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date: 05 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Regionalism has spanned the history of Latin America for centuries. However, rather than converging in a single organization, regional cooperation exhibits a rich tapestry of complementary, competing, and overlapping institutions. To explain this puzzling feature, the chapter looks into the various empirical waves underlying the construction and reframing of regionalism, and the theoretical debates surrounding them. It argues that from a theoretical and practical standpoint, Latin America has not simply been a rule-taker. In fact, to fully understand regionalism focus should be on the ways in which two opposing but interdependent visions of regional cooperation have evolved: the idea of a united and autonomous Latin America vis-à-vis Pan-Americanism. Dating back to the early years of independence but still valid today, these ideas have been expressed by a range of different actors as these attempted to respond to changing normative, political, and economic contexts, and became thus embodied in different projects.

Keywords: Latin America, regionalism, regional cooperation, overlapping institutions, regional institutions, autonomy, Pan-Americanism

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