Argentinas Foreign Policy: Domestic Politics and Democracy Promotion in the Americas 9781626371262

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ARGENTINA’S FOREIGN POLICY

ARGENTINA’S FOREIGN POLICY Domestic Politics and Democracy Promotion in the Americas Ana Margheritis

Published in the United States of America in 2010 by FirstForumPress A division of Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc. 1800 30th Street, Boulder, Colorado 80301 www.firstforumpress.com and in the United Kingdom by FirstForumPress A division of Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc. 3 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E 8LU © 2010 by FirstForumPress. All rights reserved Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data A Cataloging-in-Publication record for this book is available from the Library of Congress. ISBN: 978-1-935049-19-7 British Cataloguing in Publication Data A Cataloguing in Publication record for this book is available from the British Library. This book was produced from digital files prepared by the author using the FirstForumComposer. Printed and bound in the United States of America The paper used in this publication meets the requirements of the American National Standard for Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials Z39.48-1992. 5 4 3 2 1

Contents

Acknowledgments

vii

1

Introduction

1

2

Argentina’s Foreign Policy in Historical and Regional Perspective

13

3

Foreign Policy in Highly Unstable Contexts

33

4

Promoting Democracy and Human Rights in Cuba

53

5

Responding to Political Crises in South America

73

6

Building Peace and Democratic Institutions in Haiti

95

7

Conclusion

111

Appendix: List of Interviews Bibliography Index

127 129 139

v

Acknowledgments

I am deeply grateful to friends and colleagues who graciously shared their time with me to discuss this project and who contributed several suggestions. In alphabetical order: Mario Carranza, Carlos Escudé, Edward Gibson, Peter Kingstone, Elizabeth Lowe, Terry McCoy, Ido Oren, Vicente Palermo, José Paradiso, Roberto Russell, and David Welch. Special thanks to Lucila Santos and Brian Readout for efficient research assistance, Nicolás Meyer for editing the drafts, and Jessica Gribble for editorial guidance. The field research was made possible by the National Council for Scientific and Technological Research of Argentina. I also acknowledge the contributions of a number of Argentine public officials and international diplomats who provided valuable insights for this research, as well as anonymous reviewers for their comments and suggestions. Errors of fact or interpretation are exclusively mine. As always, I am extremely grateful to my family, close friends, and Mark for providing daily encouragement, support, and affection over the years and making my work more enjoyable and meaningful.

vii

1 Introduction

Argentina was hit by an outbreak of swine flu in mid-June, 2009. The virus spread fast, but the government acted slowly. It avoided confirming the number of cases and refused to take drastic measures that would have entailed postponing elections, which had been moved up four months to avoid further impact of the international economic crisis on the national economy and increase the chances of the governing party to win. By the end of the month, the country had the third-highest death rate due to swine flu in South America. Criticisms arose, blaming the government’s neglect for the deterioration of the situation. However, the result of the June 28 elections (which were unfavorable to the current administration) remained the focus of the national political discussion. Special sanitary measures were progressively taken, mainly at the local and state level, as the peak of the outbreak was expected in early July. Simultaneously, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner planned on traveling to Washington to attend a special meeting of the Organization of American States (OAS) to discuss the coup in Honduras. Despite criticisms and claims that she should be more concerned with the Argentine health emergency, she not only attended the meeting (also chaired by the Argentine Minister of Foreign Affairs, who was very active in the negotiations) but also took part in another trip to El Salvador, where a small international mission supported ousted President Manuel Zelaya’s failed attempt to return to Honduras. The decision to announce a (purely cosmetic) cabinet reshuffle was postponed until her return. Why would she give priority to, and become personally involved in, a foreign and distant issue? Why would she alienate domestic constituencies when they felt particularly vulnerable to a relatively unknown disease, awaited immediate decisions, and the party in government was in disarray because of the electoral defeat? How does democracy promotion abroad advance Argentina’s national interest? To answer these questions, we have to look at foreign policy in the context of some country-specific domestic political dynamics.

1

2

Argentina’s Foreign Policy

Elections and the loss of legislative majority do not necessarily cause a governability problem in most countries. Presidents may govern, and do so well, even with an adverse congress. Negotiation and compromise are a natural component of the dynamics of any democracy. This does not seem to be the case in Argentina, where an electoral defeat acquires an unusual magnitude. The government’s candidates, led by former President Néstor Kirchner (Cristina’s husband), had repeatedly resorted to fear and traumatic memories to portray elections as a choice between them and a return to the past, thus turning a regular mid-term electoral act into a dramatic contest that would indicate the viability of a few candidacies for the next presidential election. Thus, the results immediately led to discussions about a (real or potential) crisis, governability capacity, and whether Mrs. Kirchner would leave office before the end of her constitutional mandate. The executive’s reaction was to minimize the defeat and divert attention to other issues, particularly the democratic breakdown in Honduras. By all accounts, the Argentine electorate’s message in June 2009 was one of discontent and frustration with the Kirchners’ inability to listen, establish a productive dialogue with the opposition, and compromise when facing dissent. The couple in power represents well the stereotype of personalistic, patrimonial, and quasi-authoritarian leadership; their style has been deemed “political autism.” This time, their inability to adapt, change, and respond to social demands came at the price of creating political uncertainty; fomenting doubts about the fate of democracy at home; and losing votes, the leadership of the party, and probably a good chance at the 2011 presidential elections. It was precisely right after this that Mrs. Kirchner insisted—without explanations and against the recommendations of advisors and international diplomats—on playing a high-profile role in defending democracy in Honduras. As if such commitment abroad would help her to exorcise the ghost of democratic instability at home. This behavior is not new in Argentine politics. Former presidents of different orientations have resorted to symbolic acts, especially in times of crisis when their own stability was at stake. Presidential involvement in foreign policy has been a constant. Democracy promotion has been a salient issue in all administrations’ agendas since 1983. In comparison with other Latin American countries, Argentina has been among the few most activist actors in multilateral efforts to defend and promote democracy in the Americas. Thus, the issue behind the anecdotal episode above is: Why do some nation-states commit to regional efforts that apparently do not affect their national interests? Why and how do they engage in political actions that do not seem to have clear immediate

Introduction

3

rewards and beneficiaries? What can we learn from Argentina’s unprecedented involvement in democracy promotion in the hemisphere? Answers are not obvious, as is often the case with politics in Argentina. To explain the paradoxes and ironies of Argentine politics, policies, and development history in general is always an intellectual challenge. I personally have trouble finding theories that fully account for those paradoxes, as well as other cases to compare with and draw general lessons from. I also find it annoying that what has to be explained is always one more crisis, example of instability, failure to achieve certain goals, or the reversal of positive trends. Democratization and economic opening have brought significant and positive changes in the last twenty-five years (Levitsky 2005, among others), but Argentina is still a conflict-prone society with serious problems to overcome in order to improve the quality of its democratic institutions and practices and attain sustained economic growth. When it comes to foreign policy, the questions usually focus on apparently contradictory behavior that has at times isolated the country from the rest of Latin America and the international community. This behavior has put it on the verge of futile wars (in 1982 actually leading to one) and made it swing between cooperation and confrontation with the United States, coupled with neglect of its ties with its neighbors and the rest of the region—its eyes always on Europe where Argentines feel they belong. An apparently contradictory and inconsistent foreign policy behavior shaped Argentina’s reputation as an erratic and relatively unpredictable international actor—the adjectives going, in fact, from pariah to wayward to unreliable partner. In addition, I have also been puzzled by the recurrent reference by Argentine presidents, public officials, and others to the need for a new foreign policy that “correctly” re-situates the country within the international system, at once and forever. In this particular policy realm, existing theories and studies do not help much either. Again, academic works fall short of explaining this case. Surprisingly, most accounts have neglected the connections between domestic politics and foreign policy; particularly, the interplay of critical junctures and certain decisionmaking mechanisms has been ignored. The studies by Argentine authors offer mostly descriptive, legalistic, and normative accounts. North American specialists in international relations have paid little attention to Argentina, as well as to cases of unconsolidated and less developed democracies in which both politics and economics are in a transitional stage. This research project avoids the recurrent theme of Argentina’s long reputation as an erratic actor in international affairs and tries to avoid the

