Regionalism in Latin America: Eclectic, Multi-faceted and Multi-layered

  • Joren SelleslaghsEmail author
  • José Briceño Ruiz
  • Philippe de Lombaerde
Part of the United Nations University Series on Regionalism book series (UNSR, volume 17)


Regionalism in Latin America is a complex phenomenon. This chapter will argue that after a sequence of various waves of regionalization efforts, Latin-American regionalism has become multi-layered, multi-faceted and eclectic. It is characterized by a large set of different arrangements, both formal and informal in nature and structure, and various regimes and regional institutions currently coexist. It is the result of a large variety of different drivers and influential factors, both endogenous as well as exogenous which has resulted in what can best be labelled “the alphabet soup of Latin American regionalism”.


Latin America Regionalism Mercosur Unasur CELAC Regional integration 

Further Readings

  1. Malamud, A., & Gardini, G. L. (2012). Has regionalism peaked? The Latin American quagmire and its lessons. The International Spectator, 47(1), 116–133.Google Scholar
  2. Nolte, D. (2014). Latin America’s new regional architecture: A cooperative or segmented regional governance complex? Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies Research Paper, RSCAS 2014/89, 34p.Google Scholar
  3. Vivares, E., & Dolcetti-Marcolini, M. (2016). Two regionalisms, two Latin Americas or beyond Latin America? Contributions from a critical and decolonial IPE. Third World Quarterly, 37(5), 866–882.Google Scholar


