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Title: What role for Washington? : US hegemony and the diversification of Latin American international relations
Author: Hoell, Maximilian Alexander Matthias
ISNI:       0000 0004 9353 0253
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2020
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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).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available