4

Argentina’s Foreign Policy

trap of the old discussion on policy continuity/change and national identity—although this is documented in the next chapter to provide the necessary background and briefly commented on in the conclusions. In fact, a preliminary survey of the 1983–2007 period pointed out some important lines of continuity across administrations in terms of the country’s positions and actions, though slight variations and nuances exist and require explanation (see, for instance, Tulchin 1998); it also showed an increasing activism involving issues that were not traditionally part of the foreign policy agenda and in which the payoffs are not evident, such as democracy defense and promotion in the Americas even in remote countries and, apparently, in inconsequential instances (from the point of view of Argentina’s national interest). Moreover, in comparison with other Latin American countries, Argentina stands within the activists’ camp as one of the strongest supporters of the defense of democracy regime, always at the most interventionist end of the spectrum when it comes to multilateral efforts and the OAS actions (Bloomfield 1994). The fact that these foreign policy actions require material and symbolic commitments but do not generate immediate gains and clear beneficiaries, and seem not to affect directly the national interest, makes this case puzzling from the point of view of traditional international relations theories, and raises the question of why Argentina has lately engaged so actively and consistently in democracy promotion abroad. Hence, Argentina is taken here as a case of a country whose foreign policy neither reflects national interest considerations nor responds to interest group dynamics, and a case in which domestic instability does not correlate with conflict/war in the way the literature expects, but with cooperation and international institution-building. This study builds upon a within-case analysis to inductively identify the mechanisms that have led Argentina to exhibit such behavior.1 The analysis mainly focuses on the relation between domestic politics and foreign policy, though the approach to the incorporation of domestic variables implies a departure from most foreign policy analyses.2 Rather than focusing on formal institutions or other factors usually emphasized (e.g., the level of fragmentation of the party system, interest-group, public opinion, bureaucratic agencies), this project incorporates contextual elements and the president as key decisionmaking units, and assumes a broader notion of the state that pays due attention to the specificities of states in the developing world, namely the demands they face in highly unstable contexts that pose serious governability problems and often put the legitimacy and credibility of various political regimes in doubt. This was the case of

Introduction

5

Argentina in the contemporary period.3 Governments of different orientations had to deal with recurrent critical situations and prove their credentials almost constantly. This study shows that in unstable policy contexts, foreign policy may acquire a highly symbolic content that serves elites to manipulate issues, make ideological appeals, and emphasize rhetoric over content in their attempt to strengthen their position and build up consensus. Also, those are contexts in which the impact of informal institutions and extraordinary mechanisms of decisionmaking is usually more accentuated than in stable and consolidated democracies,4 leading to a political dynamic that differs from the assumptions of the pluralist model. This case also challenges the assumption that regime vulnerability is associated with policy inconsistency and the inability to make substantial commitments, as well as the comparative studies focusing on cases in which internal conflicts and legitimacy crises were correlated with intensely hostile foreign policy initiatives and even war. Argentina has gone through almost constant economic and political instability during the last two decades (including, among other things, several coup attempts, hyperinflationary episodes, financial crises and foreign debt default, social unrest, riots, political violence, and interrupted presidential mandates). Yet, foreign policy has shown some important lines of continuity across administrations and embodied serious commitments to the peaceful resolution of conflict and cooperation leading to the formation of international regimes. Thus, this book is an attempt to explain such behavior. There is no intention here to provide a comprehensive analysis of Argentine foreign policy but rather to elaborate a detailed account of a relatively unexplored foreign policy area. Narrowing down the analysis to the regional political dimension of foreign policy implies a challenge and a trade-off. The challenge is to show that this relatively underestimated and under-researched policy area can teach us something about the motivations of less developed and unstable democracies to engage in the resolution of international problems that apparently do not affect their national interests, do not relate directly to the demands of specific domestic groups, and do not offer specific tangible rewards in the shortterm. A trade-off between a deep understanding of this complex case and a parsimonious, generalizable account is made here in favor of the former, under the assumption that this is the way to capture the nuances of multi-causal phenomena and answer the why and how questions. In short, there is no attempt to provide generalizations or theory testing, but to suggest new variables and causal mechanisms about processes we know little of and inspire further comparisons with other policy areas

6

Argentina’s Foreign Policy

and cases. Some comparisons are actually explored in the conclusions; they confirm that the findings also complement well other studies on Argentina’s foreign policy in the realm of international security and migration. The comparison with another case is undertaken in the last chapter of this volume with reference to Brazil. Putting aside normative considerations and other controversies about democracy promotion policies (e.g., the true motivation of international intervention in some cases, the effectiveness and actual results of those initiatives, the model and quality of democracy that is being encouraged, etc.), three instances in which democratic practices are a key, central issue have been selected: the encouragement of respect for human rights and political liberalization in Cuba, the responses to several politico-institutional crises that interrupted the electoral mandate of over a dozen presidents in South America, and the building up of peace and democratic institutions in Haiti. These are not taken as cases but as instances of democracy promotion in which Argentina’s commitment and activism are to be explained; they also serve to present and structure the evidence, in hopes that the reader finds this more interesting than a traditional chronological account revolving around what each administration did. The selection of these three instances is mainly based on their relevance in terms of the substance of the issue (i.e., what they represent within hemispheric democracy promotion policies, what they can tell us in terms of timing, actors involved, strategies, etc.). They also allow for an exploration of the research questions at different moments and across various administrations and critical junctures. The geographic dispersion permits us to compare involvement in situations that entail diverse costs and repercussions. Although the initial motivation of international intervention in these three instances might arguably not have been democracy per se, the three issues have been at the center of the democracy promotion discussion in the inter-American system and posed the most serious challenges to the members’ commitment and capacity to intervene (both nation-states and international organizations alike). Argentina has maintained high activism in the three of them over the years, despite domestic controversies; this sheds light on the thread linking policies across administrations since 1983, as well as on eventual changes in the degree of involvement or emphasis in times of crises and transitions. The research strategy is based on tracing the policymaking process that led to the decisions to consistently and actively engage in these three instances of democracy promotion since 1983. For each of the three instances above, the following questions were explored. First, what

Introduction

7

was the role of the executive power in the decisions that determined when and how to become involved in democracy promotion? In terms of variables, this refers to the level of presidential involvement in foreign policymaking, ranging from high to low depending on personal involvement in the decisionmaking process versus delegation. Second, what was the impact of political cooperation and previous engagements with neighbor countries in encouraging further cooperation in this policy area? This refers to the intensity of engagement in regional (multilateral) endeavors, which may oscillate among intense, moderate, and low, depending on the level of activism in international negotiations, adherence to international norms and agreements, deployment of resources, and rhetorical acts. Third, whether, and how, domestic instability affected foreign policy decisions. The variable here is character of the policy context, defined as the situational (social, political, and economic) conditions within which policymaking takes place; the variation ranges from crisis to transition to stability, and it is assumed as an intervening variable that might reinforce the effects of the other two independent variables. There is no attempt to quantify the main variables. The assessment of the intensity of involvement and the critical character of some junctures, among other things, reflects subtle degrees of qualitative variation and is made on the basis of historical records, also verified by oral testimonies. The relative weight of the three variables is assessed on the basis of the evidence but not quantified. The data comes from more than two hundred secondary sources of all sorts, complemented with thirty-five in-depth interviews. Although a full investigation of other cases exceeds the goals of this study, framing the analysis in the regional5 (hemispheric) context was a deliberate choice that opens several possibilities for further research on other cases, multilateral cooperation, and the role of middle and small states in international organizations, and also adds policy relevance to the study. This volume argues that democracy promotion has become an issue that facilitated the instrumental use of foreign policy to attain domestic goals, a practice that is relatively common across countries but, as this case indicates, it may become more intense and persistent in highly unstable domestic contexts where rebuilding or maintaining political authority and legitimacy in times of crises and/or transitions very often takes priority over other goals. In other words, adhering to a principle that enjoys widespread international consensus, defines and embodies an ideological position, and touches on sensitive domestic issues and traumatic collective memories has been a safe device for incumbents to show policy consistency while building up credibility and capacity to

