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Volume 53 / Social Sciences

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS: GENERAL


G. POPE ATKINS, Visiting Scholar, Institute of Latin American Studies, University of Texas at Austin, and Professor Emeritus of Political Science, United States Naval Academy

A SURVEY OF THE WORKS appearing during this biennium confirms two related trends in the general study of Latin American international relations: 1) the recognition of the end of the Cold War and its impact on virtually all elements of the Latin American international subsystem; and 2) the substantial increase in publications dealing with general Latin American international relations on policies, relations, institutions, and issues beyond the subregions and individual countries within Latin America. The latter trend is a reversal of the sharp decline of attention to general works on the international relations of Latin America, a reduction which began in the early 1980s and subsequently stabilized at the lower level for the remainder of the decade. While none of the issues now at the top of the post-Cold War research agenda are new (e.g., economic questions, democracy and human rights, narcotraffic, immigration and refugees, and, to a lesser but increasing extent, environmental problems), they have nevertheless achieved a higher priority and increased scholarly as well as policy attention. In addition, the established themes having to do with Latin American foreign policy actions, the Latin American policies of the US and other external states, and the roles of international institutions at all levels, have been fundamentally influenced by the realities of the post-Cold War era.

A number of works appeared dealing with broad aspects of Latin American international relations. Muñoz again edited a valuable annual series covering a broad range of countries, policies, interactions, and issues relevant to Latin America (item bi 90008484). Other broad treatments are the fourth edition of Boersner's survey of Latin American international history (item bi 92000451), Castañeda's handling of Latin America's position in the global international structure with the end of the Cold War (item bi 91006628), and the multi-authored América Latina en el nuevo contexto internacional (item bi 92000605), set in the current era of fundamental international change. Fauriol edited a volume covering a host of processes and issues in the context of international security (item bi 93013214). Written before the dissolution of the USSR and the evident rise of newly cooperative inter-American relations, Jaguaribe's update of his international systemic analyses emphasized the division of the world into US and Soviet hegemonic areas (item bi 90014233). Díaz Arenas also emphasized superpower domination (item bi 92000601), while van Klaveren identified Latin American tendencies toward more foreign policy independence (item bi 91006508). Velásquez Rivera explored factors in and connections between rebuilding the global and inter-American regional orders (item bi 91010348). Guttman and Laughlin (item bi 91007313) and Winchester (item bi 91003340) created scenarios of how Latin American attention has focused and may further focus on the region's position in the Pacific Rim. Domínguez provocatively interpreted realities of the New International Economic Order and Latin America's inadequate position in it (item bi 90014337).

Latin American policies and intra-regional relations continued to receive significant effort. Attention should be called to the endeavor by Russell and colleagues, whose applications of decision theory to Latin American foreign policy-making are among the more important contributions surveyed for this biennium (item bi 92000597). The concept of concertación, or intra-Latin American foreign policy collaboration and coordination, received much notice. Karl saw it as an important shared policy orientation going well beyond the mere extension of a long established inclination to mutual association toward the outside world (item bi 90014161). On this same theme, a book-length treatment by Frohman included analyses of certain Latin American inter-governmental organizations and efforts (item bi 92000606). A study by the Institute for European-Latin American Relations (IRELA) provided useful information about the evolution of the Group of Eight and its expanded role (item bi 93013526). Vacchino addressed Latin American economic integration schemes in the context of new international conditions (item bi 91007925), while the multi-authored Integración solidaria para el mantenimiento de la paz en América Latina (item bi 92000596) emphasized Latin American shortcomings in that effort.

A serious list of works appeared with regard to US policies and policy-making. Shavitt assembled a highly useful dictionary providing a general reference work of particular interest to historians and political scientists (item bi 92008647). The second editions of two undergraduate textbooks on US Latin American policies appeared, by Kryzanek (item bi 93013116) and Molineau (item bi 92000454). Lowenthal also published a second edition of his interpretation of US policies and policy-making (item bi 93013129), to be read with his article on President Bush's "rediscovery" of Latin America (item bi 91006139). Atkins edited a book treating US policy orientations and issues explicitly in terms of the characteristics of the post-Cold War period (item bi 93006260). The latest reports of the Inter-American Dialogue prescribed US policies from a liberal/progressive point of view (items bi 93012890 and bi 92000430). Krenn produced a good study of US political-economic nationalism (item bi 92005835).

