Constructing regionalism in South America: the cases of sectoral cooperation on transport infrastructure and energy

Original Article

Abstract

This article contributes to the study of South American regionalism focusing on the emergence of sectoral cooperation starting in 2000. To do so, the article analyses two policy areas — transport infrastructure and energy integration — addressing two questions: Why has regional cooperation emerged despite the absence of economic interdependence and market-driven demand for economic integration? And why are policy outcomes evident in some areas (i.e. transport infrastructure) while limited in others (i.e. energy)? It is argued that the emergence of regional cooperation as well as the variation in policy outcomes between areas can be explained largely by the articulation of a regional leadership and its effect on the convergence of state preferences. The article shows how the Brazilian leadership, incentivised by the effects of the US-led Free Trade Area of the Americas negotiations and the financial crises that hit the region in the late 1990s, made state preferences converge towards a regionalist project encompassing all South American countries by making visible the mutual benefits of cooperation on transport infrastructure and energy. In the case of energy, however, the emergence of a second regional leadership project — pursued by Chávez’s Venezuela — and deep preference divergence led sectoral cooperation into a gridlock.

Keywords

energy integration regionalism regional leadership South America transport infrastructure UNASUR 

Notes

Acknowledgements

A preliminary version of this article was presented in the Seminar on Comparative Regional Integration organised by the Global Governance Programme at the European University Institute, in Florence, on 22 May, 2014. The authors wish to thank especially Carlos Closa, László Bruszt, Olivier Dabène, Philipp Schmitter, Detlef Nolte, Carlos Milani, and three anonymous reviewers for their critical comments. All errors or omissions are the authors’ sole responsibility.

