Regional Security in the Twenty-First Century’s South America: Economic, Energy, and Political Security in MERCOSUR and UNASUR

  • Katharina L. Meissner


In 2004, Brazil and its South American neighbors created the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR). UNASUR was added to existing Latin American regional organizations such as the Mercado Común del Sur (MERCOSUR) or the Organization of American States (OAS), leading to overlapping regionalism both in membership and issues. UNASUR was supposed to serve political cooperation and integration of infrastructure but it gradually turned to security issues when it launched the South American Defense Council in 2008. Mixing traditional and non-traditional security issues, like energy, UNASUR led to complex regional security governance. Understanding this complex set of economic, energy, and traditional security requires a differentiated look at ideas, actors’ interests, and institutional competencies. This chapter will analyze economic, energy, and traditional security governance in South America by focusing on MERCOSUR and UNASUR with a particular view to the regional power Brazil by applying such a theoretical lens.


Brazil MERCOSUR Regional security UNASUR 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for European Integration Research EIFUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria

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