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The Union of South American Nations ("UNASUR"): Challenges and Opportunities for States Pursuing Regional Integration Open Access

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One of the more recent manifestations of the regional process of institutionalization is the Union of South American Nations ("UNASUR" in Spanish or "UNASUL" in Portuguese). This thesis explores how the latest attempt at sweeping regional integration through UNASUR evidences the deeper political considerations of dominant and secondary states within South America, specifically, Brazil, Venezuela and Argentina. In the competition for regional prominence, Brazil and Venezuela attempt to gain the followership of regional middle powers (such as Argentina) for their political regional projects by either granting material incentives (in the case of Venezuela) or political/ideational incentives (in the case of Brazil). The competition for leadership between Brazil and Venezuela also provides the opportunity for regional middle powers (such as Argentina) to utilize the institutionalized bipolar regional environment to expand their own interests.

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