References

  1. Amorim, Celso (2011) Breves Narrativas Diplomáticas, São Paulo: Benvira.Google Scholar
  2. Arashiro, Zuleika (2011) Negotiating the Free Trade of the Americas, New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barrera-Hernández, Lila (2012) ‘South American Energy Network Integration: Mission Possible?’ in Martha M. Roggenkamp, Lila Barrera-Hernández, Donald N. Zillman and Iñigo del Guayo eds, Energy Networks and the Law: Innovative Solutions in Changing Markets, 61–77, Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Briceño-Ruiz, José (2008) ‘From the South American Free Trade Area to the Union of South American Nations: The Transformations of a Rising Regional Process’, Latin American Policy 1(2): 208–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Burges, Sean W. (2005) ‘Bounded by the Reality of Trade: Practical Limits to a South American Region’, Cambridge Review of International Affairs 18(3): 437–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cardoso, Fernando H. (2006) A Arte da Política. A historia que vivi, Rio de Janeiro: Civilização Brasileira.Google Scholar
  7. Carranza, Mario (2003) ‘Can Mercosur Survive? Domestic and International Constraints on Mercosur’, Latin American Politics and Society 45(2): 67–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Checkel, Jeffrey T. (1999) ‘Social Construction and Integration’, Journal of European Public Policy 6(4): 545–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Checkel, Jeffrey T. (2001) ‘Why Comply? Social Learning and European Identity Change’, International Organization 55(3): 553–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. COSIPLAN (2011) Agenda de Proyectos Prioritarios (API), available at http://www.iirsa.org/admin_iirsa_web/Uploads/Documents/api_agenda_de_projetos_port.pdf (accessed 10 November, 2014).
  11. COSIPLAN (2013) Project Portfolio 2013, COSIPLAN UNASUR, available at http://www.iirsa.org/Document/Detail?Id=3716 (accessed 10 November, 2014).
  12. COSIPLAN-API Report (2013) Agenda de Proyectps Prioritarios de Integración: Informe de Avance 2013, COSIPLAN-UNASUR, available at http://www.iirsa.org/Document/Detail?Id=3718 (accessed 10 November, 2014).
  13. COSIPLAN Portfolio Projects Database (2014) available at http://www.iirsa.org/proyectos/inicio.aspx (last accessed on 22 October, 2014).
  14. Dabène, Olivier (1997) La région Amérique latine: interdépendance et changement politique, Paris: Presses de Sciences Po.Google Scholar
  15. Dabène, Olivier (2009) The Politics of Regional Integration. Theoretical and Comparative Explorations, New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  16. Dabène, Olivier (2012) ‘Explaining Latin America’s Fourth Way of Regional Integration’, paper prepared for the Congress of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA), San Francisco, 25 May, 2012.Google Scholar
  17. ECLAC (1994) Open Regionalism in Latin America and the Caribbean. Economic Integration as a Contribution to Changing Productions Patterns with Social Equity, Santiago: ECLAC books.Google Scholar
  18. FIESP (2012) 8 Ejes de Integración de la Infraestructura de América del Sur, São Paulo: FIESP.Google Scholar
  19. Flemes, Daniel, ed. (2010) Regional Leadership in the Global System: Ideas, Interests and Strategies of Regional Powers, Farnham, Burlington: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  20. Friedman-Rudovsky, Jean (2012) ‘The Bully from Brazil’, Foreign Policy, 20 July, available at http://foreignpolicy.com/2012/07/20/the-bully-from-brazil/ (accessed 15 December, 2013).
  21. Gamarra, Luis F. (2013) ‘Carretera IIRSA Sur: símbolo de unión entre dos países’, La Reública [online], 5 June, available at http://www.larepublica.pe/05-06-2013/carretera-iirsa-sur-simbolo-de-union-entre-dos-paises (last accessed on 10 October, 2013).
  22. Goldstein, Judith and Robert O. Keohane eds, (1993) Ideas and Foreign Policy: Beliefs, Institutions, and Political Change, Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Gomes Saraiva, Miriam (2014) ‘The Brazilian Soft Power Tradition’, Current History 113(760): 64–69.Google Scholar
  24. Gomez-Mera, Laura (2013) Power and Regionalism in Latin America. The Politics of Mercosur, Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press.Google Scholar
  25. Hall, Peter A. (1989) The Political Power of Economic Ideas: Keynesianism across Nations, Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Higgott, Richard and Nicola Phillips (2000) ‘Challenging Triumphalism and Convergence: The Limits of Global Liberalization in Asia and Latin America’, Review of International Studies 26(3): 359–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hochstetler, Kathryn and Alfred Montero (2013) ‘The Renewed Developmental State: The National Development Bank and the Brazil Model’, Journal of Development Studies 49(11): 1–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Honty, Gerardo (2006) ‘Interconexión energética sin integración política’, Revista del Sur 165(May/June): 13–26.Google Scholar
  29. IDB (2011) IIRSA 10 años después: sus logros y desafíos, Buenos Aires: IDB-INTAL.Google Scholar
  30. IDB (2012) Metodología de Análisis del potencial de integración productiva y desarrollo de servicios logísticos de valor agregado: La Experiencia de IIRSA, Buenos Aires: IDB-INTAL.Google Scholar
  31. Ikenberry, John G. and Charles A. Kupchan (1990) ‘Socialization and Hegemonic Power’, International Organization 44(3): 283–315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Krapohl, Sebastian and Simon Fink (2013) ‘Different Paths of Regional Integration: Trade Networks and Regional Institution-building in Europe, Southeast Asia and Southern Africa’, Journal of Common Market Studies 51(3): 472–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Lins da Silva, Carlos E. (2002) ‘A Política Externa’, in Bolivar Lamounier and Rubens de Lima eds, A Era FHC: um balanço, 295–330, Brazil: Cultura Editores Asociados.Google Scholar
  34. Lobell, Steven, Norrin M. Ripsman and Jeffrey W. Taliaferro, eds (2009) Neoclassical Realism, the State, and Foreign Policy, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Malamud, Andrés (2003) ‘Presidentialism and Mercosur: A Hidden Cause for a Successful Experience’, in Finn Laursen ed., Comparative Regional Integration: Theoretical Perspectives, 53–73, Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  36. Malamud, Andrés and Gian Luca Gardini (2012) ‘Has Regionalism Peaked? The Latin American Quagmire and Its Lessons’, The International Spectator: Italian Journal of International Affairs 47(1): 116–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Malamud, Andrés (2013) ‘Overlapping Regionalism, No Integration: Conceptual Issues and the Latin American Experiences', Florence: EUI Working Papers – RSCAS 2013/2020.Google Scholar
  38. Mattli, Walter (1999) The Logic of Regional Integration: Europe and Beyond, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil (2000) Resenha de Política Exterior do Brasil 82 Segundo Semestre Brazil: Ministério das Relacoes Exteriores.Google Scholar
  40. Moravcsik, Andrew (1993) ‘Preferences and Power in the European Community: A Liberal Intergovernmentalist Approach’, Journal of Common Market Studies 31(4): 473–524.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Moravcsik, Andrew (1997) ‘Taking Preferences Seriously: A Liberal Theory of International Politics’, International Organization 51(4): 513–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Moravcsik, Andrew (1998) The Choice for Europe. Social Purpose and State Power from Messina to Maastricht, Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  43. Palestini, Stefano (2012) ‘Regímenes de Integración Regional: la construcción institucional de los mercados del sur global’, Revista de Sociología 27: 55–78.Google Scholar
  44. Pedersen, Thomas (2002) ‘Cooperative Hegemony: Power, Ideas and Institutions in Regional Integration’, Review of International Studies 28(4): 677–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Phillips, Nicola (2004) The Southern Cone Model. The Political Economy of Regional Capitalist Development in Latin America, London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  46. Riggirozzi, Pía and Diana Tussie eds (2012) The Rise of Post-hegemonic Regionalism: The Case of Latin America, London: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Rubio, Veronica (2013) ‘The Political Economy of Financial Cooperation in South America: CAF’s Continuity, Growth and its role on Regional Long-Term Development Lending’, paper prepared for the Congress of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA), Washington, 29 May – 1 June, 2013.Google Scholar
  48. Ruggie, John G. (1982) ‘International Regimes, Transactions, and Change: Embedded Liberalism in the Postwar Economic Order’, International Organization 36(2): 379–415.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Sanahuja, José A. (2012) Post-liberal Regionalism in South America: The Case of UNASUR, Florence: EUI Working Papers – RSCAS 2012/05.Google Scholar
  50. Scharpf, Fritz W. (1997) Games Real Actors Play: Actor-centered Institutionalism in Policy Research, New York: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  51. Schmitter, Philippe C. (1970) ‘Central American Integration: Spillover, Spillaround or Encapsulation?’ Journal of Common Market Studies 9(1): 1–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Serbin, Andrés (2011) Chávez, Venezuela y la reconfiguración política de América Latina y el Caribe, Buenos Aires: Siglo XX.Google Scholar
  53. Sikkink, Kathryn (1991) Ideas and Institutions: Developmentalism in Brazil and Argentina, Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  54. Soares De Lima, Maria R. (1999) ‘Brazil’s Alternative Vision’, in Gordon Mace and Louis Béranger eds, The Americas in Transition, Boulder/London: Lynne Rienner Publishers.Google Scholar
  55. Solingen, Ethel (2008) ‘The Genesis, Design and Effects of Regional Institutions: Lessons from East Asia and the Middles East’, International Studies Quarterly 52(2): 261–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Young, Oran R. (1991) ‘Political Leadership and Regime Formation: On the Development of Institutions in International Society’, International Organization 45(3): 281–308.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Young, Oran R. (1994) International Governance: Protecting the Environment in a Stateless Society, Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar

