A new regional unit - South America - is emerging. This is a more definable and self-contained geostrategic concept as opposed to Latin America. But does this make regional integration any easier? This article adopts a sceptical view. Not only South America is characterised by numerous and competing schemes of regional integration but the three most prominent of them, MERCOSUR, ALBA, and UNASUR offer divergent responses to the fundamental questions that have historically characterised attempts at regionalism in Latin America: The relation towards the international leading power, the United States; the role of the regional leader or paymaster, Brazil; and the economic and development model to be adopted. The conclusion proposes an infant theory of regional convergence to achieve regional cohesion as a suggestion for further research and testing.
|Translated title of the contribution
|South American regional integration projects: Towards a theory of regional convergence
|Number of pages
|Published - Oct 2010