Latin American Declaratory Regionalism: An Analysis of Presidential Discourse (1994-2014)

25 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2015

See all articles by Nicole Jenne

Nicole Jenne

European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS)

Luis Schenoni

University of Notre Dame - Kellogg Institute for International Studies; University of Notre Dame, College of Arts & Letters, Department of Political Science, Students

Date Written: July 2015

Abstract

If the idea of an integrated Latin America goes back to the early post-colonial days, the story of political and economic integration in Latin America is relatively quickly told. The attempts have been numerous, but in terms of policy outcomes and deep integration for the benefit of a regional public good, regionalism in Latin America has not lived up to the stated aims of its governments. The present paper takes a first step to examine the practice of referring to Latin America in the political discourse, a phenomenon that we term declaratory regionalism to denote its independence from substantial forms of regionalism. We analyse the use of declarationism in presidential speeches delivered on an annual basis to the UN General Assembly in two steps. First, we discuss a series of descriptive illustrations in light of existing scholarship on Latin American international relations. Subsequently, several hypotheses for why governments keep referring to the region while not necessarily privileging it in their foreign policy strategies are put to a test. While not offering a conclusive explanation, the results point to leftist ideology as a crucial factor in explaining the persistence of discursive regionalism at the UN General Assembly. The paper posits that future research is likely to benefit from conceiving Latin Americanism as a characteristic of leftist ideology.

Keywords: Latin America, regionalism, discursive practice

Suggested Citation

Jenne, Nicole and Schenoni, Luis, Latin American Declaratory Regionalism: An Analysis of Presidential Discourse (1994-2014) (July 2015). Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies Research Paper No. RSCAS 2015/53. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2631071 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2631071

Nicole Jenne (Contact Author)

European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS) ( email )

Villa La Fonte, via delle Fontanelle 18
50016 San Domenico di Fiesole
Florence, Florence 50014
Italy

Luis Schenoni

University of Notre Dame - Kellogg Institute for International Studies ( email )

130 Hesburgh Center
Notre Dame, IN 46556
United States

University of Notre Dame, College of Arts & Letters, Department of Political Science, Students ( email )

217 O'Shaughnessy Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556
United States

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