8

Argentina’s Foreign Policy

attain the overriding (domestic) goal of maintaining governability in dire times. The theoretical and policy implications of this argument are threefold. First, contrary to what the existing literature predicts, this case shows that a highly unstable context does not necessarily lead to more erratic or aggressive behavior. Instead, it may provide incentives for governments to make strong commitments in their foreign relations and accept the costs and restrictions that come with them in order to gain credibility and governability capacity at home. This, in turn, contributes to greater respect for international commitments, the search for peaceful ways of resolving regional crises, and further development of regional cooperation and international norms. Second, this case speaks of the need and relevance of exploring the political dimension of foreign policy. Although foreign policy is always a tool to achieve domestic goals in any state, the empirical evidence provided in Chapters 4, 5, and 6 suggests that highly sensitive and symbolic foreign policy actions may be crucial for some states because they can be used instrumentally to recast power relations and supporting coalitions, (re)build institutions, and strengthen governability in highly unstable and transitional contexts. Third, this case highlights the various motivations states have when engaging in multilateral endeavors. Argentina’s involvement in regional crusades to defend democracy illustrates the fact that less developed states in a highly interdependent environment pursue more than power and relative gains; rather, they are often concerned with the kinds of rewards that only come from cooperative games: image, reputation, and identity building. Their participation in multilateral endeavors is driven more by the intention to address domestic needs than to reduce uncertainty and transaction costs. Thus, while the findings complement some of the insights of the literature on democracy promotion (particularly, those that emphasize domestic politics explanations) and the studies on middle states’ use of symbolic actions with resonance within domestic politics to reinforce policies and discredit other alternatives, the conclusions also involve a departure from traditional foreign policy assumptions about the instrumental character of foreign policy, the impact of regime vulnerability and highly unstable contexts, and nation-states’ motivations and goals. The conclusions also summarize the interrelated effects of the three relatively unexplored explanatory variables (policy context, presidential involvement, and engagement in regional endeavors) and further elaborate on their implications in terms of a possible redefinition of Argentina’s erratic identity in international affairs.

Introduction

9

Following this introduction, Chapter 2 situates the research questions in a historical and regional context in order to provide background information about the case and highlight the significance of the issue. It explains how Argentina has reached its erratic national identity in the international system and provides examples of both continuity and change in its foreign policy orientation. It shows the importance of the country’s relations with major powers and the connection between foreign policy and development ideas and strategies. It also highlights that the most recent democratic period has generated more incentives to maintain certain lines of continuity across administrations, although this has happened in the context of recurrent political and economic crises at the domestic level. The impact of these crises is analyzed, along with the implications of different styles of presidential leadership on their resolution. This is crucial information to make sense of the evidence presented later on and to understand the main argument of this book. The last section of that chapter refers to the historical evolution and current state of the inter-American system, with special emphasis on the recent normative and institutional developments aiming at the defense and promotion of democracy in the hemisphere. These elements are necessary to understand the increasing influence of the regional context on member states’ foreign policy. Chapter 3 presents the theoretical discussion through a critical examination of what we know about the subject and what we are still missing. It expands several of the ideas above. It is closely related to the historical developments presented in the previous chapter but, seeking clarity and coherence, it is presented in a separate chapter. Existing explanations are looked into in an overview that incorporates academic literature in both English and Spanish. The analysis is both informative and critical. It aims at diffusing insights from studies that are not widely translated and read, underlining, at the same time, various theoretical influences, contributions, and gaps. Background studies on Argentina’s foreign policy, alternative approaches to foreign policy, and the most recent literature on democracy promotion and middle states’ foreign policies are reviewed. Their contributions and pitfalls are presented, as well as their applicability to our understanding of cases of less developed and unstable nations like Argentina. Building upon that review, the last section presents the analytical and methodological approach used in this volume. The following three chapters gather the empirical evidence. They revolve around three major instances of democracy promotion policy within the Inter-American system. They have their own internal rationale, as they differ from one another, and can be read separately.

10

Argentina’s Foreign Policy

Chapter 4 explores the sources of Argentina’s stance on democracy promotion in Cuba since 1983. It mainly focuses on the country’s annual voting at the UN Human Rights Commission, while also using some other sources of evidence to relate it to different foreign policy actions and compare it to other Latin American countries’ behavior. This chapter shows that Argentina’s stance on this issue has oscillated in the last two decades between non-interference and demands for political liberalization. The slight variation across administrations is largely related to domestic issues rather than external pressures or demands. No doubt external influences (mainly, that of the United States) played a role, but there have been domestic political factors—namely, the concern with domestic stability, building credibility for reformist policies, and gaining legitimacy and electoral support—that determined presidential choices, even if that implied coping with dissent and opposition within the cabinet, congress, or the governing party. In all circumstances, the symbolic character of the Cuban question has served governments well in dire times. Chapter 5 focuses on a set of episodes that put democracy at stake in South America: the interruption of seventeen presidential mandates due to impeachment, forced resignation, social uprisings, military coups, or other reasons. This triggered serious institutional crises and the need for domestic and international actors to respond to these (often confusing) episodes. This chapter first presents the evidence about the recent crises that have taken place in Paraguay, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Brazil, with particular emphasis on the role of the inter-American community in general and Argentina in particular in their resolution. Overall, the evidence lends support to the argument that involvement is determined by the extent to which crises in neighboring countries might affect the situation at home in terms of the government’s image, credibility, and capacity to deal with governability problems. The modality and intensity of involvement varies more than in the cases of Cuba or Haiti. This is largely determined by the high uncertainty surrounding some of these cases and the character of the regional cooperative mechanisms used to cope with each institutional crisis. International cooperation plays a larger role here than in the Cuban question and leads to a more salient function of foreign affairs officials in the negotiations. However, the president still plays a key role in making ultimate decisions and appointments. His position in foreign decisionmaking facilitates the adoption of a pragmatic action in each case that adapts to the circumstances as each crisis unfolds, instead of requiring a pre-determined policy design; it also accounts for some

Introduction

11

apparent contradictions and inconsistencies within and across administrations. Chapter 6 addresses one of the most dramatic and interesting instances of defense of democracy in the hemisphere: the building up of peace and restoration of democracy in Haiti. The issue is analyzed in the broader context of Argentina’s involvement in Central America during the entire period under consideration. The core of the chapter focuses on the country’s role in the multilateral efforts to restore peace and democracy in Haiti. Since 1991, this issue has been on the agenda of all administrations and was particularly significant between 2005 and 2007. However, aside from humanitarian concerns, it is not evident why Argentine governments would allocate increasing resources to a relatively distant and, from Argentina’s national interest point of view, apparently inconsequential conflict. The explanation suggests that this has not been the result of direct foreign pressure, ideological considerations, or an autonomous goal in itself, but rather a strategy that proved functional to other goals, such as building credibility for a new policy orientation, crafting supporting coalitions, or redesigning relations with domestic actors (e.g., the military). Critical junctures marked the urgency of these domestic needs and placed them at the top of the governmental agenda. Once again, this instance of democracy promotion shows that the foreign policymaking process revolves around the executive power, thus allowing the president to neutralize opposition and shape the timing and character of the outcome. This is also the instance in which the impact of regional cooperation is most evident in terms of altering the cost/benefit calculus of activism versus inaction and redefining relations with neighbor countries on the basis of common interests and strategies. The concluding chapter summarizes the main findings and lessons. It elaborates the main argument further by pointing out the interplay of the explanatory variables. It also speculates on the implications of these findings and ideas for old and novel controversies about Argentine foreign policy in general. Drawing on secondary sources, the last section of this chapter applies the main argument to the case of Brazil. The discussion of similarities and differences with Argentina illustrates the potential applicability of the analytical framework proposed. The chapter closes with a reference to the main empirical and theoretical contributions of this study.

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Argentina’s Foreign Policy

Notes 1 Continuity is defined here the maintenance or persistence of the same general policy orientation or guiding principles over time. Consistency refers to the uniform application of, and adherence to, those principles in each instance. The case of Argentina shows that there may be policy continuity across administrations (e.g., activism in democracy promotion, commitment to regional cooperation) and also some inconsistencies and ambiguities (e.g., in the way governments dealt with some political crises in the region). 2 This does not imply an underestimation of the influence of external actors on foreign policy but an attempt to shed light on the least explored dimension of foreign policymaking. The reasons to focus the analysis on the relationship between foreign policy and domestic policy are explained at length in Chapter 3. 3 For details, see, among others, Torre (1997). 4 Informal institutions are defined as “socially shared rules, usually unwritten, that are created, communicated, and enforced outside officially sanctioned channels” (Helmke and Levitsky 2006, p. 5). Several works suggest that informal institutions shape the way presidentialism works in Latin America, either by increasing concentration of decisionmaking power, patrimonialism, and discretionary exercise of the role or by limiting presidential action. 5 For lack of better terms, I use the word regional here as comprising several subsets of international relations: the one that links countries of the Latin American Southern Cone (mainly, MERCOSUR members), the broader one that encompasses all South America countries (and often involves Mexico in key negotiations), and the most comprehensive and formalized one, extending to the whole hemisphere, known as the inter-American system. I indicate explicitly over the course of the text which subset I am referring to.

