Between Autonomy and Power – The Latin American Interpretation of Neorealism in the Cold War Era
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Uniwersytet Warszawski
Publication date: 2015-09-30
Stosunki Międzynarodowe – International Relations 2015;51(3):223-244
Neorealism is one of the principal theoretical approaches applied by Latin American researchers of international relations. They are, however, nonetheless aware of its limitations. First of all, Latin American scholars understand that neorealism was developed with great powers and with their vying for power within the international system in mind. Therefore, implementation of neorealism to in the Latin American reality is accompanied by adjustments to the regional specificity. The best example of this is the replacement of the category of ‘power’ with the term ‘autonomy’. Thus practically in all the countries of the region, deliberations on autonomy are the starting point for studying Latin America’s place and role in international relations. The aim of this article is, therefore, to present the specificity of the Latin American version of neorealism from the angle of autonomy. Drawing on the works of three representatives of this discipline in the region – the Argentinean Juan Carlos Puig, the Brazilian Hélio Jaguaribe and the Costa Rican Ethel Abarca – the author seeks to prove that in the context of the strong political and economic dependence of Latin American countries, they have only limited capability of independently acting in international relations, and they attempt to negotiate the extent of their autonomy in foreign policy and the room for manoeuvre.
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