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Latin American Integration against the Backdrop of a Conservative Wave: Between Irrelevance and the Search for New Meanings

Journal: Vestnik RUDN. International Relations (Vol.22, No. 3)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ;

Page : 447-463

Keywords : integration; Latin America; right turn; liberal-conservative values; Brazil; Colombia; Chile; Paraguay; Venezuelan crisis;

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The evolution of regionalism in Latin America has historically been greatly influenced by changes in governments and their ideological programs. In this article, looking at the courses of the administrations of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, Ivan Duque in Colombia, Sebastian Piñera (second term, 2018-2022) in Chile, Mario Abdo Benítez in Paraguay, it is proposed to examine transformations in integration against the backdrop of increased influence of right-wing forces in regional alignments in the mid-2010s to the early 2020s. Analyzing foreign policy steps, rhetoric, content of conceptual documents, the authors focus on the peculiarities of the national views of various right forces on integration initiatives. The paper concentrates on the decline of Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), creation of Forum for the Progress and Integration of South America (PROSUR) and Lima Group, activities of the Pacific Alliance and Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR) in the context of the demand for flexible and pragmatic integration “without politicization.” The authors come to several conclusions which show ambiguity of the right turn impact on the integration landscape in Latin America. First, although the rise of liberal-conservative forces has reformatted philosophy, key ideas of integration, participation in multilateral groups remains important for governments that seek to solve pressing problems and expand their own reputational and political capital with its help. Second, despite the fluidity of electoral dynamics, which may soon put an end to the dominance of the right, they have raised a number of issues of long-term relevance in the context of the future path of integration associations in the region. The contribution of the work is explained by its appeal to the very factor of ideology in the development of Latin American integration, detailed analysis of specific country experiences and new conclusions based on it.

Last modified: 2022-10-05 22:59:12