2 Argentina’s Foreign Policy in Historical and Regional Perspective

Argentine foreign policy has evolved in close relation to major political and economic developments. It has always reflected a complex blend of beliefs, values, social attitudes, prejudices, images, passions, and symbols that characterize Argentine political culture and the formation of national identity. Thus, understanding foreign policy requires situating the research questions in a historical and country-specific context. This is the first goal of this chapter. Although the focus of this work is on recent years and a particular area of public policy (i.e., the political and regional dimension of foreign relations in the period 1983-2007), contextualizing it highlights its relevance. We are not talking of one more process of democratization in Argentina, but the one that has lasted longer and one that looks stronger than ever. This process has also been seen by policy elites and most social actors as a turning point in the political history of the country, thus prompting their firm commitment to defend the stability of democratic regimes. Yet, Argentina can hardly be characterized as a consolidated democracy; intuitive assumptions about the correlation between democracy promotion abroad and democratic consolidation at home are not supported by the evidence. Hence, the analysis of the major developments in public policies since the return to democracy, how similar and how different they are from past records, and the politics that caused them to be undertaken is necessary to assess the interplay of the domestic politics and foreign policy in the second section of this chapter. The impact of recurrent crises in the last few decades is particularly emphasized in this chapter, as well as Argentina’s historical approach to regional issues. This chapter also aims at briefly commenting on the current state of the interAmerican system, which is the environment that has shaped Latin American countries’ foreign policies for more than a century. Relations

13

14

Argentina’s Foreign Policy

within the hemisphere are still the main arena of bilateral and multilateral partnerships for the Southern Cone nations. Thus, what follows is a historical account of major historical trends in Argentina’s foreign policy (which was often closely related to different development strategies and domestic political instability), with an emphasis on the ongoing democratic period. This is necessary to provide background information on the evolution of policy contexts and sources of political and economic instability, as well as democratic regimes’ sense of their own vulnerability. The second section also underlines the characteristics of some presidents as leaders and epicenters of the decisionmaking process whose performance of the role made a difference in the outcomes. This chapter closes with a reference to the increasing importance of regional factors in the foreign policymaking of any Latin American country. On the one hand, the economic integration project launched in the mid-1980s in the Southern Cone has gathered more commitment and developed further than previous endeavors, generating policymaking dynamics that go beyond the economic realm. One of its main tenets has been the defense of democracy in the region. On the other hand, the inter-American system has developed a somewhat novel and consensual agenda since then (among other things, democracy promotion has become a top priority) and has moved towards increasing multilateral cooperation and the institutionalization of some principles. Therefore, individual country foreign policies have to be understood in the context of a new (hemispheric and sub-regional) regionalism that promotes and legitimizes certain ideas, reinforces certain practices, and creates new opportunities for action as well as new constraints. The Historical Background

Since independence, Argentina’s foreign policy has been linked to various development strategies and special relations with big powers (with Britain first and the United States later).1 The remarkable success of the agro-export-oriented model (1880-1930) encouraged misleading perceptions about endless possibilities of growth and led political elites to seek a high profile in international affairs and a leadership role by Argentina in the region. In the context of inter-American relations, Argentina carried out an intense diplomatic activity characterized by a conflictive relation with the United States and the defense of certain principles and mechanisms (e.g., non-intervention, arbitration). Nonetheless, within the hemispheric and other spheres, Argentina’s

Argentina’s Foreign Policy in Historical Perspective

15

foreign policy was also marked by ambiguity and inconsistencies and did not revolve around the immediate regional relations. For instance, while Argentina developed an active agenda within the inter-American system, the level of engagement and commitment to regional affairs varied considerably over time. Conflicts over borders and rivalry concerning regional leadership favored a competitive logic and did not encourage cooperation with neighbors. At the time of the first Pan-American Conference (1889), Argentina had a special (mainly economic) relationship with Britain. In consonance with the exportoriented development strategy implemented at that time, foreign policy was largely focused on trade issues. Policy elites—concerned with maintaining peace, promoting economic growth, and consolidating the nation-state’s powers and institutions—were convinced of the advantages of maintaining the old special ties with Europe, and were very reluctant to engage in regional alliances. They considered partial agreements and specific treaties with neighboring countries as simple and practical means to solving disputes, maintaining peace, promoting some common interests, and even neutralizing rivals. But they opposed projects such as the creation of an American union and the merger of national units into a single state or similar institutional structure. Thus, Argentina opposed the US project to create a customs union in 1889. US attempts to influence the course of events in the region, exclude non-hemispheric powers, and organize regional affairs under its leadership were considered a threat and resisted. Back then, Argentina fiercely adhered to the principles of non-intervention and all nations’ equality, rights, and independence, and opposed the Monroe Doctrine and any expansionist attempt by the United States. Both the Calvo (1868) and Drago (1902) doctrines were proposed by Argentina and incorporated as guiding principles of the behavior of states in the conduct of inter-American relations. These doctrines defended the principle of non-intervention and the jurisdiction of governments over aliens, and ruled out the use of force by any foreign power against an American nation to collect debts. Their scope and applicability were a source of tension and disagreement between Latin American countries and the United States for many decades. Argentina further distanced itself from the United States at the time of World War I when, following its traditional defense of international peace, it declared itself neutral. It also encouraged the rest of the region to adopt a common position and promoted the discussion of the legal issues raised by the war in the inter-American context. Although the first democratically elected government (1916-1922) tried to differentiate itself from previous conservative administrations, the costs of neutrality

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Argentina’s Foreign Policy

were becoming evident and generated disputes within the cabinet. Congress voted in favor of breaking off relations with Germany. Nevertheless, President Hipólito Yrigoyen maintained the same foreign policy orientation. He also maintained an inflexible position with respect to joining the League of Nations. When Argentina’s proposals for allowing universal membership and basing elections to the Council on states’ legal equality were not accepted by the Assembly, the Argentine delegation withdrew from the meeting of the League’s First Assembly in 1920. Yrigoyen’s administration also sought close links with other Latin American countries, mainly at the political level (e.g., Argentina convoked a Congress of Neutral Nations). The initiatives to intensify economic relations and integration in South America, promoted by industrial sectors, did not yet have enough impact on policies. By the end of the First World War, Argentina’s foreign economic relations had changed considerably due to global changes in the international markets (the United Kingdom’s participation in Argentina’s exports and, especially, imports, declined vis-à-vis that of the United States). However, grain and meat exporters (still the strongest economic coalition in the country) kept defending the special partnership with Britain. This had an impact on foreign and economic policy decisions: economic diplomacy (and even bureaucratic changes within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) remained linked to those interests and overhauls of the national development strategy were delayed. The Great Depression and World War II demonstrated the vulnerability of such an economic strategy. Towards the end of the 1930s, Argentine elites re-considered that path and started to seek a new form of insertion in the international economy. This would imply some changes in foreign policy in general. On one hand, drawing on a remarkable diplomatic performance during the inter-war period, Argentine policymakers sought a prominent role in inter-American relations. They opposed any US attempt to organize hemispheric security affairs under its leadership. On the other hand, they also set two main goals for the following decades: to maintain a neutral position in great power conflicts and to replace missed imports with local production. Although neutrality caused serious internal disputes, Argentina maintained the decision up to the last minute, resisting US pressures to declare war on the Axis member states and facing the consequent boycott of its international trade between 1942 and 1949. This, together with the impact of the war, favored innovative proposals in the economic sphere: a new development strategy based on industrialization and the diversification of markets (including the United