Interviews

  1. I1: Brazil’s representative at COSIPLAN (23 October, 2012).Google Scholar
  2. I2: Chile’s representative at COSIPLAN (15 December, 2012).Google Scholar
  3. I3: Brazil’s representative at the Energy Council of UNASUR (19 October, 2012).Google Scholar
  4. I4: Former Ministry of Strategic Affairs — Itamaraty (19 October, 2012).Google Scholar
  5. I5: Director of South American Economic Relations — Itamaraty (22 October, 2012).Google Scholar
  6. I6: Executive Secretary of the Latin American Energy Organisation (OLADE) (11 December, 2013).Google Scholar
  7. I7: Analyst from the Brazilian Ministry of Planning (21 October, 2012).Google Scholar
  8. I8: Expert on infrastructure integration from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) (8 October, 2012).Google Scholar
  9. I9: Coordinator of International Negotiations, Industrial Federation of São Paulo (FIESP) (14 October, 2012).Google Scholar
  10. I10: Director of the Energy Institute at the University of São Paulo (USP) (16 October, 2012).Google Scholar
  11. I11: Director of the Infrastructure Department, Federation of Industries of São Paulo (FIESP) (14 October, 2012).Google Scholar
  12. I12: Former President of the Republic of Chile (17 December, 2013).Google Scholar
  13. I13: Ecuador’s representative at the Energy Council of UNASUR (4 December, 2013).Google Scholar
  14. I14: Argentina’s representative at COSIPLAN-IIRSA (19 February, 2015).Google Scholar
  15. I15: Senior representative from IDB-INTAL (15 February, 2015).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.EUI European University InstituteSan Domenico di Fiesole FlorenceItaly
  2. 2.IMT Institute for Advanced Studies / SciencesPo ParisParisFrance

Personalised recommendations