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A Comparative Analysis of Integration Efforts in Europe and South America
Unformatted Document Text:  Brian Hardt quickly as possible. All of these factors point to the conclusion that integration efforts with goals of continued economic, political and social cooperation are inherently a reactionary policy that is formed when two conditions are present: a threat of violence or acts of aggression (actual or perceived) and a market failure. Integration is a large and exhausting undertaking that requires patience, commitment, cooperation and sacrifice. It is not something that many states would be willing to initiate on an impulse. There must be strong and convincing reason for numerous states to make such a long and intricate commitment that is mandatory for integration to be successful. That is why it is necessary for the presence of two such enormous conditions before integration is truly pursued. In Europe’s case, WWII originated with obvious act of aggression on the behalf of the Axis powers. In South America, tensions between Brazil and Argentina had been delicate and strained. In the 1970’s, the two rivals were in a nuclear arms race and Brazil made huge gains by acquiring nuclear technology and expertise in a deal with West Germany. A nuclear armed South America appeared to be in the not-so-distant future. Troop mobilizations and naval movements over the disputed Beagle Channel and surrounding islands led many to believe that war between Argentina and Chile was inevitable. Argentina also feared the possibility of a Brazil- Chile alliance that would attack from either end of the country. Both Brazil and Argentina were seeing a transition to democratic rule that did not exclude future military involvement in internal matters. All of these actions, taken collectively, are enough to suffice as threats of violence and aggression. The second pre-condition for regional cooperation is the presence of a market failure. Europe represented a market failure because there was no longer a market. Capital resources and economic infrastructure were depleted by the war creating a situation of market failure. The massive failure of economic policy resulting in debt crises and hyperinflation created a deep and definitive market failure for Brazil and Argentina. By applying these conditions for integration to the early LAFTA attempt, one can see why it ultimately failed. The South American nations were starting to feel the economic pressures of ISI. While problems were starting to arise, there was not yet a market failure. Some South American nations were experiencing internal threats of violence and aggression but these were addressed by the military and kept in abeyance. No real inter- state threat had emerged at the time of LAFTA’s inception. The early integration attempt lacked both condition 15

Authors: Hardt, Brian.
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Brian Hardt
quickly as possible.
All of these factors point to the conclusion that integration efforts with goals of continued economic,
political and social cooperation are inherently a reactionary policy that is formed when two conditions are present:
a threat of violence or acts of aggression (actual or perceived) and a market failure. Integration is a large and
exhausting undertaking that requires patience, commitment, cooperation and sacrifice. It is not something that
many states would be willing to initiate on an impulse. There must be strong and convincing reason for numerous
states to make such a long and intricate commitment that is mandatory for integration to be successful. That is
why it is necessary for the presence of two such enormous conditions before integration is truly pursued. In
Europe’s case, WWII originated with obvious act of aggression on the behalf of the Axis powers. In South
America, tensions between Brazil and Argentina had been delicate and strained. In the 1970’s, the two rivals
were in a nuclear arms race and Brazil made huge gains by acquiring nuclear technology and expertise in a deal
with West Germany. A nuclear armed South America appeared to be in the not-so-distant future. Troop
mobilizations and naval movements over the disputed Beagle Channel and surrounding islands led many to
believe that war between Argentina and Chile was inevitable. Argentina also feared the possibility of a Brazil-
Chile alliance that would attack from either end of the country. Both Brazil and Argentina were seeing a
transition to democratic rule that did not exclude future military involvement in internal matters. All of these
actions, taken collectively, are enough to suffice as threats of violence and aggression.
The second pre-condition for regional cooperation is the presence of a market failure. Europe represented
a market failure because there was no longer a market. Capital resources and economic infrastructure were
depleted by the war creating a situation of market failure. The massive failure of economic policy resulting in
debt crises and hyperinflation created a deep and definitive market failure for Brazil and Argentina.
By applying these conditions for integration to the early LAFTA attempt, one can see why it ultimately
failed. The South American nations were starting to feel the economic pressures of ISI. While problems were
starting to arise, there was not yet a market failure. Some South American nations were experiencing internal
threats of violence and aggression but these were addressed by the military and kept in abeyance. No real inter-
state threat had emerged at the time of LAFTA’s inception. The early integration attempt lacked both condition
15


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