Andrés Malamud a & Gian Luca Gardini b a Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lisbon. Available online: 04 Apr PDF

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This article was downloaded by: [b-on: Biblioteca do conhecimento online UL] On: 04 April 2012, At: 09:56 Publisher: Routledge Informa Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: Registered office: Mortimer House, Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK The International Spectator: Italian Journal of International Affairs Publication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information: Has Regionalism Peaked? The Latin American Quagmire and its Lessons Andrés Malamud a & Gian Luca Gardini b a Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lisbon b University of Bath Available online: 04 Apr 2012 To cite this article: Andrés Malamud & Gian Luca Gardini (2012): Has Regionalism Peaked? The Latin American Quagmire and its Lessons, The International Spectator: Italian Journal of International Affairs, 47:1, To link to this article: PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE Full terms and conditions of use: This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Any substantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing, systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden. The publisher does not give any warranty express or implied or make any representation that the contents will be complete or accurate or up to date. The accuracy of any instructions, formulae, and drug doses should be independently verified with primary sources. The publisher shall not be liable for any loss, actions, claims, proceedings, demand, or costs or damages whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with or arising out of the use of this material. Has Regionalism Peaked? The Latin American Quagmire and its Lessons Andrés Malamud and Gian Luca Gardini Since 1960, Latin American attempts at regionalism have undergone distinct phases. More notably, they have tended to diverge across space, gradually giving birth to separate blocs that seem to be tearing South, Central and North America apart. Additionally, within and across these regions several overlapping projects coexist. This article focuses on the dynamics of segmented and overlapping regionalism in order to describe what they look like, analyse how they articulate with one another, and explain why member states have pushed for such a messy outcome. This situation, linked to the evolution of the global context, might be indicating that regionalism in Latin America has reached its peak, beyond which it may be difficult to achieve further progress. Two conclusions are elicited: first, economic integration is becoming a geographically diffused phenomenon rather than a regional one; second, regionalism is still a compelling foreign policy but its causes, goals and outcomes are no longer what they used to be. Keywords: regionalism, regional integration, subregionalism, Latin America When Henry Kissinger allegedly asked what number he should dial if he needed to talk to Europe, he was mocking a regional organisation that had developed a large bureaucracy but no single political authority. If anyone asked the same question today about Latin America, it would hardly be a laughing matter as it is only too evident that the region lacks not just a phone number but also a headquarters and phone attendants. Indeed, there is no regional organisation that exclusively brings Andrés Malamudis a Research Fellow at the Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lisbon Gian Luca Gardini is Lecturer in International Relations and Latin American Politics at the University of Bath. The authors are grateful to Federico Romero for the image of regionalism as a peaking, as opposed to linear, phenomenon, and to Lorenzo Fioramonti for valuable comments. The International Spectator, Vol. 47, No. 1, March 2012, ß 2012 Istituto Affari Internazionali ISSN print/issn online Latin American Regionalism and its Lessons 117 together all Latin American countries: the Organization of American States (OAS) includes Canada, the United States and the Caribbean; the Ibero-American Community embraces Andorra, Portugal and Spain; the Latin American Integration Association (ALADI) comprises only twelve of the twenty Latin American states; the inchoate Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) messily brings together 20 Latin American and 13 Caribbean countries; the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) unites ten of them together with Guyana and Surinam; and the processesofsubregionalintegration (Mercosur, the Andean Community, the Central American Integration System) are even less encompassing as regards membership. For its part, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) unites only five Latin American countries with three Caribbean microstates. One potential exception stands out: the Rio Group, which numbers 23 members, including all of Latin America, but