Influence of Energy Factor on International Relations System of Latin America in the 21st century

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Relation between oil trade and political regimes, climate change and problems of managing natural resources, mining technologies and fighting corruption and many others constitute the phenomenon of a multicomponent energy policy, the study of which is located at the intersection of natural and social sciences. Latin American region has large hydrocarbon reserves, huge hydropower potential, as well as significant opportunities to generate wind and solar energy. Historically, Latin America has occupied a small share of world energy production - about 5 %, where Venezuela, Mexico and Brazil have long been the only players of a global level. However, in the 21st century, factors such as the discovery of pre-salt oil deposits in Brazil, promising forecasts for the development of alternative gas sources in Argentina and the opening of Mexican oil industry for foreign companies after more than seventy years of the monopoly of Pemex, gave an additional impetus to the development of oil and gas industries of the region. The close relationship between energy industry and political context of a number of Latin American countries makes the region’s energy market less predictable, as changes cannot be predicted using standard industry analysis tools. This article analyzes the most significant episodes of political intervention - external or internal - to the energy industry in the 21st century, as well as the impact that events and decisions in this industry had on the regional policy. The authors analyze distinctive examples of the interconnectedness of these areas, from the “resource diplomacy” of Venezuela to the decisive actions of A.M. Lopez Obrador in Mexican energy in the first months of his presidency, and draw parallels between the chains of events in politics and energy. As the cases of Brazil, Mexico, Bolivia, and Venezuela, cited in the article, show, the cost of error becomes extremely high when its consequences can destabilize both sectors due to their close interweaving.

About the authors

Viktor Lazarevich Jeifets

Saint-Petersburg State University

Author for correspondence.

PhD, Dr. of Science (History), Professor of the RAS, Director of Center for Ibero-American Studies

Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation

Daria Antonovna Pravdiuk

Saint-Petersburg State University


postgraduate student, School of International Relations

Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation


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Copyright (c) 2019 Jeifets V.L., Pravdiuk D.A.

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