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Security communities and power balance in security governance in Latin America

Grant number: 15/07533-0
Support type:Research Grants - Visiting Researcher Grant - International
Duration: August 15, 2015 - December 14, 2015
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Political Science - International Politics
Principal researcher:Rafael Antonio Duarte Villa
Grantee:Rafael Antonio Duarte Villa
Visiting researcher: Laura Cristina Ferreira Pereira
Visiting researcher institution: Universidade do Minho (UMinho), Portugal
Home Institution: Instituto de Relações Internacionais (IRI). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

While most military institutions in Latin America still adhere to balance of power thinking and practices, other parts of the policy-making bureaucracy, such as the diplomatic corps, have deeply internalized security community discourses and practices Certainly, this is a rough distinction. On the one hand, parts of the political elite may share the military's statist-nationalist grand strategy in line with balance of power thinking. At the same time, the region is witnessing a new wave of regional integration and cooperation, even in the field of security and defence. A variety of bilateral and multilateral security initiatives - most prominently, the establishment of the South American Defence Council (Consejo de Defensa Sulamericano) under the umbrella of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) - reflect patterns of a nascent security community. This research seeks to explain how security governance in the region is aptly described as a combination of balance of power and security community discourses and practices. States still see military force as legitimate tool to influence their relations with other states in the region, while at the same time using diplomacy and cooperative institutions to maintain peace. (AU)

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