An interesting development was the emergence of something of a consensus among writers formerly in opposition to one another about what was important for the United States to address in its Latin American policies. The often contentious tenor of their prior debate changed with the end of many of the controversies attendant to the Reagan Administration and the fitting of Latin American policies into post-Cold War calculations. While differing views were still expressed on matters such as the US military intervention in Panama, the Enterprise for the Americas Initiative, and the meaning of "security," they joined in arguing that with the end of the (real, perceived, or manufactured) Soviet threat in the hemisphere, the US must deal in a more effective manner with the problems of Central America, debt, trade, investment, drugs, democracy, human rights, immigrants and refugees, the environment, and insurgency, raising them (in some sequence) to high priority in the 1990s. They also shared generally negative appraisals of the Bush Administration's record in addressing the problems.

Among writers who had been strongly critical of US policies in the 1980s, Pastor assumed President Bush would pay attention to the region but questioned how effective his actions would be (item bi 92016534); Lowenthal applauded the Bush Administration for distancing itself from the Reagan approaches, but saw some policy initiatives faltering and others in danger of being overwhelmed (item bi 91006139). Similar conclusions were voiced by those who had approved of Reagan's orientations and actions, some as advisors and officials. Jordan saw an unfulfilled need to emphasize a Latin American democratic order as the key to problem-solving (item bi 91006673); Perry said that neither the Administration nor Congress had risen to the policy challenges in Latin America (item bi 91007300); Fauriol lauded Bush's "policy pragmatism" but bemoaned it was not "anchored by an identifiable regional strategic vision" (item bi 91005978); Wiarda predicted with confident pessimism that the lack of an external threat in the region would result in a relatively low-level bureaucratic management of the issues (item bi 92016500). These writers also tended to agree that in any event hemispheric economic, political, social, and security relationships would maintain their unique character, be vital to US interests, and not fade soon.

Contention did not disappear, however, as evidenced by three historical analyses. A textbook by Cockcroft employed a dependency approach to US-Latin American relations (item bi 90008482). In the "seeing ourselves as others see us" category for US readers, Glinkin (item bi 92000423) and Modak et al. (item bi 93013262) engaged in anti-imperialist analyses, the former on the entire sweep of inter-American relations and the latter on more contemporary affairs.

Some further international histories are noted with regard to US-Latin American interactions: Johnson examined the early 19th-century beginnings of US regional policies which were unhappily anchored in negative cultural stereotypes (item bi 92000434); Shurbutt edited a volume that also deals with the formative period of relations to mid-19th century, finding little US understanding of the region and few policy consistencies (item bi 92000428); and Langley published the general overview volume in a projected series on the historical relations of the US with Latin America and Canada (item bi 92000438). Political scientist Poitras tackled the subject of US regional hegemony and its decline (item bi 92000457). Two volumes, one edited by Bloomfield and Treverton (item bi 92000445) and the other by Varas (item bi 93013084), thoroughly analyzed inter-American security relationships. The secretariat staff of a leading Latin American inter-governmental organization, the Latin American Economic System (SELA), provided a good early analysis of President Bush's Enterprise for the Americas Initiative (item bi 91007912). The inter-American system also received realistic yet optimistic attention in articles by Bloomfield and Lowenthal (item bi 91006717), Ray and Reyes (item bi 91009230), Tomasek (item bi 91009227), and Wilson (item bi 91009228).

Analyses of European actors emphasized political economic policies and relations. Two multi-authored volumes, one edited by Stevens (item bi 92000602) and the other titled Europa-América Latina, el desafío de la cooperación (item bi 90009946), each covered a broad range of elements in the inter-regional relationship with emphasis on the European Community (EC) as it appeared to move toward more intense integration after 1992 - a goal in serious jeopardy as of summer 1992. SELA reported to member States on the likely implications of increased European unity for Latin America (item bi 90011794) and IRELA, associated with the EC, produced informative analyses on current European-Latin American relations both in the 1990s (item bi 93013524) and in the context of the Enterprise for the Americas Initiative (item bi 93013511). Several works generally agreed that inter-regional relations could be based on complementarity, but indicated pessimism about future EC-Latin American relations, especially because of Europe's negative perceptions of Latin America and Latin America's lack of developmental and negotiating capacities. See, for example the book by Granda Alva et al. (item bi 90008483) and articles by Berrocal (item bi 91007927), Heine (item bi 91024357), Jaworski (item bi 91006509), Trein (item bi 91009786), and Wiarda (item bi 91007311). On British relations, Bulmer-Thomas edited a sophisticated volume of international history (item bi 93012904); and on Spain, Enrich wrote a good history of the period 1955-85 (item bi 92000594).

