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The hybrid security governance mechanisms in South America

Grant number: 19/18932-3
Support type:Research Grants - Visiting Researcher Grant - International
Duration: March 02, 2020 - June 30, 2020
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Political Science - International Politics
Principal researcher:Rafael Antonio Duarte Villa
Grantee:Rafael Antonio Duarte Villa
Visiting researcher: Fabricio Henricco Chagas-Bastos
Visiting researcher institution: University of Melbourne, Australia
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


In this research proposal we aim at a collaboration to deepen our understanding on the nuances in securitygovernance in South America. The framework the authors developed argues that one must look at the hybridsecurity governance system that emerges from the overlapping practices of security community and balance ofpower. Essential elements of security governance in the region cannot be reduced to one or another securitygovernance rationale and respectively associated mechanisms. The conceptual ground advanced in this shortresearch collaboration shows that practices of security governance in the region have been merging through time,space, functional bureaucracies, and political praxis, in order to create unique and context-specific forms ofconflict resolution and to secure regional stability. The hybridity exhibited by South American security governancecontributes to the emergence and durability of weak conflict resolution mechanisms and the fragileinstitutionalization of security dialogue mechanisms-which are unable to avoid security dilemmas. For this reason,all South American countries involved in territorial conflicts use conflict resolution mechanisms outside the region,such as the UN Secretariat, the International Court of Justice, and even the Vatican. Territorial disputes such asthose faced by Bolivia, Chile, and Peru or by Venezuela and Colombia indicate that states maintain theirambiguous balancing act between rhetorical trust building and conventional military armament. While the balanceof power interpretation still is relevant to understanding contemporary security in South America, there areobservable patterns of the security community in the region, as demonstrated by the multilateral cooperationinitiatives and the regional integration arrangements involving defense and security and as shown by theestablishment of the South American Defense Council. Hybrid security governance means that balance of powerand security community mechanisms-and their associated variations-are fused as conditions motivating orconstraining militarized behaviour within a region. In this sense, we explore avenues for future research linked tothe establishment of the rationale and mechanisms underlying the hybridization process, as sources of latent conflict in the region (such as poverty and violence). (AU)

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