Regional Power Transitions: Lessons from the Southern Cone

GIGA Working Paper No. 293

33 Pages Posted: 11 Nov 2016

See all articles by Luis Schenoni

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: October 1, 2016

Abstract

Approximately four decades ago, the Southern Cone witnessed the beginning of a transition from a bipolar balance of power between Argentina and Brazil to unipolarity under Brazilian primacy. While such processes are expected to generate conflict, this particular transition was cooperative, leaving an interesting IR puzzle unresolved: Why did Argentina stop counterbalancing Brazil and opt for accommodation instead? Building on power transition theory, I use process tracing to show that key cooperative turns in this bilateral relationship – during the late 1970s and early 1990s – were possible only after social coalitions were redefined in Argentina. My conclusions suggest that cooperation between Argentina and Brazil was not a product of democracy but rather a consequence of structural changes, at both the international and the domestic level.

Keywords: Brazil, Argentina, Southern Cone, Power Transition

Suggested Citation

Schenoni, Luis, Regional Power Transitions: Lessons from the Southern Cone (October 1, 2016). GIGA Working Paper No. 293. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2864105

Luis Schenoni (Contact Author)

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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