University of Twente Student Theses


EU Studies and regional integration: The Latin American Case

Weiß, H.E.K.W. . (2016) EU Studies and regional integration: The Latin American Case.

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Abstract:In this bachelor proposal 'grand theories' of European integration, Neofunctionalism and Liberal Intergovernmentalism, are tested in a case study about Latin America. Recent literature uses New Regionalism theories to describe and explain regional integration in Latin America rejecting to use European integration theories due to its state-centrism and the famous n = 1 problem, id est, the European case as sui generis. However, I assume that the 'grand theories' are in fact genuine and rich in literature to test on other regions and to explain its regional dynamics. After reviewing the aforementioned grand theories and its concepts hypotheses are tested whether or not Latin America's regional integration can be explained with European integration theories. Since the 19th century, Latin America strived for independence from European colonialist powers and political union. Simón Bolívar, one of the most famous Latin American independence leaders, demanded the liberation and self-determination of the Latin American people in the Cartagena Manifesto. Since then, several integration attempts failed to realise Bolívar's vision due to external and internal influences, and also because of ideological warfare among leftist and neoliberal actors at all political dimensions. The thesis claims that the regional integration in Latin America is a segmented process into several sub-regional projects that rely heavily on national preference setting of Latin American governments and are best described with Liberal Intergovernmentalism. The reluctance of transferring sovereignty to a supranational institution enables a cooperative mode of regional integration, but not an integrative one, similar to the European Union. Furthermore, IIRSA-UNASUR-CELAC sequence of integration is promoted by the regional power Brazil seeking to increment its regional influence as national interest, in particular against the United States of America as an expression of the Liberal Intergovernmentalism theory. Additionally, Political and Cultivated Spillovers as emanations of Neofunctionalist theory in institutionalising political areas at a supranational level can be partially verified in sub-regional organisations. Moreover, supranational interest groups and individual members influence the regional integration agenda in Latin America through the creation of sub-regional organisations and proposals, however, with sparse results despite a sense of collective self-identification by state actors and promotion of a political union by leftist governments throughout most of the Latin American sub-regions.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration, 89 political science
Programme:Management Society and Technology BSc (56654)
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