The North–South divide and security in the Western Hemisphere: United States–South American relations after September 11 and the Iraq war

Mario E Carranza
Content Type
Journal Article
International Politics
Issue Number
Publication Date
March 2009
Palgrave Macmillan
This paper examines the economics-security nexus in US policy toward South America, and the implications for South America of the 'securitization' of US foreign economic policy during the Bush administration. There has always been a tight linkage between the US foreign economic and security agendas but the real issue is the degree of 'tightness' at a given point in time. After the Alliance for Progress lost its way the United States tended to pursue its economic and security interests in South America in separate tracks, even if preventing Soviet intrusions in the region remained in the background. Yet after the collapse of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) negotiations in 2004 a US strategy of 'divide and conquer' through bilateral trade deals has been accompanied by a 'securitization' discourse and there are some indications that it may 'securitize' as a new threat the social movements and neopopulist regimes that oppose neoliberal economic policies. The paper discusses the limits of the securitization thesis. The conclusion examines the future of US-South American relations and argues that the United States needs to renew its commitment to genuine multilateralism and re-engage the region to establish an effective and lasting partnership for dealing with common economic and security challenges in the twenty-first century.
Security, War
Political Geography
United States, Iraq, America, South America