also a few countries from the Caribbean. Yet, there is still a caveat: this organisation lacks a secretariat or permanent body, so if it did have a number it would have to be a cell phone. This article argues that, since the first experiences in the 1960s, Latin American regionalism has never been all-encompassing, but rather territorially segmented, therefore disintegrating the conceptual Latin American space at the same time as it has sought to integrate subregions. This trendhasonlybeenaccentuatedmore recently, giving birth to new blocs that are tearing South, Central and North America apart. More confusingly, some of these subregions overlap. In the following two sections, the focus will be on the dynamics of segmented (i.e. subregional) and overlapping (i.e. multilevel) regionalism respectively. The aim is to dissect the nature and features of the blocs, analyse how they articulate with one another, and explain why member states have pushed for such a messy outcome. The third section discusses five factors that pose limits to what Latin American regionalism may achieve, thus suggesting that the development of integration has reached its peak. Excessive expectations and high rhetoric have to be tempered against structural circumstances beyond the control of the region or the political will of its member states. The claim made in the article is that the presence of segmented and overlapping regionalist projects is not a manifestation of successful integration but, on the contrary, signals the exhaustion of its potential. This is not incompatible with the proliferation of cooperation initiatives. Yet regionalism understood as comprehensive economic integration in a macro-region is losing ground to regionalism understood as a set of diverse cooperation projects in several subregions. Recent developments have shown traits such as the primacy of the political agenda, an increased role of the state, growing concern for social issues and asymmetries and an attempt to escape from broadly neoliberal and US-endorsed dynamics. This shift has been captured by definitions such as post-neoliberal or post-hegemonic 118 A. Malamud and G.L. Gardini regionalism, 1 which seek to overcome the open or new regionalism paradigm. This study challenges these analyses by offering a different perspective: Latin American regionalism is not evolving towards yet another paradigm but is instead rolling onto itself, either spilling around without deepening or going back to standard cooperation arrangements. The final part of the article offers two concluding remarks for reflection: first, economic integration is becoming a geographically diffused and thinner phenomenon rather than a regional and thicker one; second, regionalism is still a compelling foreign policy component but its goals and outcomes are no longer integration but cooperation, in line with the revitalized will of the larger states. Segmented regionalism as decentralised subregionalisms In the 1960s, the thrust towards regional integration encompassed most geographical areas across the planet. Framed by the Cold War, the decolonisation process fostered a series of attempts at cooperation among neighbouring states in an era of nationalist restoration and protectionist economies. A few years later, though, most efforts had failed. Even the most successful case, the European Community (EC), entered the dark ages of so-called Eurosclerosis between the 1970s and early 1980s. In the 1990s, a revival of integration arose. It was different from the earlier wave in that the so-called new regionalism was conceived of as open: it did not pursue import substitution but export promotion, thus not aiming at closing the region in a defensive way but at improving national competitiveness in an increasingly freetrade environment. 2 The fears of a world divided into several fortresses receded, and the new regionalism began to be thought of as a feature of the wider globalisation process. However, it developed heterogeneously. One of its features was the very wide variation in the level of institutionalization, with many regional groupings consciously avoiding the institutional and bureaucratic structures of traditional international organizations and of the regionalist model represented by the EC. 3 As an attempt to rebuild the eroded national boundaries at a higher level, regionalism can be interpreted as a protective manoeuvre by states that cannot by themselves secure their own interests. 4 Yet, the new regionalism conceived of regional organisations as building blocks rather than stumbling stones of a new world order. In Latin America, where the dream of political unity had been present since the wars of independence, the emphasis gradually changed to economic integration after World War II. 5 The decisive thrust came from the United 1 Riggirozzi and Tussie, The Rise of Post-Hegemonic Regionalism; Sanahuja, Del regionalismo abierto al regionalismo post-liberal. 2 Bhagwati, Export-Promoting Trade Strategy. 