Crises and Disintegration: Latin America and Europe in a Comparative Perspective

Crises and Disintegration: Latin America and Europe in a Comparative Perspective

Séance de séminaire accueille Marcelo de Almeida Mederos (Federal University of Pernambuco - UFPE)


Résumé (séance en angais) : 

"Modern regionalism acquires precise contours at the end of World War II. A mechanism is then galvanized which, in the main, seeks to protect the Old Continent from its recurrent access to nationalism, which had devastated it over the last few centuries. From now on, the European Union has become an indispensable reference. It provides a long period of peace, cooperation, and economic development since its edification, establishing itself as an object of theoretical reflection and simultaneously as a macro-political-social laboratory. Through a mimetic process, the successful European experience is reproduced - to a greater or lesser extent - in various parts of the globe. In the South American sub-continent, especially since the last quartile of the twentieth century, a host of regional initiatives have spread, anchored in the cooling of the nationalism of authoritarian regimes and guided by an economic liberalism derived from globalization: Mercosur, Unasur, Andean Community, among others. These initiatives, concurrent and/or complementary, have distinct features and pursue different objectives. However, they largely share the vision of the multi-level governance continuing progress: a one-way process. If punctual setbacks can occur, the very notion of reversibility, that is, of a disintegrative dynamic, does not seem to be a central worry for decision makers or scholars. The Brexit phenomenon transforms completely this perception. As a matter of fact, it shows that, despite all arguments, conjunctural scenarios and national political will anchored in a short term approach can prevail in face of spillover and spillaround effects or different kinds of supranational loyalties constructed in a long term assumption. In the Austral America, Chili and Venezuela had quitted the Andean Community in the middle 1970 and 2000 respectively. In 2018 Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, and Paraguay withdraw from Unasur. However, these departures did not provoke politicians and scholars’ huge interest, probably because of both the self-sclerosis of these institutional arrangements and its weak level of integration.


Also, since Dilma Rousseff’s presidency, Brazil looks to change its engagement in Mercosur – in all likelihood the most relevant process, as it involves the two greatest economies of the region, has a reasonable institutional structure and is featured by its long thematic reach. It did not quit it, but has progressively drawn its international perception on a national basis. The structural disruptions of Mercosur, which have precipitated disintegrating pressures over the last decade, reached even higher levels with the center-right government of Jair Bolsonaro, which adopted a nationalist discourse on domestic and foreign policies. Three points, of different nature, can be pointed to illustrate these disintegrating pressures: (i) economic: Mercosur members cannot negotiate trade tariffs individually; (ii) institutional: Mercosur suspends the direct election of the deputies of its Parliament; (iii) political: Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay and Peru signed a document in which they indicated their willingness to set up the Forum for the Progress of South America (PROSUR), replacing UNASUR. In fine the aim of this paper is, using the EU as a comparative referential, to investigate how the Southern America regional integration architecture matrix has reacted to the domestic and systemic disintegration forces, focusing especially on Mercosur and Brazil, and paying special attention to the role of nationalism on these collapses."


Lien de connexion Zoom :

Courriel : 
Cycle de séminaire : 
Ouvert à tous