvard's Center for International Affairs (CFIA).
Under the grant, eight scholars from the United States and Canada will compare the federal systems of the two countries and explore how each has solved problems such as health care, gun control, transportation and the stagnating automobile industry.
"We're not just using this grant to peek in on Canada." Eliot J. Feldman, a professor at Brandeis and director of the consortium, said yesterday. "It's our intent to establish an American-based expertise in this area," he added.
Canada Taken For Granted
Feldman said he thought Americans often take Canada for granted. But he added that Canada's combination of the American federal system and the European parliamentary model makes it a valuable standard of comparison. "We must ask ourselves why Canada had only 52 homicides last year or why their system of socialized health care is working so well," Feldman said.
"Canada has largely been ignored by Americans in the past," said Samuel P. Huntington, Thomson Professor of Government and director of the CFIA. "That's one of the reasons we got the consortium together," he added.
The consortium has developed into the leading center in the United States for research on Canada, Huntington said, adding that its location in Cambridge will help foster relations between Quebec and New England.
In addition to providing the grant. Quebec last month named Widener Library as the sole depository in the United States of Quebec government documents.
The Quebec grant is the largest single award to be conferred upon the consortium, which was founded in 1979 by a grant from the Mellon Foundation