3 Fawcett and Hurrell, Regionalism in World Politics. 4 Milward, The European Rescue of the Nation-State. 5 This part draws on Malamud, Latin American Regionalism and EU Studies. Latin American Regionalism and its Lessons 119 Nations Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLA). Later renamed Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), this agency was established in 1948 to encourage economic cooperation among its member states, and its proposals aimed at the enlargement of national markets through the constitution of a regional market. The coalition of technocrats and reformist politicians led by its first president, Raúl Prebisch, considered that this was the only means to overcome traditional dependence on primary commodity export trade. 6 As the then prevailing model of development that is, importsubstitution industrialisation was reaching its limit within the national markets, larger markets entailing economic diversification and technological modernisation were indispensable to advance further development. In the meantime, the creation of the EC also had an impact on pushing integration across the Atlantic, given that the resulting trade diversion in the Old Continent indirectly damaged Latin American countries. 7 ECLAC s drive for regional integration initially came about in two waves. The first one saw the establishment of the Latin American Free Trade Association (LAFTA) and the Central American Common Market (CACM) in 1960; the second led to the creation of the Andean Pact (later Andean Community) in 1969 and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in 1973, partly as a reaction to the effects produced by the previous wave. A third one took place later, following the transitions to democracy in the 1980s and 1990s, and saw the creation of the Common Market of the South (Mercosur) and the relaunching of both the CACM and the Andean Community. Moreover, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the first regional organisation that included developed and developing countries (US, Canada and Mexico), was also born in this period. Labelled open regionalism, as they aimed to combine regional preference with extra-regional openness, the latter processes reached early success and are still in existence. Yet, none achieved its initial objectives as stated by the respective founding treaties whether a free trade zone, a customs union or a common market. As of 2000, a fourth wave has been identified: post-liberal or post-hegemonic regionalism, 8 which has allegedly changed the focus from economics to logistics or politics. Physical integration, political identities and security issues are quoted as the rationale for the new integrative efforts, as in the cases of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America (ALBA) and even Mercosur. 9 Almost two centuries after holding two Bolívar-led pan-american conferences, in 1819 and 1826, Latin American visions 6 Wionczek, The Rise and Decline ; Mace, Regional Integration in Latin America. 7 Mattli, The Logic of Regional Integration. 8 Sanahuja, Del regionalismo abierto al regionalismo post-liberal ; Riggirozzi and Tussie, TheRiseof Post-Hegemonic Regionalism. 9 Carranza, Mercosur, the Global Economic Crisis; Cienfuegos Mateo and Sanahuja Perales, Una región en construcción. 120 A. Malamud and G.L. Gardini of integration seem to have gone full circle back to a shared identity as the main driver. Identity politics, however, are likely to lead to fragmentation rather than integration, which is driven instead by the convergence of interests. 10 The most recent reaction to the ideological radicalisation of Latin American regionalism has come from the Pacific Arc, as Chile, Colombia, Peru and Mexico have signed a treaty that once again puts the economy first, as they vow to foster free trade. As an outcome of the four consecutive waves, a patchy picture has emerged of many coexisting and competing projects with fuzzy boundaries. 11 However, these projects neither form concentric circles of regionalist forums 12 nor show a minimum common denominator or a convergence of political or policy positions. 13 The parallel with the European experience may be tricky but also helpful if handled with care. This is not to suggest that Europe be taken as a model, but just as a reference for comparison, as it has traditionally been for both analysts and decision-makers. Think of European integration as a combination of several circles that intersect partially: a political organisation (the European Union), a currency area (the Eurozone) and a border and migration zone (the Schengen area), all under the umbrella of the Council of Europe (see Figure 1). At the very centre, where all circles intersect, the six founding states sit together with nine countries brought togetherbysuccessivewavesofenlargement.evenifweaddedeurope sdefence alliance, that is NATO, thirteen countries would still share every circle of integration. In other words, the EU has displayed so far an increasing degree of convergence