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What Role for Washington? US Hegemony and the Diversification of Latin American International Relations

Hoell, Maximilian Alexander Matthias; (2020) What Role for Washington? US Hegemony and the Diversification of Latin American International Relations. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

The year 2001 marked a critical juncture in inter-American relations. Whereas the United States diverted attention away from the Western Hemisphere, deeming Latin America a low-priority region, extra-regional actors—particularly China—expanded economic and political ties with Latin America so significantly in subsequent years that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton referred to this trend as ‘quite disturbing’. Focusing on the relations between Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela and the United States in the post-9/11 period under the presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama, this thesis investigates US hegemonic decline in Latin America. It claims that US decline was happening but has been overstated, and that a ‘thin-thick’ hegemonic model explains shifts in US hegemony—Washington’s responses to hegemonic decline—over time. The ‘thin-thick’ hegemonic model posits that coercive influences dominate interactions between the dominant state and the other states in ‘thin’ hegemonies, whilst ideational, ideological and/or multilateral traits (which provide additional legitimacy through the promotion of cooperation and a more equal partnership) complement coercive influences in ‘thick’ hegemonies. This thesis draws evidence from the interactions between the United States and the three selected South American states in three analytical dimensions (economic relations, role in regional organisation and diversification of international relations) in order to understand and identify shifts from ‘thin’ to ‘thick’ hegemony. The contention is that US hegemony was ‘thin’ under President Bush in the post-9/11 period as unilateralist tendencies dominated relations between Washington and Latin America, prompting Latin American assertiveness and the decentralisation of foreign relations away from the United States. The renunciation of the Monroe Doctrine under President Obama, by contrast, set US Latin America policy on a ‘thick’ hegemonic course, which coincided with the end of the so-called commodities boom and eventually the rise to power of pro-Western presidents in Argentina (Mauricio Macri) and Brazil (Michel Temer).

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: What Role for Washington? US Hegemony and the Diversification of Latin American International Relations
Event: UCL (University College London)
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2020. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10095043
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