While Europe has just experienced its first disintegrating blow, Latin America might be on the opposite path towards regional integration, as Mercosur and the Pacific Alliance seek accord.
The Pacific Alliance, a trade bloc consisting of Colombia, Peru, Chile and Mexico, could well be described as the most exciting thing happening in the region. Amid the economic and political crisis in Brazil and the turbulent economic transformation in Argentina, the east side of the continent has been the source of economic growth. With the changing political dynamic in the region, prospects of renewed regional integration are re-emerging.
End of the Pink Tide bodes well for regionalism
The region is going through its final waves of the Pink Tide, with the socialist government in Venezuela at the brink of collapse and the leftist administrations that swept through Latin America in 2000s being substituted by centre-right parties. The post-liberal shift that was characterised by redistributionist policies, growing nationalism, anti-western rhetoric, and protectionist measures is over. But so is the commodity boom that allowed its undeniable economic achievement. So where do we go from here?
South America specifically, has always had many ideal traits for regional integration. Shared cultural and political experiences, commodity and export-based economies, and the fate of being in the global economic periphery. UNASUR, the South American Community of Nations, aimed to build on these shared characteristic; however, said project was based on the post-liberal principles of untethered sovereignty and protectionism.