regarding functional organisation, internal leadership, external actorness, and development strategy. It is true that, back in the 1960s, the then EEC had to compete with the European Free Trade Area (EFTA); however, it came out the winner due to its economic dynamism and, ultimately, its success. But even with two competing schemes, the situation in Europe remained one of convergence. Alliance with or neutrality towards the US or fear of the USSR united all the membersoftheeecandefta.theplaceofwestgermanyandfrancewithin the EEC and the United Kingdom within EFTAdidnotresultinincompatible international policies or in clashes bordering on political and diplomatic inacceptability. Furthermore, while differences existed on the degree to which integration should proceed (common market in the EU versus free trade area in EFTA), convergence towards a capitalist regional order based on free trade was never questioned on either side. A very different picture emerges in Latin America. Figure 2 shows nine of the afore mentioned regional organisations and one feature stands out: not one country participates in even half of them. In the Western hemisphere, regionalism is always 10 Malamud and Schmitter, The Experience of European Integration, Tussie, Latin America: Contrasting Motivations, Phillips and Prieto, The Demise of New Regionalism, Gardini, Proyectos de integración regionalsudamericana,26. Latin American Regionalism and its Lessons 121 European Free Trade Association CH AL The Council of Europe AZ BIH HR G ARM FL IS N European Economic Area Schengen Area M MD MNE Eurozone A B D I E EST FIN F GR L M NL P SK SLO subregional and there is no common core or political centre. The reality is that, every time a new bloc is born, it does so by excluding neighbouring countries and by intentionally differentiating itself from other (sub)regional organisations. Decentralised subregionalisms rather than concentric regionalism has been the end-product of such logic, by which subregional integration proceeds through regional or hemispheric disintegration. Overlapping regionalism and conflicting national strategies CY SRB RUS FIGURE 1. European Union: concentric integration Source: Wikipedia, European Integration. IRL European Union In Latin America, no sooner is a regional conflict solved than a national leader comes forward publicly announcing that now, it is time for integration. Intermediate alternatives between conflict and integration, which are customary politics in other settings such as conventional diplomatic relations or standard interstate cooperation are either neglected or disdained. The burden of two century old dreams of Latin American unity, coupled with the shadow projected by the European model, 14 have imbued into most regional leaders the idea that anything short of integration is a political failure or, worse, a betrayal of the liberators or the peoples. The pre-eminence of this vision has had a twofold S PL UA LT BG LV RO EU Customs Union GB H CZ DK AND M TR RSM V Agreement with EU to mint euros 14 Sanchez Bajo, The European Union and Mercosur ; Gardini, Mercosur at 20 ; and Sanahuja, Del regionalismo abierto al regionalismo post-liberal. 122 A. Malamud and G.L. Gardini FIGURE 2. Latin America: decentralised regionalisms From top left, reading wise: (1) the Americas, (2) Latin America, (3) ALBA, (4) North America (NAFTA), (5) Central America (SICA), (6) South America (UNASUR), (7) Mercosur, (8) Andean Community, and (9) Pacific Alliance. Source: Wikipedia, several entries. effect: while it has multiplied the number of regional organisations, it has at the same time emptied them and the very concept of integration of real content. This has resulted in region inflation : not a decade has passed without an additional couple of blocs being created. Similar to cooperation and integration processes in Africa, as discussed by Draper in this issue, 15 another important aspect of Latin America s inflated regionalism is non-exclusivity: every country belongs to more than one organisation and is thus potentially subject to double loyalty and norm conflict. 15 See article by Draper, in this issue, 67. Latin American Regionalism and its Lessons 123 Latin American regionalism or regionalisms result diluted at best and emptied at worst. This situation is both the cause and the product of discrepancies on three different planes. the variety and coexistence of integration schemes and their membership make it hard to reach a minimum common denominator. national strategies are hard to articulate within regional organisations that are based on the intergovernmental principle and therefore are more exposed to national swings. multiple membership creates frictions between and within regional integration projects, fuelling divisions instead of the unity that regionalism purports to pursue. First, the lack of a basic Latin American consensus on key issues is epitomised by the current situation in South America.
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