Regional Integration in Latin America and the Caribbean

The Political Economy of Open Regionalism

This collection is a sober assessment of the state of regional integration in Latin America and the Caribbean. It studies the question from four perspectives: economic, institutional, political, and in relation to the rest of the world. It considers the questions raised by LAC countries' efforts to use 'new' regionalism to address the challenges of globalization and to explore the nature and meaning of open regionalism. This thematic treatment draws on the experience of the different schemes currently in place in the region: NAFTA, CACM, CARICOM, the Andean Community and MERCOSUR. It also examines the nature of globalization, including concerns over the relationship between regionalism and the multilateral system. There is now a broad consensus among LAC countries that regional integration can help them adjust to the new world order, but there is much less agreement on how to achieve it and what reforms are needed to bring it about.