Author with York connections on the Donner Prize shortlist

One of three finalists for the 2006-2007 Donner Prize, the award for best book on Canadian public policy, is former York political scientist Eric Helleiner.

Left: Eric Helleiner

Helleiner’s book, Towards North American Monetary Union? The Politics and History of Canada’s Exchange Rate Regime, is one of three shortlisted books chosen from a field of 65 and announced March 29. The other two are Dreamland: How Canada’s Pretend Foreign Policy Has Undermined Sovereignty by Roy Rempel and Visiting Grandchildren: Economic Development in the Maritimes by Donald J. Savoie.

The Donner Prize was established in 1998 by the Donner Canadian Foundation to recognize and reward the best public policy thinking, writing and research in Canada.  The winner of this year’s Donner Prize will be announced at an awards ceremony in Toronto on April 25. The winner will receive $35,000, with $5,000 awarded to each of the other finalists.

In Towards North American Monetary Union?, Helleiner challenges the belief that Canada’s deepening economic integration with the United States will eventually lead to a North American monetary union. He finds little support in the US for the concessions that would be necessary to make a North American monetary union palatable in Canada. The book explores Canada’s unusually strong commitment throughout the 20th century to a floating exchange rate for its national currency – a commitment that Heilleiner argues is likely to endure.

Helleiner received his MSc and PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He taught at York in the late 1980s, joined the faculty at Trent University for four years and returned to York in 1995 as a professor of political science. In 1996, he was one of three winners of the President’s Prize for Promising Scholars at York. He left York in 1997 for the University of Waterloo, where he is CIGI Chair in International Governance in the Department of Political Science.

Helleiner’s research and teaching interests lie in the field of international political economy, which examines the relationship between global politics and global economics from many perspectives, including economic, political, geographic, sociological and historical. He is the author of several books, including States and the Re-emergence of Global Finance and The Making of National Money: Territorial Currencies in Historical Perspective.