The European Union, Mercosul, and the New World Order

The European Union, Mercosul, and the New World Order

The European Union, Mercosul, and the New World Order

The European Union, Mercosul, and the New World Order

Synopsis

Provides critical insight into the politics and economics of relations between the EU and Latin America, particularly Mercosul, and on the significance of such relations for multilateralism and the international order. The events of 11 September shed new light on the analyses provided, and give even more credence to the point made in many chapters regarding the serious obstacles to the creation of an international order firmly based on universally accepted norms and rules in which regional groupings would play a greater role. Provides a timely reminder of just how important less politically visible but consistent efforts at multilaterally focused regional integration projects can be to counteracting the force of unilateral action and zero-sum power politics.

Excerpt

Written several months after the book it presents, this foreword has the advantages and benefits of hindsight. It is thus able to point at recent events that support or modify its main arguments. Three events have struck me in this sense: first, the unfolding of the Bush administration's attitudes and policies; already before 11 September and even more afterwards; second, Argentina's crises and bail-out after much hesitation by the IMF; and finally, the judgement of the WTO in favour of the European Union in its conflict with the United States over the Foreign Sales Corporation Act. Each of these trends bears on the themes of this remarkable book, which itself offers a framework for understanding them. In turn, they help us to search for a way out of the dilemmas raised by these debates.

The main theme of the Bush administration seemed to be, before 11 September, in terms of ends, the primacy of America's national interest, narrowly conceived, and in terms of means, the primacy of unilateralism. It is the first administration since that of Theodore Roosevelt to have, at least in part, an openly imperialist ideology. Simultaneously, it lacks an integrating imperial ideology, which would give a stake in its success to the rest of the world. It oscillates between an imperialist and an isolationist tendency, combined with elements of pragmatism and, when it directly serves the interests of the US, elements of multilateralism, such as the FTAA (Free Trade Agreement of the Americas) project. In spite of ideological proclamations to the contrary, it seems to follow in the footsteps of the Clinton administration. This is both for the better (the aid to Brazil and the provisional bail-out of Argentina), and for the worse (the possibility of a military intervention in the fight against drugs in Colombia). The lesson seems to be that American hegemony currently takes such an aggressive and unpredictable form that even the most moderate advocates of multilateralism, or even of empire, are drawn or tempted to become resistant states (in Professor Jaguaribe's terminology) and to dream of multipolarity. After 11 September, the United States has found its 'mission', to use President

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