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Title: The status of Latin America in US foreign policy, 1946-2008 : an empirical analysis
Author: Millan Valencia, Daniel
ISNI:       0000 0004 2734 9974
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis studies the shifting status of Latin America in U.S. foreign policy. Historically, the region has been considered America's sphere of influence and reportedly constituted the main focus of US. policy during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. However, since the emergence of the U.S. as a global superpower in 1945, its position on Washington's agenda has been described as one that waxes and wanes. This thesis addresses the research questions of when and why does Latin America become a salient topic of U.S. foreign policy. The research employs both quantitative and qualitative methods. Firstly, it develops and examines various indicators of saliency: citations in presidential speeches; congressional hearings; citations in The New York Times; and numbers of questions in polls. These indicators have been successfully used in other studies of US. policy, but never applied to Latin America. Secondly, the thesis also advances a qualitative explanation, based on elite interviews. Both approaches are used to test the existing theories available in the literature. The thesis finds evidence of a recurring pattern of U.S. attentiveness to Latin America. That is, for most of the period under analysis (1946-2008), the cycles of increased and decreased visibility of Latin America at the highest levels of policy- making are associated with security crises, and particularly those crises which play a role in US. global strategy. This pattern, however, appears to break down during the • \ '.' • j"" ," , interim period between the end of the Cold War and the commencement of the War . -:', on Terror, when the sources of U.S. Latin American policy seem to depart from their traditional security focus. The thesis finds that this unique period in the U.S.-Latin American relationship is embedded in and made possible by a unique period in recent American history, one in which the US. pursues no global strategies and temporarily retreats from the international scene.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available