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States). The Pinedo Plan even foresaw protectionist policies and the formation of large economic blocs consistent with ongoing trends at the international level. Thus, it encouraged the signing of an economic agreement with Brazil and other neighboring countries in order to create a broader market for Argentina’s incipient industries. The pan-American cause was embraced with vehemence in the early 1940s. Rather than an ideal, it now became a condition for economic growth and prosperity. Trade agreements were signed with most South American countries and a project for a customs union was entertained, encouraged by both public officials and private entrepreneurs. Intraregional trade was seen as a mechanism to break external dependency on European consumers. This rapprochement with the region proved to be helpful in the postwar setting. Latin American countries included Argentina’s isolation (the result of its resistance to declaring war on the Axis) in the agenda of the Inter-American Conference held in Mexico in early 1945. Argentina’s re-incorporation in the inter-American system then became possible, the country being invited to sign the conference’s final declaration under the condition that it would operate according to the principles established in the document. By that time, new economic ideas were gaining momentum at the international and regional level. Argentina gradually turned to a new development strategy attuned not only to the ideas of the time but also to the nationalistic aims of the military and rising economic sectors: import-substitution industrialization. It largely relied on the protective role of the state, which would become increasingly involved in economic and social welfare activities. The Peronist government (19461955) accompanied these policies with an independent foreign policy approach. The main goals were to end Argentina’s isolationism, improve the relationship with the United States, and follow an independent criterion in the conduct of international relations. Economic exchanges with Latin American countries were encouraged early in that period— especially when, by the mid-1950s, the industrialization strategy based almost exclusively on light manufacturing and the internal market had proved insufficient to promote growth. Argentina even participated actively in the Rio Conference in 1947, at which the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance was signed. Additionally, it was very active in defending certain principles in international forums, such as all countries’ autonomy (largely based on ideas of economic independence, development, and nationalism, but obscured by a reference to a novel and loosely defined Third Way); economic development as a basis for a international peace, and a more cooperative and equitable international economic order.

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After Peronism, foreign policy reflected the ups and downs of political instability and the attempt—by both military and civilian governments—to reverse or correct Peronist policies. Military rulers were in general more prone to align with the United States, open up the economy, and endorse multilateral liberalization. The two short civilian administrations, which fell in between, emphasized the importance of developmentalist and distributionist policies, as well as an autonomous foreign policy orientation. Under Arturo Frondizi (1958-1962), for instance, relations with the United States tended to move from alignment to a more balanced and mature relationship, built upon concrete economic and financial interests, while maintaining some discrepancies. These centered on the means toward economic development and the mechanisms to address hemispheric security issues. Arturo Illia’s administration (1963-1966) took a similar approach to relations with the United States, together with a defense of more equitable international economic relations in international forums and a diversification of trade partnerships. However, they differed with respect to regional integration. Although Frondizi’s government made efforts to strengthen political relations with Latin American countries and inter-American institutions, it gave priority to integrating, modernizing, and developing the national economy, rather than to integration with neighbors at the regional level. Illia’s administration, on the other hand, linked the promotion of the national interest to regional and other endeavors (e.g., Argentina participated as an observer in the Non-Aligned Movement conference held in Cairo in 1964). The 1960s were a time of effervescence in the realm of ideas, which would prompt changes in foreign policy. The limitations and incipient exhaustion of the import-substitution industrialization model put the development strategy into question. The North-South cleavage accentuated at the international level. A dependency paradigm, originating in Latin America, was gaining momentum, as well as a renewed version of economic nationalism. The military revolution that deposed Illia tried to redefine Argentina’s foreign relations by increasing the diversification of trade partnerships and participating in broader (regional) economic spaces. Thus, Latin America became the bridge toward a new insertion in the international context. However, rivalry and competition between Argentina and Brazil put limits on that strategy and made it dependent on the military’s ideas about regional conflict and the balance of power. From the late 1960s on, the orientation of public policies in Argentina was strongly influenced by a discourse in favor of autonomy and independence, the multipolar configuration of power that prevailed

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at the international level, and the increasing political violence that characterized domestic politics. Peronism came back to power in 1973 and sought a high profile in international politics, including the search for a diversification of export markets and for regional integration, and was, once again, reluctant to automatically align with the United States. But Argentina’s proposal to reform the OAS and the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance, as well as its willingness to maintain an open dialogue, contributed to keeping bilateral relations in a positive mode. The establishment of close (ideological and economic) links with Third World countries was also a main component of foreign policy in that period, to the point that Argentina joined the Non-Aligned Movement in 1973. The military government that took over in 1976 aimed at aligning Argentina with the United States in the struggle against communism, while maintaining autonomy in the exercise of economic relations. The new economic program emphasized the control of inflation and resumption of growth based on improving export performance. Thus, the conquest of new markets required an aggressive export policy that went beyond ideological commitments (e.g., exports to the then-USSR peaked in the late 1970s and Argentina resisted US pressures to join the grain embargo in 1980—resorting to its historical disagreement with the use of economic sanctions as instruments of political retaliation). Opening up the economy was accelerated as of 1978 to the detriment of the previous pro-industrialization strategy—a shift that would become the source of serious inter-governmental disputes. Also, human rights abuses led to confrontation with the Carter administration and increasing isolationism from, and discredit within, the international community. International discredit was accentuated because the Argentine government rejected the final decision in an arbitration by the International Court of Justice. The decision by The Hague referred to the dispute with Chile over the Beagle Channel, in 1977, and Argentina then engaged in an arms race that led the two countries to the brink of war the following year. It is worth noting that during this period Argentina maintained a reluctant participation in the Non-Aligned Movement, mainly motivated by the search for support by its members in the Malvinas cause (the old dispute with the United Kingdom regarding sovereignty over the Falkland/Malvinas Islands, which had been on the agenda of the United Nations (UN) Decolonization Committee since 1964). This suddenly changed when the military decided to invade the islands in 1982. The first-mentioned forum was used to vindicate this action after the military

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defeat in the war, while fervently adhering to the developing countries’ demands for a new international economic order. Nonetheless, the Malvinas/Falklands War had a remarkable impact not only on foreign policy but also on domestic politics. The argument that this was a diversionary move is well-known (see Levy and Vakili 1992). But the domestic and international implications of the war went well beyond a diversionary effect. The new decade had started with positive expectations about repositioning the country in world affairs and improving relations with the United States. These expectations were fueled by the changes in both administrations and by a new international scenario. The 1982 military confrontation heightened tension in relations with the United States and revived links with Latin American countries, the latter politically supporting Argentina’s sovereignty claims. It also exacerbated criticism of the result of economic and social policies (i.e., economic crisis, de-industrialization, unemployment, increasing debt, repression, an estimated 30,000 missing people) and precipitated plans for a political liberalization and democratic transition. Given the negative balance of the last military period (1976-1983) on all fronts, the new debate about Argentina’s role in international affairs necessarily included a critical examination of some domestic factors, such as the type of regime and the nature of political institutions. Democracy would become a pre-requisite for a good articulation of foreign and domestic affairs. Democratic Transition and Beyond

The return to democratic rule in Argentina prompted one more reconsideration of the country’s insertion in the international context. Economic crisis and political uncertainty characterized Raúl Alfonsín’s taking office in December 1983. The Radical government defined its international stances by reaffirming a commitment to the Third World and Latin American causes and cultivating good relations with the United States and Europe. Once again, the need to reverse Argentina’s discredit and erratic image was invoked. Nonetheless, this time the transition to democracy provided a new angle for defining the foreign policy orientation, because the overarching goals were to protect the fragile political process from negative external influences and to enhance the country’s presence in international affairs. The latter was also perceived as functional to the consolidation of democracy to the extent that it would help to avoid the negative consequences of isolationism—such as instability and any tendency to break the rule of

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law and engage in authoritarian practices (Caputo 1986; Alconada Sempé 1996). Indeed, former Minister Caputo explicitly stated the instrumental use of foreign policy. He argued that the three basic elements of foreign policy were: “… the external link as creator of the transformation, independence as a condition for that link, and the same link as protector of democracy. In sum, Argentina needed to use the link with the world to attain two higher goals: to consolidate democracy and promote development” (América Latina Internacional 1989, pp. 260). Moreover, the position with respect to the crisis in Central America was not only attuned to old traditions in Argentina’s foreign policy (i.e., the defense of some principles, such as the peaceful solution of disputes, nonintervention, states’ equal juridical status, etc.). It was also tied to a concern with the potential destabilizing effects of an extension of that crisis at a regional level. In addition, negotiations with foreign creditors and international financial agencies accounted for a large part of the external economic relations as of the beginning of Alfonsín’s term. The deterioration of economic conditions during his administration gradually led to a reconsideration of the government’s heterodox and somewhat confrontational stance. It also led to a move towards the acceptance of financial conditionality and of the Washington Consensus recommendations. These factors certainly created serious constraints in the government’s choices throughout Alfonsín’s mandate and beyond. In 1985, democratic transition in Brazil paved the way for the intensification of bilateral links and cooperative efforts. Presidents Sarney and Alfonsín that year launched an integration process that led to the formation of the Common Market of the South (MERCOSUR) in 1991. The initiative was based on a common understanding of the political and economic problems both countries confronted at that time and of the need to join forces to enhance their bargaining power and autonomous decisionmaking capacity. The Argentine government also emphasized the autonomous character of foreign policy in other realms—such as the initiative to create a multilateral approach to debt negotiations (the Cartagena Consensus); participation in the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries and other forums where the claim for a more equitable international economic order was voiced; contributions to finding a peaceful solution to the crisis in Central America, and the promotion of international disarmament and peace. A series of events precipitated a crisis towards the end of the 1980s. Several coup attempts, the failure to stabilize the economy, mounting opposition from unions and other groups, destabilizing financial

