The shifting of the balance of world power away from the developed world to the Global South has raised an urgent question: can the post-WW II normative framework and the body of international law and practice be adapted and preserved?
When we started this website, the idea was to begin a broad discussion of Latin America’s emerging foreign policy and its implications for inter-American relations, economic development and democracy and human rights. Here is the outline for a book chapter I’m working on on the topic of Latin America foreign policy—part of a larger book project by New York University and, later, my own book. Here I post the precis for comments. Any and all are welcome—in the spirit of the website and public debate. (Please forgive any typos.) The goal is to provoke discussion. Your comments will help.
While much of the media and policy attention has focused on China, Russia and Iran’s involvement in the region—often with handwringing or finger pointing—India has become a player in its own right. Unlike China, the South Asian giant’s economic interests and practices in the region are more compatible to Latin American economies and development.
There are multiple causes for the escalating crime and violence that is sweeping the region and making Latin America the region with the highest murder rates in the world. Narcotics trafficking, weak states, misguided anti-narcotics policies are all partly to blame. But given the numbers of U.S.-purchased weapons turning up in crime scenes in Central America, the U.S.’s lax gun control laws are another.
Rather than focusing old time notions of levels of economic and military aid or large inspiring policy declarations, analysts and policymakers should focus their attention where policy and its return (i.e. influence) is most impactful—communication, contact and exchange that improve the daily lives of Latin American and Caribbean citizens.
The proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership is about far more than trade. It’s about creating a new international regime in the Pacific that will reinforce trade rules, smooth inter-state relations and promote international harmony with China.
Given Latin America’s woefully inadequate infrastructure, China’s plans to invest in roads and rails is a welcome opportunity. The question becomes, though, under what conditions for bidding and procurement and the protections for community land rights.
The TransPacific Partnership that is currently being negotiated will be neither an apocalypse nor a panacea. But what it will do is provide critical legal and institutional guarantees that will draw Asian investors to Latin America.
China has increased the sale of sophisticated weapons systems to Latin America and the Caribbean, mostly–though not exclusively–to countries opposed to the United States. With it has come other forms of military cooperation between China and its new customers. Should the U.S. be worried? If so, what can it do about it?
The so-called “surge” of unaccompanied children from Central America has not ended. Not only has the U.S. policy response been insufficient, the language describing the phenomenon has been offensive and unhelpful.