Vol 22, No 3 (2022): Latin American Identity Discourse and a New Regional Integration Agenda


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

Jeifets V.L., Konovalova K.A.


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.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2022;22(3):447-463
pages 447-463 views

Dynamics and Prospects for China - Latin America Relations from the Perspective of Latin American Scholars

Bernal-Meza R.


The research reveals Latin American academic thought on the relationship between Latin America countries and China. The relevance of the topic is linked to the growing importance and presence of China in the foreign policy of Latin American countries, whose bilateral relations are developing against a backdrop of growing US - China tensions. Today, China is one of the key economic partners of several Latin American countries, as well as implementing a number of infrastructure projects on the continent. This forces Latin America to choose between traditional ties of dependence vis-à-vis Washington and increasing economic and investment cooperation with Beijing. Methodologically the article is based on the study and interpretation of the ideas of Latin American scholars and experts gathered from secondary sources, monographs and academic articles. The author puts forward two hypotheses based on the existence of two conjectures. The first hypothesis is that there is no consensus among Latin American scholars and representatives of research centers about the impact of China’s bilateral relations with the countries of the region in the logic of the core-periphery model on the economic development of Latin America. The second hypothesis is that the views of the local academic community have little or even no influence on the decisions Latin American governments make regarding China. The author concludes that at a time when Latin America is going through a crisis cycle of integration processes the region is unable to take a unified position on the issue of assessing China’s performance.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2022;22(3):464-477
pages 464-477 views

Latin America in/and the AIIB: A Constructivist Analysis

Turzi M., Mendez Á.


This research focuses on the relationship between Latin America and China. The authors try to answer the question of why the countries of the region have been passive in the context of their interaction with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). The relevance of the topic stems from the gradual increase in China’s importance and presence in the Latin American region. Today, China is one of the key economic partners of several Latin American countries. To date, however, countries in the region have not been very active in their engagement with the AIIB, despite the existence of specific material incentives. Methodologically, the study is based on a constructivist approach. According to the authors, alternative paradigms of international relations, such as liberalism and realism, fail to explain the paradox of stubborn inaction by the countries of the region. This is due to the fact that the historically rooted and culturally bound procedural nature of international relations allows constructivism to uncover the individual facts that led to this result. The authors conclude that governments in the Latin American region have “constructed” between themselves quite a few customary modes of behaviour which debilitate their demonstrated capacity for agency in international affairs. This has created a vacuum of effective strategy in relations with China in the region. Moreover, this pattern of engagement is not limited to China and is evident in the relations of regional countries with the US and other extra-regional powers.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2022;22(3):478-494
pages 478-494 views

Central America Facing the Bicentennial Crisis: Political Uncertainty, Economic Hardship and Climate Challenges

Martí i Puig S., Rodríguez Suárez D.


Central America meets the bicentenary of its independence in the midst of a threefold crisis: a political crisis marked by democratic regression; an economic crisis resulting from the COVID-19 maelstrom and the subsequent collapse of international trade and tourism; finally, a humanitarian crisis generated by the pandemic and climate change. In this article we will focus our attention on how this triple crisis has hit five Central American republics - the three that make up the so called Northern Triangle, as well as Nicaragua and Costa Rica. This article will look at the political level by country and jointly address the problems created by the pandemic and the challenges and costs posed by the climate crisis. Based on the complex nature of the crisis the defended theses are threefold. The first is that the democracy of the prevailing political regimes has been eroded in the 21st century. In some cases, as a result of the collapse of the traditional party systems, in other cases due to a lack of public confidence, and in some cases due to the increase of power in the hands of presidents. The second thesis relates to unexpected natural phenomena, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters, for instance, hurricanes. These phenomena increased the demands on weakened institutions and highlighted the precariousness in which the majority of the population lives. The third thesis points out that in order to cope with the political and humanitarian crisis many of the region’s citizens opted to migrate northwards. Central Americans’ individual preference for emigration implies the dismissal of the possibility of seeking social improvements through collective commitments and struggles in their own country.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2022;22(3):495-505
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Latin America: From the “Washington” to the “Cornwall Consensus”

Moseykin Y.N., Ojeda Calluni E., Moseykina M.N.