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speculation, hyperinflationary episodes, and tighter financial conditionality, all contributed to forge the image of a government unable to control the economic and political situation. This eroded the government’s credibility and certainly had a negative impact on social expectations. It was the beginning of a long and increasing disappointment with political elites’ capacity to deliver the benefits of democratization and economic recovery and growth—a persistent sentiment as of today. Moreover, a combination of personal characteristics, perceptions, and ideological commitments led Alfonsín —a leader with a moderate, cautious, and sober profile—to avoid radical changes that would have entailed serious social costs (Palermo 1995; Margheritis 1999, pp. 88-90). Thus, the abrupt end of his mandate in 1989, as well as the profound transformation of the international system, fueled a renewed debate about the part played by Argentina in the world. Carlos Menem’s first administration (1989-1995) would bring about a significant transformation in the political economy of the country in general and foreign policy in particular. He was determined to make a profound change in Argentina’s history and he did. Beset by hyperinflation and the military, he focused on these key sources of regime vulnerability during the first year in office to pave the way to further structural changes. The context of crisis was very important in Menem´s policy turnaround: it conditioned the government’s agenda and, at the same time, became a useful discursive tool to close the credibility gap. He appealed to a sense of social despair to revert the policies and socio-economic arrangements implemented by the old Peronism, using the crisis and economic emergency as a great opportunity to launch by surprise (and justify) neoliberal reforms that run counter not only his campaign promises but also his party doctrines. He also re-elaborated the populist discourse to include frequent references to religious and highly symbolic issues, pragmatism, and post-modern realities. He took advantage of social disenchantment and demobilization, as well as the opposition’s disarray, to concentrate, increase, and make discretional use of presidential decisionmaking power. By the end of his first term, he had re-crafted the Peronist’s traditional supporting coalition to accommodate old and new interests. His transgressive and charismatic leadership style would contrast with Alfonsín’s moderate and sober manners (Torre 1998; Portantiero 1995; Palermo 1995). In the realm of foreign policy, the attempt to find all possible points of agreement with the United States and collaborate with it was at the core of the new approach, and illustrates, once again, the connection between domestic politics and foreign policy. The government’s reading

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of the post-Cold War setting indicated that, given the US supremacy and the consequent unipolar character of the new international order, “automatic alignment” was the best possible option for a relatively small country with very limited resources, like Argentina. To a large extent, the new strategy resembled a search for another especial relation similar to the one Argentina had had with the United Kingdom. But this time, the close links with the United States were considered crucial to obtaining external political support for structural economic reforms (Norden and Russell 2002; Granillo Ocampo 1996, p. 264; Bernal-Meza 2002). It is worth noting that the selection of this course of action did not respond to the pressure of systemic factors; it was rather a function of the executive’s reading of the policy context and available options. Thus, the foreign relations agenda was reorganized around economic priorities, namely, trade and attracting foreign investment. In the official discourse and practice, autonomy was replaced by pragmatism and principles subordinated to interests. Tulchin (1998, pp. 184) argues: “Foreign policy was designed to follow and strengthen the economic model and thereby protect Argentina’s national interests. This is what Menem meant by realism, what Di Tella meant by pragmatism.” Willing to mend what were viewed as mistakes of the past, the government was concerned with signaling a clear position of alignment and demonstrating that Argentina could become a predictable and reliable partner. Examples of those actions were the participation in the Gulf War (the executive sent two ships to support US forces, without congressional endorsement); the minimization of Third World countries’ claims and, later, withdrawal from the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries; the abstention from condemning the US invasion of Panama; the collaboration with the anti-drug trafficking policy; the dismantling of the Condor II missile project, and the vote on the Cuban issue in the UN Human Rights Commission. The electoral triumph of the Alliance (a coalition formed by the Radical party, former Peronists, and socialist forces) in 1999 generated expectations of change on several fronts, including foreign policy. The broad, pluralistic character and progressive center-left profile of the coalition clearly differentiated it from the previous government, and raised hopes for change. The political discourse appealed, once again, to the need for change, transparency, and social equity. President Fernando de la Rúa (1999-2001) embodied the image of a sober, traditional, extremely cautious leader that contrasted with Menem’s flamboyant style. His leadership (or lack thereof), as well as his disposition towards micromanagement and procrastination of decisions, contributed to increase ambiguity, uncertainty, and deadlocks (Llanos and Margheritis

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2006). As economic conditions deteriorated, even his competence was in question. These factors were crucial in the unfolding of a foretold dramatic political and economic crisis in 2001. As for foreign policy, it was expected to end strict alignment with the United States. Indeed, the “carnal relations” slogan was replaced by one of “mature relations.” However, there were several elements of continuity between Menem’s and De la Rúa’s administrations, mainly due to the fact that the latter maintained the same economic model, thus giving priority to the same kind of international profile and adherence to hegemonic values as had been set by the former. Minor differences were evident in a renewed interest in relations with Europe (particularly with Spain) and the advocacy of the building up of multilateral consensuses (Bernal-Meza 2002). The bilateral relation with the United States remained a priority because of the need to secure financial assistance. If measured in terms of the voting pattern at the United Nations, Argentina maintained the same positions (close to those of the United States) and implemented only minor adjustment measures (Tokatlián 2000, pp. 2728). The vote on the Cuban case in the UN Human Rights Commission in April 2000 (explained in Chapter 4) is a case in point. Another foreign policy trait of that period was a certain lack of definition in the country’s position on certain issues. Argentina’s response to the electoral fraud in Peru in July that same year is a good example (see Chapter 5). Therefore, it has been argued that De la Rúa’s foreign policy was one of adjustment rather than innovation, together with some changes in style, though keeping an unclear, somewhat ambiguous and defensive orientation (Tokatlián 2000). De la Rúa’s mandate was abruptly interrupted by a dramatic economic and political crisis in late December 2001 leading to, among other things, foreign debt default, social unrest, repression, and several deaths. Three more presidents succeeded in office until the Congressional Assembly elected Eduardo Duhalde (2002-2003) to complete the term and call early elections. Attention has focused on the economic and financial side of the crisis. However, the impact of those events on social expectations and behavior is very telling of other underlying problems as problematic as the economic ones. Public opinion polls, new forms of collective protest, electoral behavior (e.g., swinging votes; blank and spoiled ballots), waves of emigration, and a generalized decline in public confidence in democratic institutions and policy elites regardless of political allegiances (see details in Epstein and Pion-Berlin 2006, pp. 3-26), they all reflect an increasing dissatisfaction with democracy and a serious crisis of political representation that exacerbated in the 2000s. Citizens’ negative views of both politicians

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and institutions as unable to address the main concerns of the majority of society have intensified credibility and legitimacy problems for various governments, thus posing serious obstacles to democratic consolidation. As Armony and Armony (2005) demonstrate, the dynamic of social mobilization during those years of crisis and transition has been closely linked to ingrained notions of national identity and the myth of Argentine grandeur that has marked foreign policy for more than a century. The transition and the governments that followed were marked by more than financial urgencies. President Duhalde lacked electoral legitimacy as he was selected, not elected; Néstor Kirchner was elected in 2003 with only 22% of the votes after his opponent (former president Carlos Menem) withdrew from the ballotage. Duhalde’s mandate was very specific: to take care of the immediate situation and organize a peaceful transition to a newly elected government. Thus, his room for maneuver was limited and his position was relatively weak. The foreign policy agenda obviously concentrated on economic and financial issues after the default on the external debt in January 2002. There were also signs of continuity, since President Duhalde emphasized the political partnership with Brazil and the commitment to advance the MERCOSUR project. As for the latter, the goal was to improve the customs union, find mechanisms to solve controversies, and achieve progress in the development of a common currency.2 The relation with the United States also showed a notable continuity across these two administrations mainly determined by the economic crisis. Facing a tougher stance by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Argentina sought the support of the US administration to renegotiate its debt. Only towards the end of his mandate, and due to electoral considerations, did Duhalde increase his criticisms of the US intervention in Iraq and change Argentina’s vote on the Cuban issue (Corigliano 2002; Russell and Tokatlián 2005, 2006). Since then, the relationship with Brazil has continued to be a priority and has, once again, shown the interplay of domestic politics and foreign policy. According to Russell and Tokatlián (2005, pp. 25), Argentina under Kirchner (2003-2007) sought Brazil’s support in negotiations with creditors and international financial agencies, as a way of building up credibility and legitimacy for the country’s stance. The bilateral relation with the United States was also dominated by economic issues: the negotiations after default on the external debt and the discussions on the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). Argentina’s refusal to accept further financial conditionality and attempt to try heterodox economic policies characterized the negotiations on the

