Economic cooperation and integration between Argentina and Brazil, 1939-92
The thesis discusses the determinants of economic cooperation and integration between Argentina and Brazil since 1939. The work is organised in three parts. Part I presents the theoretical framework. Drawing on international relations and development theory, it is suggested that perceptions on constraints and opportunities in the international system, along with the progress of industrialisation, shaped the incentives for cooperation. In addition, the role of ideas in shaping policies and institutions is emphasised. Special consideration is given to the ideas of the Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLA), which were especially influential in the fifties. Part II offers an account of economic cooperation and integration between 1939 and 1960. It is suggested that after 1955 there was a strong convergence of views in Argentina and Brazil about the advantages of bilateral cooperation. This was associated with the end of the 'special relationship' Brazil-USA, growing friction in the Inter-American system and dissatisfaction with the working of the Bretton Woods institutions. In addition, structural change in the industry increased the costs of protection and the gains from trade. As a result, the proposal of a regional free trade area became more attractive. Part III concerns itself with the evolution of cooperation after the creation of the Latin American Free Trade Association (LAFTA) in 1960. It is argued that LAFTA provided an outlet for industrial exports in a context largely dominated by highly inward-looking trade and industrialisation policies (import-substituting industrialisation). The gradual maturation of the industrial sector and growing industrial exports sustained the interest in the regional market. Finally, the creation of the Common Market of the South (MERCOSUR) is analyzed. The challenge of the consolidation of the MERCOSUR is discussed in the light of the new international context and the past experience on economic integration in Latin America.