Latin American Report - latest Issue
Volume 31, Issue 2, 2015
Author Richard PithouseSource: Latin American Report 31, pp 1 –18 (2015)More Less
This article examines a generally unremarked aspect of Thabo Mbeki's presidency - his affirmation of the Haitian Revolution as an event of global import, and, in the face of considerable pressure, his support for the right of contemporary Haitians to determine their own future. It begins with a brief account of the Haitian Revolution, goes on to offer a sketch of the long attempt to contain the Revolution, outlines what has been at stake in recent Haitian politics, and its international reception, and then describes the positions taken by Mbeki with regard to Haiti.
Source: Latin American Report 31, pp 19 –36 (2015)More Less
The creation of the Zone of Peace and Cooperation of the South Atlantic (ZPCSA) in 1986 and the Gulf of Guinea Commission (GGC) in 2001 was about changes in the distribution of world power. This article argues that though they emerged at different times, their strategic orientation converges in a number of areas related to the significant interests in the South Atlantic as an area of stability in the region to be marked by strong political, economic and military ties. They also converge on the ideal for development, security and greater projection of power and influence in international affairs. The South Atlantic being a route of passage and trade, as a means of access and flow of energy products, the region became a site for new calculations of regional strategic powers about world affairs. The article also argues that ZPCSA and GGC are therefore crucial for the regional order and the development of higher capacities for cooperation on strategic issues. The actual point of convergence extends to ensuring the sovereignty through dialogue between the states in the region that are involved.
PETROCARIBE and the Venezuelan claim over the Essequibo : a political culture versus the policy of the cultureSource: Latin American Report 31, pp 37 –53 (2015)More Less
Cultural identity can define political interests through particular policies that advance such identity, while, on the other hand, there is political culture where political calculations are pre-eminent. Both of these tendencies are present in the case involving the Venezuelan energy initiative PETROCARIBE and its very poor outcomes. The PETROCARIBE initiative launched by Hugo Chàvez as a part of a pact to assist in the economic and social development of countries in the Caribbean while enhancing Venezuelan ideological influence and regional power countered challenges, among which were cultural barriers embedded in the very making of the Carribean as a region. Cultural barriers were also evident in the recent 'betrayal' of Venezuela by the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM), which backed Guyana over Venezuela in the competing claims over the territory of Essequibo. Is culture the real obstacle to Venezuela's quest for its Caribbean identity? Though there are many examples in the world of successful integration involving countries of different cultures, this article argues that the PETROCARIBE initiative in a region whose region-ness is complex and more imagined than real was a huge political mistake that may contribute to the fall of the revolutionary government in Venezuela.
Multilateral diplomacy of the south : the G77+China in the climate change negotiations : review articleAuthor Lesley MastersSource: Latin American Report 31, pp 54 –61 (2015)More Less
The G77 + China represents a multilateral group, engaged in multilateral diplomacy, across multiple fora. While the group has negotiated positive outcomes in terms of trade through its role in the UNCTAD, environmental negotiations have demonstrated the challenges facing the group in maintaining unity, and in turn, raised questions concerning its relevance. This review article considers the divisions that have emerged within the group, as well as those that have emerged between the G77 + China and developed countries within the context of the climate change negotiations. What is significant is that multilateral diplomacy within the group has seen the continuance of unity, despite considerable difference, yet there has been less success in bridging the divide between developed and developing countries as talks move towards the twenty-first Conference of the Parties (COP) in 2015.
New Regionalism in the South - Mercosur and SADC in a Comparative and Interregional Perspective, Frank Mattheis : book reviewAuthor Philani MthembuSource: Latin American Report 31, pp 62 –65 (2015)More Less
The author identifies gaps and a particular bias in research focused on regionalism, noting that research is Eurocentric in terms of conceptual development and empirical data. Research also tends to focus on single regions, making it difficult to speak of a theory on regionalism. Instead, most theories are adapted to the EU case study or even developed out of the EU as a case study, contributing to an EU bias. The author also identifies a lack of comparative analysis as a weakness in the research; where it has been done, the EU is used as a prototype and benchmark for other regions, irrespective of their own logics for creating regional projects. This contributes to the perception that other regions are less successful compared with the EU.
Author Artwell NhemachenaSource: Latin American Report 31, pp 66 –68 (2015)More Less
Ndlovu-Gatsheni (2013) argues for the need to think through African transformation and decoloniality, but this, as he notes, will only be possible on the basis of a thorough examination of global matrices of power that explain the current trap in which Africa finds itself.
Evolving Dynamics of the Indian Ocean : Prospects and the Way Forward, Vijay Sakhuja and Raghavendra Mishra (Eds.) : book reviewAuthor Andrea RoyeppenSource: Latin American Report 31, pp 69 –70 (2015)More Less
Evolving dynamics of the Indian Ocean: Prospects and the way forward edited by Vijay Sakhuja and Raghavendra Mishra, brings together a relevant and diverse collection of papers and presentations made at the National Maritime Foundation's Annual Maritime Power Conference 2014. The title itself presents an arduous task considering the complexities and diversity of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). This region, which dates back approximately 5000 years, represents about 36 per cent of the global population and operates in an amalgam of competitive socio-economic priorities and strategic security concerns. Divided into 18 chapters, the book discusses the current strategic landscape of the IOR and how these dynamics possibly shape the space for the future. It also reflects on other sub-themes of the abovementioned conference, namely, the nature of strategic competition in the IOR, and reflects on approaches to address this competition for influence and control, which created the backdrop for a valuable discussion on evolving frameworks of co-operation around security in the IOR.