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  • Author: Livia Peres Milani
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Contexto Internacional
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro
  • Abstract: Academic literature on US Foreign Policy to South America usually states its lack of atten- tion to the region in the post 9/11 period. I aim to problematize this assertion through an analysis of US regional security policy. Therefore, I consider data referring to military and economic assistance, arms transfers, and the SOUTHCOM position towards its area of responsibility, as well as official documents and diplomatic cables. I conclude that, although the region was not a priority, a waning in US actions or a moment of neglect in its policy towards it was likewise not observed. From a historical perspective, the area was never the main focus of attention, but there is a specialized bu- reaucracy that works on the region to maintain US hegemony. Therefore, the investigation indicates that Latin American assertiveness during the 2000s was caused primarily by the conjunction of the ascension of leftist governments and quest for autonomy, as well as by Chinese and Russian involve- ment in Latin America, but not by US neglect. The article is divided into six sections, including the introduction and final remarks. Following the introduction, I analyse the academic literature regarding USA-Latin American relations in the second section, the US assistance in the third, the SOUTHCOM postures in the fourth, and the strategies deployed by the USA regarding great powers and arms transfers in the fifth. Finally, I present the final remarks.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Regional Cooperation, Terrorism, Military Strategy, Counter-terrorism
  • Political Geography: Latin America, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Marina Gisela Vitelli
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Contexto Internacional
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro
  • Abstract: This article analyses the competing security perspectives of hemispheric and South Amer- ican defence cooperation initiatives. While the Organization of American States (OAS) emphasises domestic roles for armed forces in the region, concentrating on internal threats such as organised crime and terrorism, the South American Defence Council (CDS) emphasises the traditional con- ception of security, concentrating on the defence of sovereign states against external military threats. Despite its apparent consistency, the concept of deterrent cooperation has not taken hold. While the literature interprets this failure as a cooperation problem, I argue that it is due to a deeper re- gional trend, namely the tendency to neglect external defence in favour of internal security roles for armed forces. After building a conceptual framework for clarifying these divergent perspectives, I show how they define the activities of the two competing organisations. Next, I address the conflict between the CDS’s conception of security and the security policies of OAS member states. Finally, I discuss domestic and structural obstacles to the adoption of common Latin American defence policies.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America
  • Author: Octavio Amorim Neto
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Contexto Internacional
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro
  • Abstract: Latin American regional organisations (ROs) have been active in the area of citizen se- curity for at least a twenty year-period. An important relationship between citizen security and the democratic consolidation of ROs’ official documents in the Latin American region has been unexplored. This leads us to the main question of this paper: ‘What has been the role of ROs with a formalized level of citizen security cooperation in the democratic consolidation?’ To answer this question, this research was based on two case studies: The Central American Integration System (SICA) and the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) between 2008 and 2018, the period during which both organizations acted in the area of citizen security. The methodology used in this research was process tracing and comparative process tracing. Its results indicate that organisations developed a vision of how cooperative actions in citizen security can promote the consolidation of democracy by strengthening the rule of law. However, actors are sceptical of the ability of ROs to succeed, given the lack of political interest and the deficit of resources, that are major barriers for them to achieve great success in the citizen security field and, consequently, in the consolidation of democracy. The conclusion is that the analysed ROs produce a lot in terms of documents, but do little in achieving their ambitions, hence constituting, in and of themselves, a reflection of the flaws of the Latin American regionalism.
  • Topic: Security, Regional Cooperation, Democracy, Regionalism
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, North America
  • Author: Mônica Leite Lessa, Pablo Victor Fontes
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Contexto Internacional
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro
  • Abstract: This paper examines Venezuela’s audio-visual sector and its cultural and media policies during the Chávez Era (1999-2013). Accordingly, this analysis essentially emphasises how Chávez’s perception of the absence of representation concerning Venezuelan popular culture served as the basis for proposing a remodelling of cultural and media policies. Bearing in mind this scenario, we point out that this initiative took place in order to rescue, promote and appreciate national distinctiveness and to stimulate the population’s inclusion and social development. In this sense, we indicate that the reconstitution of Venezuela’s social fabric took place through a new, important and original agenda of cultural and/or audio-visual goods. Also, we suggest that, to a certain extent, the same process took place in Latin America.
  • Topic: Globalization, Culture, Media, Domestic politics, Social Policy
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Venezuela
  • Author: Pryanka Peñafiel Cevallos, Cécile Mouly
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Contexto Internacional
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro
  • Abstract: In light of the ongoing debate about the effectiveness of partial and impartial mediators, we examine how the Venezuelan government’s and the opposition’s perceptions of UNASUR and its good offices influenced its role as facilitator of dialogue between the two parties. We do so on the basis of interviews with key actors linked to the process, as well as a review of the literature and documentary sources. We find that, although there was a perception of lack of neutrality on the part of the mediators involved in the UNASUR effort to facilitate a dialogue in Venezuela, the parties themselves accepted the role of these mediators because they perceived that, through their means, they could achieve beneficial outcomes. Hence, we agree with various authors that the parties’ perception of a mediator is key. Nonetheless, we make a distinction between two types of perceptions that correspond to two types of legitimacy that a mediator can enjoy: ideological legitimacy and pragmatic legitimacy. We argue that the second type is essential and can explain the significant role that biased mediators play in various conflicts, such as that in Venezuela.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Venezuela
  • Author: Ramon Blanco, Ana Carolina Teixeira Delgado
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Contexto Internacional
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro
  • Abstract: This article examines a key element of the power relations underpinning international politics, namely coloniality. It delineates the coloniality of international politics, and elucidates the fundamental aspects of its operationalisation on the one hand, and its crystallisation into international politics on the other. The article is structured into three sections. First, it explores the meaning of coloniality, and outlines its fundamental characteristics. Next, it delineates a crucial operative element of coloniality, the idea of race, and the double movement through which coloniality is rendered operational – the colonisation of time and space. Finally, the article analyses two structuring problematisations that were fundamental to the crystallisation of coloniality in international politics – the work of Francisco de Vitoria, and the Valladolid Debate. It argues that the way in which these problematisations framed the relationship between the European Self and the ultimate Other of Western modernity – the indigenous peoples in the Americas – crystallised the pervasive role of coloniality in international politics.
