Latin America and the Caribbean in the International System

Latin America and the Caribbean in the International System

Latin America and the Caribbean in the International System

Latin America and the Caribbean in the International System

Synopsis

The evolving characteristics of the current international system have had a dramatic effect on international relations of Latin America and the Caribbean. The discussion in this volume examines the transnational structures and processes involved.

Excerpt

The first edition of this book was intended to partially fill a gap in the scholarly literature. It was issued at the beginning of a heightened and sustained scholarly interest in Latin America's international relations; since then the related literature has substantially increased. Nevertheless, the original purpose of this book still seems to be appropriate-- to provide a topically complete and analytically integrated survey of Latin America's international relations. As in the past, it is further intended to serve as a classroom text at the upper undergraduate or beginning graduate level and as a general reference source for anyone seeking description and analysis of the subject. a fundamental assumption also remains: Latin America and the Caribbean should be the central subject of study. This essential point of reference is reflected in a determined effort to concentrate primarily on the region--with the policies of the United States and other outsiders, which are also specifically and extensively treated, subsumed under that overall objective.

This fourth edition has been revised and reorganized thoroughly, especially in terms of the evolving characteristics of the new international era that have dramatically affected the region's international relations. Calling the current system "post- cold war" is unsatisfactory, inasmuch as it tells us only that the new era is not like the old one. the designation indicates the understanding that with the end of East-West conflict, policy reorientations are required on the part of all actors; but it does not suggest what the salient elements of the new and complex period are. "Post-cold war" is also misleading with regard to the Latin American and Caribbean region, where the end of the cold war converged with prior established trends--in particular the critical political and economic transformations in the regional states that were only partially related to superpower competition. This combination subsequently gave rise to further extant transnational phenomena (those that intimately involve nonstate as well as state actors and their relations) as basic regional characteristics.

In addition to revising and reorganizing the material in an attempt to capture the characteristics of the new international era, I have also changed the title of the book: from Latin America in the International Political System in the first three editions to the present Latin America and the Caribbean in the International System. I have added "Caribbean" because of the generally accepted recognition of the role of the "new" Caribbean states as regional actors. I have dropped "political" for the combined reasons of intensified changes in the international regional subsystem and the necessity of multidisciplinary analysis.

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