  1. Bianculli, A. C. (2010). Trade governance in Latin America. Interest articulation and institutions across negotiations in Argentina and Chile. Doctoral dissertation, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, 370p.Google Scholar
  2. Bianculli, A. C. (2016). Latin America. In T. A. Börzel (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of comparative regionalism (pp. 154–178). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Briceño Ruiz, J. (2014). Los congresos hispanoamericanos en el siglo XIX: identidad, amenazas externas e intereses en la construcción del regionalismo. Revista de Relaciones Internacionales de la UNAM, 118, 131–170.Google Scholar
  4. Cancilleria. (2018). Union of South American Nations, UNASUR [online]. Available Accessed 13 Oct 2018.
  5. Cienfuegos, M., & Sanahuja, J. A. (2010). Una región en construcción: UNASUR y la integración en América del Sur. CIDOB, Barcelona, 412p.Google Scholar
  6. Communidad Andina. (2017). Portal de la Comunidad Andina. Accessible at
  7. Cooper, A., & Legler, T. (2006). Intervention without intervening?: The OAS defense and promotion of democracy in the Americas. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  8. Correa, R. (2016). Correa outlines CELAC priorities [online]. Available Accessed 13 Jan 2018.
  9. Chasteen, J. (2008). Americanos: Latin America’s struggle for Independence. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 240p.Google Scholar
  10. Cusack, A. (2018). Understanding ALBA: The Progress, problems, and prospects of alternative regionalism in Latin America and the Caribbean. Brookings Institution Press.Google Scholar
  11. Dabène, O. (2009). The politics of regional integration in Latin America: Theoretical and comparative explorations (258p). Basingstoke: Palgrave.Google Scholar
  12. Dabène, O. (2012). La gauche en Amérique latine, 1998–2012 (464p). Paris: Presses de Sciences Po.Google Scholar
  13. De Lombaerde, P., & Garay, L. J. (2008). El nuevo regionalismo en América Latina. In P. De Lombaerde, S. Kochi, & J. Briceño Ruíz (Eds.), Del regionalismo latinoamericano a la integración interregional (pp. 3–35). Madrid: Fundación Carolina – Siglo XXI.Google Scholar
  14. De Lombaerde, P., & Schulz, M. (Eds.). (2009). The EU and world regionalism: The makability of regions in the 21st century (297p). Surrey: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.Google Scholar
  15. Doctor, M. (2013). Why bother with inter-regionalism? Negotiations for a European Union – Mercosur agreement. Journal of Common Market Studies, 45(2), 281–314.Google Scholar
  16. Dominguez, R. (2015). EU foreign policy towards Latin America (185p). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  17. ECLAC. (2016). Preliminary overview of the economies of Latin America and the Caribbean (133p). Santiago de Chile: ECLAC.Google Scholar
  18. EULAC Foundation. (2017). The Carribbean in the European Union- Community of Latin American and Caribbean States Partnership (126p). Hamburg.Google Scholar
  19. Fawcett, L., & Serrano, M. (Eds.). (2005). Regionalism and governance in the Americas: Continental drift (284p). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  20. Garzón, J. F. (2015) Multipolarity and the future of regionalism: Latin America and beyond (GIGA Working Papers, No. 264, 34p).Google Scholar
  21. Glickhouse, R. (2012). Explainer: An alphabet soup of regional integration organizations [online]. Available at Accessed 13 Jan 2018.
  22. Gomez-Mera, L. (2015). International regime complexity and regional governance: Evidence from the Americas. Global Governance, 21, 19–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hurrell, A. (1995). Explaining the resurgence of regionalism in world politics. Review of International Studies, 21, 331–358.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Khazeh, K., & Clark, D. P. (1990). A case study of effects of developing country integration on trade flows: The Andean pact. Journal of Latin American Studies, 22(1–2), 317–330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Laugier, G. P. (2014). Presentacion en el Cuadragésimo Quinto aniversario de suscripcion del Acuerdo de Cartagena, Lima, 4p.Google Scholar
  26. Malamud, A. (2008). The internal agenda of Mercosur: Interdependence, leadership and institutionalization. Los nuevos enfoques de la integración: más allá del regionalismo (pp. 115–135). Quito: FLACSO.Google Scholar
  27. Malamud, A. (2013). Overlapping regionalism, no integration: Conceptual issues and the Latin American experiences (EUI Working Papers RSCAS, pp. 1–12).Google Scholar
  28. Malamud, A., & Gardini, G. L. (2012). Has regionalism peaked? The Latin American quagmire and its lessons. The International Spectator, 47(1), 116–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Manzetti, L. (1993a). The political economy of privatization through divestiture in lesser developed economies. Comparative Politics, 25, 429–454.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Manzetti, L. (1993b). Institutions, parties, and coalitions in Argentine politics (382p). University of Pittsburgh Press.Google Scholar
  31. McCrossan, P. (2015). The political economy of EU interregionalism. Doctoral dissertation, Dublin City University, 274p.Google Scholar
  32. Meissner, K. (2016). Interregionalism re-loaded: Assessing the EU-MERCOSUR negotiations. St Antony's International Review, 11(2), 95–120.Google Scholar
  33. Mercosur. (2017). Mercosur in brief. Online accessible at:
