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Title: The EU and complex interregionalism: the case of Latin America
Authors: Hardacre, Alan
Keywords: Interregionalism
EU external relations
EU-Latin American & EU-Mercosur
Regional integration
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: © Alan Hardacre
Abstract: The post-Cold War era has seen a restructuring of the institutions of global governance and an intensification of international relations, to which one of the most important responses has been a reinvigoration of regionalism and regionalisation. The proliferation of regionalism has led to increased relations between regional groups in different world regions, and the EU has been central to the development of this new interregional phenomenon. This thesis sets out to test the theory of interregionalism by looking at how the EU has strategically pursued interregionalism, and at how this has subsequently worked in practice. To best achieve this objective the thesis develops a more sophisticated framework of analysis; complex interregionalism. This framework allows for a detailed investigation of how the EU has simultaneously engaged in bilateral and interregional relations in Latin America. The thesis explores the tensions between interregionalism as a strategy and interregionalism in action, principally by drawing lessons from the EU's relations with Latin America, and Mercosur in particular. The most general foundation for this analysis is the study of International Political Economy (IPE), particularly the extensive literature on regional integration and the emerging literature that deals specifically with interregionalism. The thesis starts by presenting a comprehensive framework for analysis of interregional relations using the theory of interregionalism. The theory of interregionalism, ascribes a series of motivations and impacts that interregionalism. should exhibit, all of which are replicated in EU complex interregional strategy. The EU is found to have a consistent and coherent complex interregional strategy that it employs across three world regions: Asia, Africa and Latin America. The EU, notably the Commission, is pursuing an ambitious complex interregional strategy in each region that encompasses different levels of relations with different actors, but a strategy that always centers on the pursuit of pure interregionalism. Whilst the thesis details the EU's pursuit of this consistent complex interregional strategy with all three of the aforementioned world regions, it is the presence of the Andean Community, Central American Common Market and Mercosur in Latin America that marks the region out for deeper analysis. Complex interregional strategy in Latin America is applied consistently to all three regional integration vehicles, confirming the EU desire to pursue pure interregionalism, most notably with Mercosur. Analysis of EU relations with Mercosur reveals a core tension between strategy and action, notably that Commission strategy is not translated into action, as witnessed by the change towards bilateral relations with Brazil in 2007. The thesis finds that more important than the EU inability to translate strategy into action, is its inability to foster regional integration in its partners and encourage more coherent counterparts for the future pursuit of pure interregionalism.
Description: A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/8105
Appears in Collections:PhD Theses (PHIR)

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