Archive for November, 2010

8 Nov
2010

What comes after the dollar?

The US dollar is at risk of losing its status as the world’s prime reserve currency. The “hard landing” of the US currency therefore holds the potential to change the parameters of the world economy.

The euro could emerge as the new world reserve currency – with all the associated costs and benefits.

The euro comes after the dollar. But in addition to the growing importance of the euro, the trend toward onetary regionalization will be reinforced. This raises the specter of a resurgence of protectionism in the
world economy.

The article discusses the scenarios of “euroization” and regionalization of the world’s monetary system against the backdrop of sustained US dollar weakness. The authors advise Europe to leverage its emerging new role to push for a multilateral institutionalization of the global monetary order.

8 Nov
2010

¿Tiene futuro la comunidad sudamericana de naciones?

El proyecto de la Comunidad Sudamericana de Naciones es sin duda ambicioso. Representa una extraordinaria oportunidad política para la mayor parte de sus integrantes, ya que va más allá de los acuerdos de libre comercio. Sin embargo, el camino de una verdadera integración no está exento de dificultades y de tareas monumentales que sobrepasan la simple voluntad política. Es necesario, en especial, afrontar los obstáculos estructurales de largo plazo

8 Nov
2010

The Quality of Democracy after Joining the European Union

Cynics often describe the recent history of Central and Eastern Europe in terms of moving from one union to another. The former is of course the Soviet Union and the latter the European Union. This seems quite unfair because the latter is a symbol of liberty and democracy while the former was about one party rule if not oppression. True, the EU accession process has often been handled in a dictatorial fashion: the candidates were presented with a long list of conditions for entrance and they were hardly in a position to negotiate these conditions let alone reject them.1 However, one of the EU’s conditions for entrance was the establishment of a workable democracy. As the 1993 EU summit in Copenhagen stated: candidate states must have “stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights, and respect for and protection of minorities.”2 Moreover, joining the Union was a means of creating the economic, political and institutional conditions under which a new democracy could consolidate and persist. This has been proven by the Greek, Spanish and Portuguese cases, and the idea was to repeat the same success story in Central and Eastern Europe.

7 Nov
2010

The new regionalism in South America. From SAFTA and the South American Community of Nations.

The South American Community of Nations (SACN) is an initiative promoted and defended by Brazil in the last few years. It must pointed out that between 1993 and 1999, the strategy of building a new regionalism in South America was expressed in the project of establishing a South American Free Trade Area (SAFTA) that would be the result of a negotiation between the Andean Community and Mercosur. The hegemonic idea in those years was that regional integration based on the parameters of open regionalism had succeeded both in the Andean Community (CAN in Spanish) and the Southern Common Market (Mercosur). If liberalisation of trade had produced an increasing interdependence in these two sub-regional groups, there were reasons to believe that similar effects could be generated at South American level

7 Nov
2010

Regionalismo e integración en América Latina: balance y perspectivas

Este artículo aborda el surgimiento y las características del “nuevo regionalismo” como estrategia de integración para promover el desarrollo y mejorar la inserción internacional de América Latina en un mundo globalizado. Desde comienzos de los noventa, la región ha adoptado el “regionalismo abierto” como una estrategia de desarrollo, con el objeto de mejorar su competitividad internacional, y mejorar la coordinación de políticas entre los miembros de los grupos regionales. Quince años más tarde, la integración regional ha alcanzado resultados significativos en materia de liberalización comercial, y comercio intrarregional, pero aún persisten barreras significativas, que perjudican los beneficios potenciales de una integración más profunda. El artículo también discute los beneficios y costes potenciales de la actual oleada de acuerdos “Sur-Norte” que varios países latinoamericanos están negociando con Estados Unidos y la Unión Europea, así como las perspectivas de la Comunidad Sudamericana de Naciones.

7 Nov
2010

Regional Security and Integration in South America: What UNASUR could learn from the OSCE and the Shanghai Organization experiences?

The Brazilian proposal to create a regional Security and Defense Council in South America was the most controversial issue related with the Constitutive Treaty of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), which was signed by the twelve South American Heads of State and Government attending the summit held in Brasilia in May

7 Nov
2010

Regional Integration in Latin America: Dawn of an Alternative to Neo-liberalism

At the turn of the century, it seemed inevitable that regional integration in Latin America would occur under the rubric of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) and US hegemony. But 2005—the year the FTAA was to have been launched—has come and gone, and the whole FTAA project is in tatters. This article will examine two regional integration initiatives, which have emerged in its wake—the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA). Both represent a challenge to US-led integration. However, the Venezuelan-centered ALBA is potentially a much more radical challenge to neo-liberalism than the Braziliancentered

7 Nov
2010

REGIONAL ENERGY INTEGRATION LOOKS DISTANT BUT COULD BE CRUCIAL

Energy integration still looks distant, but could become essential to improving the region’s geopolitical position internationally

7 Nov
2010

REGIONAL ECONOMIC INTEGRATION

Geographically discriminatory trade policy is the defining characteristic of a regional integration agreement (RIA). Traditionally three types of RIAs are distinguished. A free trade area (FTA) is an RIA formed by removing tariffs on trade among nations that are FTA members without changing tariffs on imports from non-members. A customs union (CU) is an FTA where members’ tariff structures on the extra-CU trade are equalized. A common market (CM) permits free movement of factors as well as goods and services between states

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