The research examines the proposals of the “Cornwall Consensus” in the context of their possible application in Latin America. The authors argue that these proposals could contribute to the development of a new economic development strategy for the post-liberal period. It is likely that the “Cornwall Consensus” proposals become dominant in shaping the global agenda on the new economic paradigm. Although it is important to mention that nowadays there also also “Beijing” and “Delhi” consensuses those are linked to the Chinese and Indian models of economic liberalization and constitute an alternative to the “Washington Consensus”. The article analyzes the effectiveness of the “Washington Consensus” adjustment mechanism, carries out a comparative analysis of the Latin American economies that pursued both liberal and statist development models. Then the article examines the main recommendations and ideas of the “Cornwall Consensus”, the prospects of adapting the Latin American region to the proposals of a new development model against the background of existing experience in implementing the recommendations of the “Washington Consensus”, its consequences and existing “post-neoliberal” alternatives. The authors conclude that, despite the adaptability of the Latin American economies, the question remains whether the proposals of the “Cornwall Consensus” can contribute to the revival of the development policy in Latin America aimed at creating a new type of “welfare state”? The study concludes that the proposals of the “Cornwall Consensus” could contribute to the formulation of a new development policy, since the “welfare state” in its Latin American version, regardless of whether “neoliberal” or “progressive”, has exhausted itself.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2022;22(3):506-519
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Latin America and the European Union: Conceptual Approaches and Practice of Economic Cooperation

Tayar V.M.


The article deals with North - South cooperation between the European Union (EU) and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) with an emphasis on bilateral trade. Over the past decades, cooperation with the EU has been perceived in LAC as a counterweight to the US dominance and one of the priorities of external economic relations. The article presents a retrospective of theoretical approaches of the non-Western Latin American school of UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC, CEPAL in Spanish) to the economic cooperation with the EU. A feature of the article is the study of trade interaction between the LCA and the EU countries. When analyzing the dynamics of trade during the first two decades of the 21st century the author of the article comes to the conclusion that the trade exchange between the EU and the LCA is uneven. There are many LAC countries that continue to export low-value-added products to the EU. Thus, the dichotomy between two models of commercial specialization of LAC has exacerbated. On one hand, there is a model of South American countries focused on raw materials (MERCOSUR, Andean Community), and, on the other hand, there is a model that includes the export of manufactured products and participation in industrial production chains (Mexico, Central America). The article concludes that MERCOSUR will probably face a number of trade challenges related to its model of economic globalization, particularly with regard to its export specialization in commodities and food. The relevance of the study is due to the fact that in the context of exacerbation of geopolitical contradictions and a changing world order, it is important to analyze the Latin American approach to economic cooperation with the EU countries, among which, in turn, there is a growing understanding that still free niches in the Latin American market can be occupied by China or other partners not belonging to the collective West.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2022;22(3):520-536
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Latin American Experience of Paradiplomacy: The Case of Mercocities

Alibalaev M.M., Kuznetsov D.A.


At present, the nature and scope of paradiplomacy vary depending on the level of political activeness of the regions, local challenges and the willingness of both states and sub-national entities to implement paradiplomacy strategies. Latin America, taken as an object of study, is no exception. Over the past three decades, Latin America has gained considerable experience of interaction at the level of cities and sub-national regions. The aim of the research is to identify the key features and problems that shape the development of paradiplomacy in South America, using Mercociudades (Mercocities) as an example. This network includes cities of MERCOSUR member states, while remaining open to other cities. Mercociudades might be regarded as the largest and most influential actor of that nature, whose aim is to develop regional units. Relying on case study, document analysis, comparative analysis and SWOT technique, the authors reveal some problems of institutional and organizational nature, differences in legal frameworks of different actors and irrelevance of separate Mercociudades projects and structures for tackling common challenges. Many of the shortcomings of Mercociudades lie in the very nature of the network, determined by its structure and the policies of MERCOSUR member states. At the same time, it is argued that the Mercociudades network can be considered one of the most advanced paradiplomacy cases. Its experience is relatively successful, contributing to the economic, social and political development of the member cities and states concerned. The research is based on official documents and respectful academic sources.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2022;22(3):537-553
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Venezuelan Forced Migrants and Refugees in Brazil and Ecuador: Security Issues and Social Provision during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Pacifico A.P., Da Costa Santos J., Silva F.S.


