Brazil, the United States, and the South American Subsystem

Brazil, the United States, and the South American Subsystem : Regional Politics and the Absent Empire

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In Brazil, the United States, and the South American Subsystem: Regional Politics and the Absent Empire, Carlos Gustavo Poggio Teixeira challenges several typical assumptions on U.S.-Latin American relations, beginning by questioning the very usefulness of the concept of Latin America for the field of international relations. Instead of concentrating upon the instances when the United States pursued imperial policies in Latin America, this study seeks to explain the instances when it did not. Teixeira accomplishes this by shifting the focus of the research from the United States to Brazil and the regional dynamics of South America. Brazil, the United States, and the South American Subsystem is a unique investigation of how Brazil has been a status quo power in the region, increasing the benefits of limited U.S. involvement in South American affairs.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 172 pages
  • 152.4 x 231.14 x 20.32mm | 453.59g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739173286
  • 9780739173282
  • 2,278,937

Table of contents

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: The Regional Subsystemic Approach
Chapter 3: The South American Subsystem
Chapter 4: The Monroe Doctrine and the Early Developments of a South American Subsystem
Chapter 5: The United States and the South American Subsystem During the Cold War: The Case of Chile
Chapter 6: Negotiating the FTAA: The South American Subsystem After the Cold War
Chapter 7: Conclusions
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Review quote

"Latin America" is a vague cultural entity of little use in international relations, argues Teixeira (Pontifical Univ., Brazil). Based on proximity and number of interactions, the hemisphere contains two "regional subsystems," a North American subsytem extending south to Panama and a South American one further south. The US is clearly the hegemon of the north and has intervened directly in the Caribbean and Central America many times. Further south, the US is the "absent empire" that does not mind Brazil pursuing its own interests and regional stability. The US and Brazil were always friendly and usually had parallel interests. Teixeira uses three periods to make his case. During the 19th century, the Monroe Doctrine focused narrowly on the Caribbean, not at all on South America. During the Cold War, the US favored the 1964 Brazilian coup and 1973 Chilean coup but did little to promote them. Brazil played a much larger role in Chile in 1973. More recently, the US viewed the 1994 NAFTA as a step to a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), but Brazil preferred the 1995 Mercosur to keep its dominant regional role, and FTAA died. Summing Up: Recommended. * CHOICE * Teixeira, a rising Brazilian scholar, forcefully makes the case that the United States has employed radically different policies in Mexico and the Caribbean basin than in more distant South America. Historically, heavy U.S. interventionism, so visible in nations close to the United States, has not been visited on South America-because, Teixeira demonstrates, Brazil has protected core U.S. interests there. Teixeira may overstate the heft of Brazilian diplomacy and the enthusiasm of other South American states for Brazilian leadership, but his inspired insights demand the revision of much conventional wisdom regarding inter-American relations. * Foreign Affairs * In this important new book, Poggio Teixeira, a Brazillian scholar, argues that there never was a single U.S. policy on Latin America. . .Instead, there are two regional subsystems: North America and South America. . . .Poggio has written a significant book that makes two compelling points that should chart a new path for scholars in inter-American relations. . .the Americas should be viewed as two regional subsystems and that U.S. policy should be directed at each. That point is truer now than ever before. * Political Science Quarterly * This is a very valuable book for students and the informed public with an interest in the Americas. Relying on a rich range of sources, the author effectively combines theory and history to bridge the analytical gap between North and South America. Policymakers, too, will find in this highly readable study valuable insights on the conduct of bilateral relations between the United States and Brazil. -- Simon Serfaty, Old Dominion University; director of European Studies, Center for Strategic & International Studies Teixeira's book is a most timely addition to the literature on Latin America the Inter-American System. He demonstrates that South America is a clearly separate sub-system and that Brazil's geo-political interest in the stability of that system has served both Brazilian and US interests while limiting US involvement in South America. Case studies of the evolution of MERCOSUR and now UNASUR as alternatives to US regional policies, especially a hemisphere-wide free trade agreement, and the discussion of Brazil's response to the instability and overthrow of the Allende Government in Chile provide tantalizing new insights. The book is a must-read to understand Brazil's increasingly visible role on the world stage. -- Margaret Daly Hayes, Georgetown University
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About Carlos Gustavo Poggio Teixeira

Carlos Gustavo Poggio Teixeira is professor of international relations at Pontifical University of Sao Paulo.
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