Events outpaced analysis in the case of the former Soviet Union's role in Latin America. Soviet expert Valenta (item bi 91007307), for example, concluded in an article written in late 1989 that the "Soviets have not abdicated their role as a global power and in the long run can be expected to compete vigorously with the United States in Latin America." Four good books analyzing Soviet policies were the following: the one authored by Miller (item bi 90009942) and those edited by Mujal-León (item bi 90009944), Russell (item bi 92000598), and W. Smith (item bi 92001191). Prizel examined Soviet perceptions of Latin America for the period 1964-82 (item bi 93013209). In-depth works on post-Cold War, post-Soviet Union policies toward Latin America are yet to be written, however, although some useful initial analyses have appeared. Of particular interest is an article by Mikoyan, editor of Latinska&z.lig;ia Amerika (Moscow) who clearly supported perestroika and the implications for Soviet Latin American policy (item bi 91000694); also valuable is the multi-authored La perestroika y la América Latina (item bi 90009945). On Eastern Europe, see Europa del Este y América Latina (item bi 92000600), in which six writers on the left wrestled with the implications of post-communism; Fernandes also wrote on the same subject (item bi 91009784).

Other States also received attention: Purcell and Immerman edited a brief but useful book on Japan (item bi 92016296); Schuyler wrote an article analyzing general Canadian policies toward Latin America (item bi 91009072); and Guy contributed an optimistic article about Canada's future positive role as a full member of the OAS (item bi 91009229).

Economic policies and interactions led the list of issues under evaluation. The resuscitated activities of Latin American integration organizations and the new Enterprise for the Americas Initiative were the leading subjects of analytic choice, while writings on external debt tapered off, apparently reflecting the conclusion that the problem, while still serious, has become stabilized and subsumed under efforts for integrated and reformed trade and investment. A number of items have already been mentioned above in different contexts. In addition, Marichal wrote a superb history of Latin America's external debt (item bi 92000637), and Weintraub offered an enlightening article on the vagaries of proposed hemispheric free trade (item bi 91009066).

On political questions of democracy and human rights as international issues, five substantial books are annotated: those authored by Carothers (item bi 92000599), Mower (item bi 93013139), and Wiarda (item bi 93013270), and those edited by Lowenthal (item bi 91002359) and Varas (item bi 92000595). In a related effort, Kryzanek produced an innovative treatment of US policy in terms of the nature and characteristics of Latin American leaders and regime types (item bi 92008909). Attention is also called to three articles addressing certain military elements in these questions: a thoughtful work by Marcella on low intensity conflict doctrines (item bi 93013136); a provocative analysis by Pion-Berlin arguing that Latin American armed forces in recent decades have held softline progressive ideologies as well as hardline conservative ones (item bi 91006588); and an unconventional conclusion by Poe that the Reagan Administration in fact required respect for human rights by recipients of US military aid (item bi 91007893).

In other items, Knape interpreted British-US rivalry over arms sales to Latin America in the immediate post-World War II period (item bi 90003954), and Radu and Tismaneanu assembled a practical guide to Latin American insurgents (item bi 93000860).

The drearily persistent issue of traffic in illicit narcotics continued to receive scrutiny. Mabry edited a book debating aspects of the narcotraffic in terms of US national security (item bi 92000442), and Bagley added an article to his extensive list of authoritative analyses worrying about the effects of US and Latin American militarization of the "war on drugs" (item bi 93012884). A book by Walker provided good historical perspective of the century-old inter-American attempt to control drug trafficking (item bi 93013267) and an article by Perl offered a worthwhile but studiously issue-free description of the Bush counter-narcotics plan of Jan. 1990 (item bi 91007339). García-Sayán compiled disparate, yet often informative and even provocative, conference presentations on the narcotraffic, mostly by Latin American and outside government officials (item bi 92000604). Smith edited a comprehensive book discussing Drug policy in the Americas (item bi 93019966), a major contribution defining the problem, assessing policy alternatives, and exploring international cooperation.

With regard to international questions about environmental degradation and protection, Tulchin and Rudman edited a book linking questions of Latin American economic development to problems of environmental protection (item bi 91025752), and Muñoz assembled some commentary and a number of selected official documents related to inter-American "environmental" diplomacy (item bi 92015835).


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