The worsening economic and social crisis in Venezuela has led to a massive flow of Venezuelan migrants to neighbouring Latin American countries. The influx of forced migrants from Venezuela has challenged the regional security of Latin American countries, which were already experiencing structural and social problems. Brazil and Ecuador, where a significant number of Venezuelan nationals arrived, faced great obstacles in providing the arriving migrants with access to health care and education for their children, jobs, while at the same time meeting the needs and social problems of the local population. After the upheaval of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, social problems such as health, education, job access, security, and governance have proven to be the most challenging in the region. However, as the pandemic situation showed, regional leaders were negligent in their response to the disease and refused to cooperate in addressing the problem, with dire consequences. This article analyses the impact of the Brazilian and Ecuadorian immigration laws and asylum policy on the protection of Venezuelans’ forced migrants and refugees who entered Brazil and Ecuador before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a regional security issue, the protection of Venezuelans is the basis for regional stability, which can only be achieved through cross-issue persuasion. The article, therefore, concludes that Brazil and Ecuador, after having created rules and implemented public policies before and after the pandemic, in cooperation or not with diverse international and national actors, to host and integrate Venezuelan citizens in both countries, have followed their commitment in accordance with previously adopted international and regional agreements, and domestic laws.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2022;22(3):554-570
pages 554-570 views


The United States - Mexico Relations in the Context of the USMCA Agreement Ratification

Sokov I.A.


The research is devoted to the consideration of the US-Mexican relations in the context of ratification of a new trilateral US - Mexico - Canada trade agreement - USMCA, that replaced NAFTA. Since the end of 2018, after the singing of USMCA and the general elections of Mexican President, the US-Mexican relations during 2019 developed under challenging conditions of political confrontation, which consisted in the pressure of US president D. Trump Administration and the US Congress on the Mexican government to include additional conditions in the agreement, related to the Mexican workers’ salary, new rules of origin for Mexican goods, customs duties on steel and aluminium, evaluation of the cost of pharmaceutical products, the increase in environmental standards, as well as the inclusion of government measures to stop transit migration from Central America to the USA through Mexican territory. These innovations in bilateral relations determine the relevance of this article. The purpose of the study is to assess the changes that have occurred in the bilateral relations while the states were discussing the terms of USMCA agreement and the first two years of its application. As a method, a comparative analysis of texts was used, including interim negotiations results between the heads of states, trade representatives, and the representatives of the Mexican Foreign Ministry and the US State Department, texts of speeches by parliamentarians, and materials from the American and Mexican media. The article highlights the changes in the US-Mexican relations during 2019-2021 after USMCA ratification, and provides the author’s forecast of their development in the near future, considering the strict American trade requirements to Mexico that formed in the process. The author comes to the conclusion that the United States will be guided by its own interests and may unfairly fulfil some of the conditions of USMCA agreement.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2022;22(3):571-585
pages 571-585 views

Spanish Humanitarian Policy in Latin America: Peculiarities and Priorities

Borzova A.Y., Volosyuk O.V., Nikolashvili N.D.


The article deals with the establishment and formation of the humanitarian policy of Spain, the evolution of the concept of “Hispanidad” in relation to Latin America, when Spain, along with the expansion of investment and economic cooperation, was building up educational, scientific, cultural interaction based on a common historical past, and intended positioning itself as a “bridge” between the EU and this region. The authors apply the theory of constructivism, based on the position that “historical and cultural paradigms,” norms and beliefs, and not only economic power influences the rapprochement of states. The chronological order makes possible to trace the evolution of the features and priorities of the country’s humanitarian policy, starting from the second half of the 2010s, when it was reduced to the dominance of the educational and scientific factor in Spanish public diplomacy towards Latin America. The Spanish state has achieved significant results in improving the system of higher education, making it attractive to foreign students. The activities of public and private structures (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, AECID, Carolina Foundation, Casa America) are focused not only at creating a positive image of Spain (the Program “Spain Global”), but also at forming a common Ibero-American scientific and educational space. In the Ibero-American Community of Nations (ICN), which unites countries on the basis of language and culture, an important place is given to youth problems related to the availability of quality education and employment, as well as issues of digitalization, economic modernization, renewable energy. Within the framework of the ICN, the Tordesillas Group, the Association of Ibero-American Universities, the La Rabida Group, etc., are intended to implement the 2021 Goals in the field of education. The use of professional research networks, the introduction of new skills and competencies for students and teachers, the creation of the Ibero-American Institute for Education and Productivity (IIEYP), focusing on the relationship between education and economic growth, became a real basis for strengthening a common Ibero-American educational and scientific space as a main priority in the actual humanitarian policy of Spain.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2022;22(3):586-599
pages 586-599 views


Brazil’s New Investment Treaty Model: Why Now?

