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Chinese Investment in Latin America and Latent Implications

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Within sixty years, the People’s Republic of China has risen from a struggling post-civil war state to the second largest economy in the world, comprising of 16.71 percent of the global economy as of 2015. While China has grown,

Within sixty years, the People’s Republic of China has risen from a struggling post-civil war state to the second largest economy in the world, comprising of 16.71 percent of the global economy as of 2015. While China has grown, its presence internationally has grown as well—China has utilized its capital to foment important relationships and foster soft power dynamics, making billions available in development aid and investment projects across the globe, most notably in Africa and Latin America, where Chinese goods have begun to dominate the markets there as they have in American counterparts. However, within Latin America China has been investing in countries that are traditionally seen as “risky” financial investments. This paper hypothesizes that the returns on Chinese investments in Latin America are not financial, but political—that China is investing in expansion of its soft-power and legitimizing its beginnings of global hegemony. The paper also explores the success of these initiatives by comparing the level of Chinese investment to changes in Latin American foreign policy alignment, discourse, and agreements through utilizing case studies of Venezuela and Bolivia.

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2018-05

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Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism? Welfare State Development in 18 Latin American Countries, 1995-2010

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Much research has been devoted to identifying trends in either convergence upon a neoliberal model or divergence among welfare states in connection to globalization, but most research has focused on advanced industrialized countries. This has limited our understanding of the

Much research has been devoted to identifying trends in either convergence upon a neoliberal model or divergence among welfare states in connection to globalization, but most research has focused on advanced industrialized countries. This has limited our understanding of the current state of convergence or divergence, especially among welfare states in developing regions. To address this research gap and contribute to the broader convergence vs. divergence debate, this research explores welfare state variation found within Latin America, in terms of the health policy domain, through the use of cross-national data from 18 countries collected between the period of 1995 to 2010 and the application of a series of descriptive and regression analysis techniques. Analyses revealed divergence within Latin America in the form of three distinct welfare states, and that among these welfare states income inequality, trust in traditional public institutions, and democratization, are significantly related to welfare state type and health performance.

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2014-05

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Pathways to peace, progress, and public goods: rethinking regional hegemony

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The purpose of this dissertation is to study not only relations between Latin America and the United States, but also Latin American states with each other. It specifically aims to examine the extent to which the United States, the principal

The purpose of this dissertation is to study not only relations between Latin America and the United States, but also Latin American states with each other. It specifically aims to examine the extent to which the United States, the principal hegemonic power in the Americas, can play a constructive role by providing regional public goods. These goods include conflict resolution and economic progress. Although the United States has the potential to create such goods, it also has the potential to create public bads in the form of regional instability, political terror, and economic stagnation. This raises two fundamental research questions: Under what conditions can Washington play a positive role and if these conditions cannot be met, under what conditions can Latin American nations bypass the United States and create their own economic progress and conflict resolution strategies? Drawing upon qualitative research methods and case studies that have attracted scant academic attention, this dissertation finds that through regional multilateral diplomatic negotiations, the United States can play a positive role. However, due to U.S. parochial economic interests and the marginalization of diplomacy as a foreign policy tool, these conditions rarely occur. This research further finds, however, that through flexible regionalization Latin American nations can bypass the United States and create their own goods. Supported by an alternative regional power, flexible regionalization relies upon supranational institutions that exclude the United States, emphasize permanent political and economic integration, and avoid inflexible monetary unions. Through this type of regionalization, Latin America can decrease U.S. interference, sustain political and economic autonomy, and open space for alternative conflict resolution strategies and economic policies that Washington would otherwise oppose. This dissertation is academically significant and policy relevant. First, it reconsiders diplomacy as an instrumental variable for peace and offers generalizable results that can be applied to additional cases. Moreover, finding that Latin American countries can address their own regional issues, this study recognizes the positive agency of Latin America and counters the negative essentialization commonly found in U.S. academic and policy research. Finally, this research offers policy advice for both the United States and Latin America.

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2013