Creating Multilevel Security Governance in South America
GIGA Working Paper No 117
35 Pages Posted: 11 Jan 2010 Last revised: 17 Aug 2012
Date Written: December 11, 2009
South America’s security agenda demands the simultaneous management of domestic crises, interstate conflicts and transnational threats. Though located at different systemic levels (national, international, transnational), the three conflict clusters are often interrelated and tend to overlap in the region’s border areas. The region’s policy makers, aware of this highly complex agenda and in spite of their striking differences, have tended to build regional structures of authority that coordinate, manage and rule collective responses to these threats. In addition, the unilateral, bilateral and multilateral structures and the region’s capabilities to solve conflicts have become more important than the respective inter-American bodies over the past decade. Given this shift in the management of regional security affairs, we ask if a multilevel approach on the part of an overarching security architecture is more effective than separate governance schemes regarding each specific security threat. Since neither the traditional models of power balancing and alliance building nor the security-community approach can sufficiently explain the region’s security dynamics, we assume and provide evidence that different systems of security governance overlap and coexist in South America.
Keywords: South America, Brazil, United States, OAS, Rio Group, governance, security governance, structures of authority, multilevel approach, security threats, security agenda, UNASUR, MERCOSUR
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