Talons of the Eagle: Dynamics of U.S.-Latin American Relations

Talons of the Eagle: Dynamics of U.S.-Latin American Relations

Talons of the Eagle: Dynamics of U.S.-Latin American Relations

Talons of the Eagle: Dynamics of U.S.-Latin American Relations

Synopsis

Talons of the Eagle offers a vivid portrayal of the last two hundred years of U. S.-Latin American relations, casting new light on issues such as economic integration, environmental protection, drug trafficking, and undocumented migration. Rather than concentrating only on US policy, as manytexts do, it addresses the structural relationships of both regions. Focusing on international systems, the distribution of power, and the perception and pursuit of national interests, Smith uncovers recurrent regularities in the interaction between the U. S. and Latin America and offers a compellinganalysis of the continuity and change in their relations, as well as provocative insights into the possible future of these relations. With an entirely new introduction and thorough revisions of the last four chapters and conclusion, as well as completely updated bibliography, this continues to bethe ideal text for students in general courses on Latin American history and politics as well as courses on U. S. and inter-American foreign relations.

Excerpt

Relations between the United States and Latin America face unprecedented uncertainty. World events since 1989 have shattered long-held assumptions about international order. The ending of the Cold War—from the collapse of the Berlin Wall to the liberation of Eastern Europe to the implosion of the Soviet Union—has led to epochal rearrangements in the distribution of power, terms of conflict, and patterns of alignment. Early optimism about the creation of a “new world order” has given way to widespread apprehension about ethnic strife, religious war, economic rivalry, and international chaos. As the United States has sought to define its interests and its role in this fast-changing panorama, nations of Latin America have attempted to identify their own options and alternatives. All countries of the hemisphere confront perplexing questions: What is the effect of the end of the Cold War on U.S.–Latin American relations? What are the governing principles of inter-American relations? What will happen in the years ahead?

Widespread expectations envision the hopeful possibility that the United States and Latin America will be able to pursue shared interests in a spirit of cooperation. The Cold War exercised an essentially distorting influence on relationships within the hemisphere, according to this argument, and in its absence nations of the Americas can recognize and act upon a natural harmony of interests. Increasing trade and investment will lead to a convergence of economic purposes, the liberalization of markets will promote political democracy, and the emergence of like-minded leaders will eliminate sources of unnecessary conflict between the United . . .

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