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debt. Good prices and solid demand for primary (mainly agricultural) commodities allowed for recovery, a sustained and remarkable growth under Kirchner’s administration, and a fiscal surplus that was partially applied to paying back the IMF. This bonanza allowed the president to show a defying attitude that was disguised in a left-wing discourse but, at the same time, reflected his personalistic and confrontational way of understanding the role of a leader, his underestimation of foreign relations as a statecraft tool, his neglect for protocol and diplomatic forms, and his lack of initiatives in the foreign policy realm. Argentina’s position with respect of the FTAA under Néstor Kirchner has been ambivalent at times. During the Summit of the Americas in Mar del Plata, Argentina, in November 2005, the country shared with Brazil a reluctant position that made MERCOSUR’s entry into the FTAA conditional on US suppression of agricultural subsidies. Yet Argentina’s attitude was also ambivalent, in the sense that it tried to obtain US support for negotiations with the IMF while criticizing that institution and Washington’s policies. Furthermore, it allowed Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez to carry out a simultaneous countersummit at which more anti-American criticism was voiced. Such a position generated an exchange of harsh remarks between Kirchner and then Mexican President Vicente Fox, who made the former responsible for the summit’s failure (Corigliano 2005a). The political dimension of this relationship has been disturbed by the Argentine president’s close relation with Hugo Chávez. It has additionally been complicated by the increasing importance of energy issues in all South American countries’ policy agendas. Although the ideological agreement between the two leaders is not clear, their dealings included significant financial transactions and exchanges of favors: Venezuela bought a considerable amount of Argentina’s debt paper; Argentina promised to support Venezuela in its drive for a seat on the UN Security Council in late 2006; Venezuela has been financing the social work of the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo through funds administered by the government and, apparently, also funded the presidential campaign of Mrs. Kirchner in obscure ways.3 In sum, foreign policy under Kirchner showed the coming to office of a leader with a different discourse, agenda, and style. Russell and Tokatlián (2006, pp. 259) argue that the two defining characteristics of his leadership style were “the use of foreign policy for internal political ends and his personal handling of such policy. In the first case, Kirchner has utilized matters of international relations to strengthen his originally weak legitimacy and thereby widen his ability to govern. Thus, in good measure, the substance and style of his foreign policy ought to be seen

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in light of the priority he gave to domestic policy matters. […] At the same time, Kirchner was becoming notoriously outspoken on key foreign policy themes …; and finally the announcement that he would take personal charge of managing relations with the United States.” His personal perception of national pressing problems and reading of the regional context is illustrated by constant references to the experiences of the 1970s, the criticisms to the IMF and neoliberal policies, the attempt to differentiate from Menem’s orientation, the confrontation with certain key actors (e.g., the military, new owners of privatized firms, foreign creditors and bond holders), the willingness to avoid submission in relations with the United States, and the pragmatic rapprochement to Brazil. The Regional Dimension and the Collective Defense of Democracy

Sub-regional integration within the hemisphere gained momentum in the 1990s and led to a proliferation of trade and other bilateral and multilateral agreements. As explained above, in the mid-1980s Argentina and Brazil began to overcome their historical rivalry and embarked on a path of cooperation that has been expanding constantly since then. In 1991 they signed the Treaty of Asunción, together with Paraguay and Uruguay, aiming at the formation of the Common Market of the South (MERCOSUR). Although the economic part of the agreement has faced several phases of stalemate and re-launching (largely due to economic and monetary instability in the two leading members, and to some commercial disputes), and the bloc has only attained the level of an imperfect customs union (Bouzas 2003), political cooperation has been maintained and expanded to other areas, including the defense and promotion of democracy. Several aspects of the regional integration process are relevant to the issues under consideration here. On the one hand, regional integration has been part of a new economic policy orientation that started to be felt in the late 1980s and became consolidated in the 1990s. Structural adjustment and market-oriented reforms would put an end to institutions and practices of the previous import-substitution industrialization model. Regional economic integration had an outward orientation this time, attuned to the ongoing liberalization, deregulation, and opening up of the economy. The simultaneity of complex transition processes (i.e., democratization and economic restructuring), and the impact of these deep changes, led to new cycles of political and economic instability— thus reinforcing the need to balance domestic and international goals

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and commitments. No doubt this placed an additional burden on already fragile regimes with weak institutional bases. On the other hand, among additional rules, an unprecedented democratic clause was included in the integration agreements, in order to reinforce members’ commitment and discourage destabilization attempts. In several documents, dated June 27, 1992 (Las Leñas, Mendoza, Argentina), June 25, 1996 (Potrero de Funes, San Luis, Argentina), and July 24, 1998 (Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina),4 MERCOSUR member and associate states declared that democratic institutions being in full force was a necessary condition for the integration process. With this in mind, they established certain mechanisms to be applied in case of a breakdown of democracy (e.g., consultations, sanctions, suspension of membership, suspension of rights and duties derived from the bloc’s norms). A similar commitment to preserving and strengthening democracy (conceived as the main legitimating principle of political regimes and an indispensable condition for peace, stability, development, and hemispheric integration), as well as to acting immediately in case of a threat to democratic rule, was made by the Rio Group members in a statement signed in Asunción, Paraguay, on August 24, 1997.5 In addition, as illustrated by the empirical chapters contained in this study, regional integration has generated dynamics of permanent consultation and collaboration among MERCOSUR members. This extends well beyond the economic sphere and encourages the socialization of states’ officials within a culture of cooperation (Gómez Mera 2005). This new regionalism allowed Southern Cone countries to overcome old rivalries and contributed to a progressive redefinition of identities and interests within a cooperative (rather than competitive) framework. Hence, regional integration and democratization became mutually reinforcing processes. In other words, the perception of shared interests in the relation between Argentina and Brazil emerged from the common sense of vulnerability and institutional fragility. This sense led policy elites to overcome distrust and conflict in favor of a cooperative effort that could help to consolidate democracy (Hilton 1985; Steves 2001). Once in place and iterated, these regional dynamics have also raised the costs of reneging from commitments and not participating in collective initiatives. Thus, they have created incentives for foreign policy continuity and consistency. Furthermore, inter-American relations seemed to have entered a new phase of friendship and cooperation in the 1990s, mainly because of the increasing acceptance by Latin American countries of the two basic principles advocated by the United States: free markets and democracy.

