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The connection between the international terrorism and the Tri-Border Area during George W. Bush's and Barack Obama's administrations (2001-2016)

Grant number: 18/06825-5
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2018
Effective date (End): May 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Political Science - International Politics
Principal Investigator:Rafael Antonio Duarte Villa
Grantee:Isabelle Christine Somma de Castro
Supervisor: Stuart M. Gottlieb
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Columbia University in the City of New York, United States  
Associated to the scholarship:16/12824-6 - The connection between the international terrorism and the Tri-Border area during George W. Bush's and Barack Obama's administrations (2001-2016), BP.PD


The Tri-Border Area (TBA) between Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay has been associated with Islamic terrorist groups since the 1970's. Two attacks in Buenos Aires against Jewish targets in the 1990's increased the suspicion about the links between the Muslim/Arab community in the TBA and Islamic activism in the Middle East, especially with Iran. More recently, in 2010, the US State Department included the TBA in the list of safe havens for terrorist activities in its main document on this subject, Country Reports on Terrorism. This study will focus on the connections between the US policy to the TBA and international terrorism between 2001 and 2016. Our main hypothesis is that the clash between the US and countries as Iran and non-state actors as Hamas and Hizbullah contributed to shape the actions of the last two US presidents towards the TBA, regardless of local governments' efforts to comply with international security rules. There are strong evidences that the inclusion and the exclusion of the TBA in the list of safe havens have links to the dynamics between the State Department and the Iranian Government. To verify our hypothesis, we intend to do field work at the TBA and analyze main documents on terrorism issued during the administrations of the presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama (2001-2016). The analysis will follow the methodology proposed by Buzan, Weaver and Wilde (1998) that employs levels of securitization to identify objects of reference and actors. As a result, we expect to find out elements that definitely influenced the political dynamics between the US and Brazil in recent years. (AU)

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