Handbook of South American Governance (Pia Riggirozzi and Christopher Wylde)

Handbook of South American Governance edited by Pia Rigirozzi and Christopher Wylde (Routledge, 2017).

Chapter 13: Pia Rigiorozzi and Diana Tussie Regional governance in South America: Supporting states, dealing with markets and reworking hegemonies”

Regional governance in South America: Supporting states, dealing with markets and reworking hegemonies

This chapter argues that regionalism in the South is about political pragmatism, and thus integration should be understood not as an end in itself, but a tool for resolving challenges faced by member states. South America project of integration reflects a constant search for mechanisms to give states enhanced authority and management of economic and political relations with domestic actors and external actors and pressures. The underpinning notion is that regional organisations and subsidiary mechanisms can provide a space above the state for the articulation and promotion of norms and methods of regional policy formation and practices to enhance member states responses to economic and political challenges. Building upon the argument presented in the Introduction to this Handbook, we see the central dilemma in contemporary South American governance as intrinsically linked to the way states engage with and contest market forces, and similarly how markets define state-based governance arrangements. For this reason we claim that regional integration has in effect evolved as one sought mechanism to regulate and extend markets over and above the state boundaries, as much as a mechanism that enhanced states’ capacities to deal with external political and economic influence. From the pro-active state in integration processes in the 1940s to 1960s to market-friendly state leading open regionalism, the dilemma was how to enhance economic and political autonomy vis a vis international markets and external influence, particularly in respect to competing regional models and trade agreements led by the US.

This chapter explores these dilemmas and structures the subsequent analysis to explain the trajectory of regional governance as we moved from the classical conception of regions as spheres of influence, or transmission belts of global drivers, to pivotal spaces where politics are (re)worked from the nation-up. We close the analysis with a reflection about the value to think regionalism for South America in a post-hegemonic key

About the Authors
Pia Riggirozz is Head of Department of Politics and International Relations, and Professor of Global Politics at the University of Southampton, where she has worked since 2009.

Diana Tussie holds a degree in Sociology and a PhD in International Relations from the London School of Economics. She directs the Master’s Degree in International Relations at the FLACSO Argentina headquarters and is a Senior Researcher at the National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET), which she joined in 1987. During her career she was a visiting professor at the universities of Oxford and Manchester and recently from the German Institute of Global Affairs. In 2017, she was awarded the Distinguished Academic Award of the Global South by the Global South section of the International Studies Association.


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