  34. Mercosur. (2019). Mercosur in brief. Online accessible at:
  35. Meyer, P. J. (2018). Organization of American States: Background and issues for Congress (27p). Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service.Google Scholar
  36. Moncayo, E., De Lombaerde, P., & Guinea Ibáñez, O. (2012). Latin American regionalism and the role of UN-ECLAC, 1948-2010. In C. Auroi & M. Helg (Eds.), Latin America 1810–2010. Dreams and legacies (pp. 359–386). London: Imperial College Press.Google Scholar
  37. Nolte, D. (2014). Latin America’s new regional architecture: a cooperative or segmented regional governance complex?. Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies Research Paper, RSCAS 2014/89, 34p.Google Scholar
  38. Nolte, D. (2016). The Pacific Alliance: Nation-branding through regional Organisations. GIGA Focus Lateinamerika, 04, 13p.Google Scholar
  39. Nolte, D., & Comini, N. (2016). UNASUR: Regional pluralism as a strategic outcome. Contexto International, 38(2), 545–565.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. OAS. (2014). Resolution on strategic vision with a view to adapting the organization to the challenges of the 21st century. E-370/14, Washington, DC, 3p.Google Scholar
  41. OAS. (2017). Who we are [online]. Available Accessed 13 Jan 2018.
  42. O’Keefe, T. A. (1996). How the Andean pact transformed itself into a friend of foreign enterprise. International Law, 30, 811–823.Google Scholar
  43. Orozco, G., Dominguez, R., & Carrera, M. (2016). The matrix of regional governance in Latin America (12p). Scholar
  44. Pena, C., & Rozemberg, R. (2005). Una aproximación al desarrollo institucional del MERCOSUR: sus fortalezas y debilidades (Occasional Paper ITD= Documento de Divulgación ITD; n. 31) (Vol. 31). BID-INTAL.Google Scholar
  45. Perales, J. R. (2003). A supply-side theory of international economic institutions for the Mercosur. In F. Laursen (Ed.), Comparative regional integration. Theoretical perspectives (pp. 75–101). Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  46. Pimenta, G. F., & Arantes, P. C. (2014). Rethinking integration in Latin America: The “Pink tide” and the post-neoliberal regionalism. FLASCO-ISA joint international conference, 20p.Google Scholar
  47. Puntigliano, A. R., & Briceño-Ruiz, J. (Eds.). (2013). The resilience of regionalism in Latin America (Autonomy and development, 273p) New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  48. Rettberg, A., De Lombaerde, P., Lizarazo Rodríguez, L. and Ortiz-Riomalo, J. (2014). Rights, free trade, and politics: The strategic use of a rights discourse in the negotiation of free trade agreements (FTAs). Available at HYPERLINK Accessed 8 June 2019. [online].
  49. Riggirozzi, P., & Grugel, J. (2015). Regional governance and legitimacy in South America: The meaning of UNASUR. International Affairs, 91(4), 781–797.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Rinke, B. y Scheneckener, U. (2012). Informalisation of world politics? Global governance by clubs. In T. Debiel, et al. (Eds.), Global trends 2013. Peace, development, enviroment (pp. 21–35). Bonn: Development and Peace Foundation.Google Scholar
  51. Rosenthal, G. (1991). Un Informe Crítico a 30 años de Integración en América Latina. Nueva Sociedad, 113, 60–65.Google Scholar
  52. Saad-Filho, A., & Johnston, D. (2005). Neoliberalism: A critical reader (268p). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  53. Sanahuja, J. A. (2012). Regionalismo post-liberal y multilateralismo en Sudamérica: El caso de UNASUR. Anuario de Integración Regional de América Latina y el Caribe, pp. 19–72.Google Scholar
  54. Sanahuja, J. A. (2015). The EU and CELAC: Reinvigorating a strategic partnership. Hamburg: EU-LAC Foundation, 85p.Google Scholar
  55. Sanahuja, J. A., et al. (2015). Beyond 2015: Perspectives and proposals for development cooperation between the European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean (134p). Hamburg: EU-LAC Foundation.Google Scholar
  56. Selleslaghs, J. (2014). The EU’s role and interest in promoting regional integration in Central America (30p). Bruges: UNU-CRIS.Google Scholar
  57. SG-SICA. (2017). SG-SICA en Breve [online]. Available Accessed 13 Jan 2018.
  58. SICA. (2017). Instancias regionals del SICA [online]. Available Accessed 13 Jan 2018.
  59. Tussie, D. (2009). Latin America: Contrasting motivations for regional projects. Review of International Studies, 35(S1), 169–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Tussie, D. & Riggirozzi, P. (2012). The rise of post-hegemonic regionalism. The case of Latin America (203p). Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  61. Villareal, M. A. (2016). The Pacific Alliance: A trade integration initiative in Latin America. In Congressional research service (pp. 7–5700).Google Scholar
  62. Vivares, E., & Dolcetti-Marcolini, M. (2016). Two regionalisms, two Latin Americas or beyond Latin America? Contributions from a critical and decolonial IPE. Third World Quarterly, 37(5), 866–882.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joren Selleslaghs
    • 1
    Email author
  • José Briceño Ruiz
    • 2
  • Philippe de Lombaerde
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of Governance and Global AffairsLeiden UniversityThe HagueThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Faculty of Economical and Social SciencesUniversity of the AndesMéridaVenezuela
  3. 3.Neoma Business SchoolRouenFrance

Personalised recommendations