  • Topic: Post Colonialism, Race, International Affairs, Colonialism, Indigenous
  • Political Geography: Europe, Latin America, Global Focus
  • Author: Natália Maria Félix de Souza
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Contexto Internacional
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro
  • Abstract: The publication of the last of three parts of Contexto Internacional’s special issue ‘Gender in the Global South’ is the opportunity to both celebrate and lament the accomplishments of feminist scholarship in the so-called global South. Reflecting from the Brazilian experience and scenario, it is remarkable how much the women, gender and sexuality agenda has grown in the field of international relations: from a marginal perspective at the turn of the century (Nogueira and Messari 2005), it has now become a major locus of resistance and contestation, which can be attested to by looking at the power plays at the Brazilian international relations association’s annual meetings, the multiplication of feminist collectives inside public and private universities, not to mention the growing number of gender-sensitive research articles published by the main national journals – including this triple special issue. From where I look, there is no doubt that feminism has come to shake the conventions of the area and produce a much more plural and interesting picture of international relations – one which encompasses more voices, stories, subjectivities and narratives. From this standpoint, there is much to celebrate and hope for.
  • Topic: International Relations, Gender Issues, Socialism/Marxism, Realism, International Relations Theory, Feminism, Liberalism
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Global Focus
  • Author: Andréa Gill, Thula Pires
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Contexto Internacional
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro
  • Abstract: This article proposes a re-reading of the problem of gender, or as it has been put, more often than not, ‘the woman problem,’ that resists the reproduction of modern/colonial systems of governance and their political norms, standards, ideals and pacts. In turn, it seeks to open pathways to dialogue with, rather than import, conceptions of gender that respond to the terms through which modern/colonial societies have been forged on the continent of Abya Yala, drawing inspiration from decolonial and diasporic perspectives. To this end, the article maps some of the available channels of the gender debate in what has come to be known as the global South from an array of perspectives that highlight the ways in which the relations between categories of oppression and privilege (such as race, class, sexuality and gender) are reflected and positioned so as to grapple with the coloniality of knowledge, power and being. More specifically, it focuses on three ways of dealing with power dynamics in the context of Abya Yala that have influenced how we conceive and respond to questions of gender. Its primary objective is to investigate the politico-epistemic conditions that structure gender thinking in binary and intersectional ways, and, in turn, open space for imbricated approaches forged from within (post-)colonial histories that do not take as their starting point the importation of theoretical references from places otherwise situated within a global political economy of knowledge/power/being. More than a critique of theoretical standpoints from the global North, in and of themselves, which regardless were not thought to respond to our realities, here we analyse the terms through which gender and feminisms have been put up for debate. Without effectively decentring the Eurocentred references that preoccupy gender thinking in our respective disputes, we risk continued distraction from what is at stake when gender is put on the table: the (im)possibilities of living one’s full humanity on one’s own terms.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Political Theory, Diaspora, Women, International Relations Theory
  • Political Geography: Europe, Latin America, Global Focus
  • Author: Enara Echart Muñoz, Maria del Carmen Villarreal
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Contexto Internacional
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro
  • Abstract: Since Cynthia Enloe asked, ‘Where are the women?’ in 1989, studies about the place of women in International Relations have increased. However, most of the analyses since then have focused on the participation of women in international organisations, events and institutional spaces, making invisible other practices and places occupied by black or indigenous women from the South. This article aims to highlight the role of women at the international level, analysing their performance in disputes over the meanings of development in Latin America and the Caribbean, based on struggles against extractivism. In addition to denouncing the impacts of this development model, these struggles seek to construct alternatives that, although they could be essentially local, have been multiplied and articulated throughout the Latin American and the Caribbean territory, as part of a broader resistance to the dominant extractivism in the region. These struggles will be mapped using a database of 259 conflicts around mining activities, developed by the Research Group on International Relations and Global South (GRISUL).
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Race, Natural Resources, Women, Global South, Indigenous
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Caribbean, Global Focus
  • Author: Felipe Jaramillo Ruiz, Juan Pablo Vallejo
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Contexto Internacional
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro
  • Abstract: This paper interrogates to what extent the gender component of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) Support Programme of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) reaffirms the post-political condition of climate change. By analysing the incorporation of gender in the NDC Support Programme and its articulation in Colombia’s Low-Carbon Development Strategy, the study exposes the strategic, epistemological, and normative risks of advancing feminist ideas within mainstream institutional frameworks. Thus, this paper shows the opportunities and challenges of dislocating the political and epistemological boundaries of climate change policies by promoting feminist ideas.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Gender Issues, United Nations, Women
  • Political Geography: Colombia, Latin America