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New book on Canada-U.S. relations by UW alum

November 26, 2019

Discourse of Reciprocity: The Role of the Press in the U.S.-Canada Alliance, by Dr. Kate Dunsmore (PhD 2008), was just released by Rowman & Littlefield Press. The book draws on Dunmore’s award-winning dissertation on Canada-U.S. relations.

Discourse of Reciprocity reveals patterns of press behavior in the U.S.-Canada alliance at points where the nature of the alliance itself was under stress. Drawing on journalism studies, discourse analysis, political communication, and international relations, the book explores examples of international policymaking in national security, agriculture, and energy issues. Drawing on coverage in The New York Times and The Globe and Mail, the book articulates concepts of news as providing positive symbolic presence, exhibiting forbearance, and exhibiting cooperation. This trio of press behaviors—evident in the structure of the news coverage itself—matches the definition of reciprocity used in fields such as international relations and game theory” (from the Rowman & Littlefield website).

The book analyzes New York Times and Globe and Mail coverage of five policy conflicts between 1980 and 2017. The five cases include the Keystone pipeline proposal; the discovery of mad cow disease in North America; and the Liberal and Conservative governments in Canada and Republican and Democratic administrations in the United States. This binational study sheds light on an understudied dynamic contributing to the reciprocity that sustains the U.S.-Canada alliance. The book adds to the relatively limited literature on news coverage of alliances.

Dr. Kate Dunsmore is associate professor of Communication Studies at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Florham Campus. She is also director of the MA in Communication program. Her book Discourse of Reciprocity: The Role of the Press in the U.S.-Canada Alliance draws from her dissertation, which was recognized with the 2009 Distinguished Dissertation Award from the Association for Canadian Studies in the United States.

As a doctoral student, Dr. Dunsmore was a research assistant for the Canadian Studies Center, working on events, the website and other communications. She also provided administrative support to the Pacific Northwest Canadian Studies Consortium. Dunmore completed her dissertation, Mediating Alliance: The Role of the Press in Sustaining Reciprocity in the U.S-Canada Relationship, in 2008,   earning a doctorate from the Department of Communication. Dr. Nancy K. Rivenburgh served as chair.

Dr. Dunsmore was a CONNECT Fellow in 2011. She is currently researching the life of Anthony Henry, an influential printer in 18th-century Nova Scotia.