Regionalism and regional organizations. Exploring the dynamics of institutional development and change in Latin America

Dr. Andrea C. Bianculli, Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals (IBEI)

Two elements define regional integration in Latin America: its extension in time and its plurality. Whereas regionalism spans its history, from the 1990s regionalism faced changes. As countries pursued a multi-tier strategy of trade liberalization, new organizations were constructed and old ones reconstructed or reframed. With the turn of the century, the picture gained in complexity since new projects moved beyond traditional free trade issues to embrace cooperation in broader economic, political and social areas. Analyses abound regarding the drivers underlying the different waves of regional cooperation, their specific institutional design, and their effects and impact. However, to my knowledge, studies have not yet provided full answers to the question of how regional institutions change through time in Latin America. In other words, when and how do different patterns of institutional development and change occur?

To look into this rather underexplored issue, this paper goes back to study foundational moments when regional initiatives were set up and beyond to examine the conditions under which institutional development and change may occur. Theoretically, it develops a framework addressing the need to bring in ideas and interests in a particular regional institutional environment. It thus analyses the institutional, ideational and material factors underlying the process of institutional development. The aim is to offer a more nuanced understanding of the various patterns of institutional dynamics at the regional level. Empirically, it takes this to the analysis of regional cooperation in South America, which displays a complex mosaic of old, new, and even newer projects of regional cooperation, during the last 25 years.

About the speaker

Andrea C. Bianculli is an Assistant Professor at the Institut Barcelona d'Estudis Internacionals (IBEI). Her research is concerned with three different but strongly interwoven research areas: trade, regulation and development, with a regional focus on Latin America.

She has a PhD in Political and Social Sciences (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, 2010), and held a Juan de la Cierva-Incorporación Fellowship at IBEI and a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Research College ‘The Transformative Power of Europe,’ Freie Universität Berlin. She was also a researcher at the Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO-Argentina).

She is currently leading a project on ‘Regional Social Regulation in Latin America: A New Agenda for Development? Prospects and Challenges’ (SociAL-Reg), funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness (CSO2015-66411-P).

Venue: 0.16-0.17

Date: 12 April 2018

Time: 12:00 - 13:00  CET