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Integrating RegionsAsia in Comparative Context$
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Miles Kahler and Andrew MacIntyre

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780804783644

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804783644.001.0001

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Regional Economic Institutions in Latin America

Regional Economic Institutions in Latin America

Politics, Profits, and Peace

(p.107) 5 Regional Economic Institutions in Latin America
Integrating Regions

Jorge I. Domínguez

Stanford University Press

Regional integration in North America (NAFTA) and southernmost South America (MERCOSUR) liberalized trade and was built on, or contributed to, interstate peace since 1990. Regional integration in Central America and the Andean countries (LAFTA) liberalized and grew trade, but with interruptions, and did not secure interstate peace in the 1960s, 1970s, or since 1990. In the 1960s, LAFTA secured neither. Inter-presidential politics explain the design and subsequent failure of the initial integration agreements. Where domestic coalitions supported unilateral trade liberalization before integration, businesses expanded trade and facilitated agreement signing. Where interstate peace preceded or coincided with economic integration, integration supported peace. But integration itself did not prevent militarized interstate disputes in these regions. Once an agreement was established, a more automatic implementation created greater liberalization. The greater the role for presidents at this stage, the less effective the implementation. Supranational institutions had little effect on fostering trade or peace.

Keywords:   inter-presidential, inter-governmental, supranational, interstate peace, automatic rules, NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), MERCOSUR (Southern Common Market), Andean Community, CACM (Central American Common Market), LAFTA (Latin American Free Trade Association)

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