The Argentina-Brazil Regional Power Transition

Foreign Policy Analysis (2017)

Posted: 30 Nov 2017

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: 2017

Abstract

Almost four decades have passed since the Argentina-Brazil balance of power gave way to a Brazilian uncontested primacy in the Southern Cone. The peaceful and cooperative nature of this regional power transition poses an interesting puzzle for structural theories and those concerned with the US-China transition. Why do certain countries accept accommodation more leniently, like Argentina did? I offer an explanatory model and use process tracing to show that key cooperative turns in this bilateral relationship—during the late 1970s and early 1990s—required concurrent structural changes, both at the international and domestic levels. My conclusions suggest, against the prevalent narrative, that cooperation between Argentina and Brazil was not a product of democracy. Instead, peaceful power transitions take place when the costs of confrontation are high and social coalitions are largely redefined in the declining state.

Suggested Citation

Schenoni, Luis, The Argentina-Brazil Regional Power Transition (2017). Foreign Policy Analysis (2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3074109

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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