Amorim L.S., Menezes H.Z.


The investment treaty regime, unlike other economic regimes, lacks common substantive multilateral rules and depends on countries signing bilateral or plurilateral investment treaties. As the regime presented a pro-developed country bias, developing countries, especially in Latin America, avoided signing investment treaties up to the 1980s. Brazil followed this trend and did not start an investment treaty program until the late 1990s. However, the treaties never entered into force. The country also avoided acceding to the World Bank agency responsible for investment arbitration proceedings - the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). In 2015, Brazil started a new investment treaty program. However, the timing seems counterintuitive. The investment treaty regime had already been criticized, including inefficiency in attracting foreign investment, the potential to encroach on countries’ regulatory sovereignty and the lack of legitimacy of its investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) procedure. Furthermore, the favorable foreign economic scenario did not force the country to seek an inflow of foreign capital at that time. The new Cooperation and Facilitation Investment Agreement (CFIA) is presented as an investment treaty model for developing countries, since it responds to major criticisms to the investment treaty regime, and at the same time meets the demands of an important domestic interest group, the Brazilian industrial sector, for a legal framework that mitigates the political risk of its increasingly internationalized operations. Brazil’s CFIA may be viewed as a model that other developing countries could emulate in the face of the failure of the traditional paradigm of investment dispute settlement.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2022;22(3):600-612
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Some Reflections on the 40th Anniversary of the War in the South Atlantic : Interview with Boris F. Martynov, Dr. of Sc. (Political Sciences), Professor, Head of the Department of International Relations and Foreign Policy of Russia, MGIMO University. Interviewed by A. A. Eremin

Martynov B.F.


The 40th anniversary of the British-Argentinian war in the South Atlantic is a proper time to speak about some unresolved regional questions. One of them is how are the results of that far-off conflict connected with the present-day realities? To answer it, we turned to a renowned specialist in the region of Latin America, Boris Fedorovich Martynov. His profound regional expertise and extensive academic background helped to establish some logical connections that explain unobvious links between the Malvinas war of 1982 and today’s regional troubles. According to Professor Martynov, it was then that the “solidarity” between the United States and Britain first manifested itself so openly, outlining the true position and priority (or the lack of it) for Latin American countries in the so-called “Western” world. In the course of the interview we came to the conclusion that the present state of international relations doesn’t allow to expect much as for a peaceful resolution of this conflict between Argentina and UK in short or medium term. At the same time, there remains some hope of growing solidarity of the Latin American countries with the Argentinian case, which could provide the country with an opportunity to reshape the current balance of power in the long run. This interview suggests that the crisis in the South Atlantic has had a significant impact on the current state of world politics and international law.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2022;22(3):613-624
pages 613-624 views


Book review: Martynov, B. F., & Borzova, A. Yu. (2021). History of Foreign Policy and Diplomacy of Brazil. Moscow: Aspekt Press publ., 287 p. (In Russian)

Eremin A.A., Medina González X.



Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2022;22(3):625-628
pages 625-628 views

Book review: Acharya, A., Deciancio, M., & Tussie, D. (Eds.). (2021). Latin America in Global International Relations. New York, London: Routledge, 267 p.

Kodzoev M.A.



Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2022;22(3):629-631
pages 629-631 views

Book review: Rouvinski, V., & Jeifets, V. (Eds.). (2022). Rethinking Post-Cold War - Latin American Relations. New York, London: Routledge, 303 p.

Kostiuk R.V.



Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2022;22(3):632-634
pages 632-634 views

Book review: Fenenko, A. V. (2022). History of International Relations in the Pre-Westphalian Era: Textbook for Higher Education Institutions. Moscow: Aspekt Press publ., 752 p. (In Russian)

Malyshev D.V.



Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2022;22(3):635-638
pages 635-638 views

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