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The post-Cold War international setting generated all kinds of positive expectations and optimistic speculations (e.g., Domínguez 2000; Tulchin and Espach 2001). No doubt the contentious impact of structural economic reforms in Latin America made the first-named principle undergo serious criticisms and even a backlash in some countries. As for the second principle, the emphasis on the electoral aspect of the promotion of democracy generated some unexpected results (it allowed the rise of some social movements and the coming to power of some leaders not attuned to Washington’s policies). And yet, the respect for the rule of law and, to some extent, the improvement of democratic governance has remained one of the few consensual items on the interAmerican agenda. Countries have been unanimously committed to the defense of democratic regimes, and regional organizations have contributed to legitimizing and institutionalizing democratic principles and norms. Besides the example of MERCOSUR and the Rio Group above, it is worth noting that the OAS has played a leadership role in this policy realm, thus regaining legitimacy and the capacity to shape outcomes at times of institutional political crises. Although its behavior has been deemed selective in terms of the degree and modality of intervention in defense of democracy, and even prone to legitimate low-quality democracies, the OAS has consistently strengthened its capacity and commitment over the last decade and a half (Shamsie 2004; Arceneaux and Pion-Berlin 2007). In addition, the significance of the regional dimension becomes evident if the discussion of international organizations’ efficacy is framed within broader institutional developments that have taken place lately. According to Parish and Peceny (2002), the inter-American system underwent a dramatic transformation in the past decade due to the combination of a stronger OAS, a liberal consensus among member states, increasing trade interdependence, and a more liberal regional hegemony. The codification of what has come to be known as the “collective defense of the democratic system” through a series of norms and procedural mechanisms shows the importance of the democratic question for international relations within the hemisphere. This system builds upon important precedents. The importance of democracy has long been emphasized in the legal instruments of the inter-American system.6 It appeared in the OAS Charter at the moment of its creation (1948) in connection with security issues, it being established that the respect for democratic institutions is a condition for security and peace among member states. Yet it is in recent decades that this principle acquired new meaning. The reform of the OAS Charter in

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1985 (in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia) explicitly acknowledged that representative democracy is a necessary condition for regional stability, peace, and development, and paved the way for a practice that would become regular later that decade: sending electoral observer missions when any country so requests. Also, a new office was created within the OAS in 1990 (the Unit for the Promotion of Democracy) to deal with the issue and promote democratic values and practices (by Resolution of the General Assembly AG/RES 1063XX-0/90). Resolution 1080, adopted by the OAS General Assembly on June 5, 1991, created an unprecedented mechanism: it entitled the Secretary-General to call a special meeting in case of events that would alter democratic stability in any member state and committed the organization to design a series of proposals to create incentives to preserve and promote representative democracy in the region. At the same time, the so-called Santiago Commitment to Democracy and Renovation of the Inter-American System, adopted by the OAS in Santiago, Chile, in June 1991, reasserted the principles contained in Resolution 1080 and opened the discussion on adopting some measures against non-democratic governments. Thereupon, the 1992 Washington Protocol went further in establishing sanctions against member states in which democracy breakdown occurs, including the suspension of membership. The Declaration of Managua, adopted in 1993, introduced the idea of preventive action to defend democracy in the hemisphere. By a resolution adopted at an ordinary meeting of the OAS General Assembly in Windsor, Canada, in 2000, a Special Fund for the Strengthening of Democracy was created. Finally, the Democratic Charter adopted in Lima, Peru, on September 11, 2001, to some extent gathered the previous rules in a single document, and specified the procedural mechanisms in cases of interruption or alteration of the democratic order. Further, it established the characteristics and requirements of any democratic system, making them the legitimizing criteria of a state governed by the rule of law.7 (Chapter 5 shows when and how these norms had an impact in several recent institutional crises in Latin America.) These impressive institutional developments have raised questions about the sources of that organizational change and increased action, the depth of the renewed commitment, and the potential efficacy of those norms. As explained in the next chapter and supported by several studies (Bloomfield 1994; Boniface 2002; Parish and Peceny 2002; Levitt 2006; Abbot 2007; Legler et al. 2007), various approaches to international relations (e.g., realism, liberalism, constructivism, international regimes theory) can help explain different aspects of this phenomenon; at the same time, building upon detailed case studies and including domestic

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variables seems to be necessary to account for when and how individual member states engage in collective behavior. Conclusions

Argentina has developed its national identity in the international system on the basis of its relations with major powers and in close connection with development ideas and strategies. Changes in foreign policy orientation have been frequent and of different degrees and orientations. The attempts to compete for a high profile in regional and international affairs, the reluctance to perceive itself as part of the developing world in general and of Latin America in particular, and the search for autonomy have all translated into ambiguous and inconsistent positions and actions (including isolating itself from international trends). This has gradually contributed to forging the image of an erratic and unpredictable actor. The references by incoming presidents in their inauguration statements to the willingness to “reposition” Argentina in the world arena and, once again, recast its profile, repeatedly gave rise to déjà vu in the twentieth century. However, patterns of continuity can also be identified over time. They include an active diplomatic participation in inter-American relations that has persisted over centuries, and the adhesion to certain principles that shaped those relations. The most recent democratic period has generated more incentives to maintain some lines of continuity across administrations. It has posed significant challenges and uncertainty to policymakers since the transition to democracy happened almost simultaneously with another big transformation: the transition to a market-center socio-economic organization. But, at the same time, certain commitments—such as those originating in cooperation with neighboring countries—have contributed to routinize consultation and cooperation practices, redefine autonomy in terms of relations with others rather than opponents, incorporate those relations as constitutive of the national identity, and render foreign (or at least sub-regional) relations more predictable in several realms. In particular, the commitment to promote and defend democracy in the hemisphere has been a line of policy pursued by all governments since 1983 and shows the acquiescence with a consensual hemispheric agenda in which democracy promotion has ranked high for the last two decades. This goes hand in hand with a greater agreement than ever among all domestic political actors on the need to preserve democratic institutions at home too.

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Yet, each administration has had a different perception of what was at stake and when and how to engage in democracy promotion abroad. Apparently, those differences seem to be more related to critical junctures and domestic instability than to ideological orientations or external pressures. Also, each president shaped the decisionmaking process according to his particular leadership style. What recent Argentine democratic governments have had in common is the need to rebuild their credibility and coalition of support because they were all coping with the consequences of dramatic political and economic crises and/or their aftermaths. Hence, it is worth exploring how domestic processes affected foreign policy. Before turning to that, the next chapter presents the analytical framework.

Notes 1 Unless otherwise indicated, this section draws on several sources that offer a historical perspective: Conil Paz and Ferrari (1970), Puig (1975); Etchepareborda (1982), Lanús (1984), Tulchin (1991), Paradiso (1993), Escudé and Cisneros (1998). 2 See interview with the then Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carlos Ruckauf, Clarín, 02/03/02, Zona, p. 5. 3 See Barrionuevo, Alexei, “Indictments Stir Plot in the Case of Cash-Filled Bag,” The New York Times, December 21, 2007. 4 See full text of all documents on the official MERCOSUR site: http://www.mercosur.int, and the Joint Parliamentary Commission of MERCOSUR webpage: http://www.cpcmercosur.gov.ar. 5 Full text of the statement available at http://www.sre.gob.mx/dgomra/ grio/Documentos/asunc97.htm. 6 For a historical background of the evolution of the democratic governance doctrine within the inter-American system, see Muñoz (1998). 7 For details on all these documents, as well as some others related to the issue, see Alice (2002), Section II.

3 Foreign Policy in Highly Unstable Contexts

Looking for explanations of Argentina’s foreign policy behavior requires revising different bodies of literature to assess what we know about the subject and what we are still missing and how to best develop an explanation of this case. It is worth noting that Argentina’s foreign policy has not received as much attention as other Latin American countries’, let alone the regional political dimension of it. There are several chronological, thematic, and conceptual gaps in the literature. Thus, it is necessary to draw on a number of studies, most of them elaborated with different perspectives and purposes. This chapter first presents an overview of the classical and contemporary literature on Argentina’s foreign policy. This section incorporates works in both English and Spanish—the latter mainly by local scholars who are not widely translated and read by outside audiences. The analysis is, thus, both informative and critical. It aims at diffusing information that is relatively less known, highlighting the diverse theoretical influences acting on our understanding of the topic, and identifying the strengths and shortcomings of existing explanations. The succeeding section revises alternative approaches to foreign policy in general and democracy promotion in particular, most of them originated in the work of North American scholars. It gives detailed consideration to the insights about the interplay of domestic politics and foreign policy. Some problematic aspects of those approaches are identified, as well as their contributions to the understanding of less developed and less powerful states’ foreign policies undergoing serious crises and transitions. The last section builds upon that critical review to propose an eclectic analytical framework, which draws on some of the insights of classical realism, constructivism, and comparative politics studies. The conclusions highlight the potential contributions of that perspective and suggest further applications to other policy areas and cases.

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Background Studies on Argentina’s Foreign Policy

Academic literature about Argentina’s contemporary foreign policy is scarce. There are few, and very general, local studies dating from recent decades, such as Conil Paz and Ferrari (1964), Etchepareborda (1982), and Lanús (1984). Scholarly works in English are fewer still. Some of the best were focused on older times and relations between Argentina and the United States (e.g., Mc Gann, 1965; Peterson, 1970; Milenky, 1978; Tulchin, 1991). Most of the studies have a historical approach that focuses on certain periods and administrations, diplomacy and legal aspects of foreign relations and, often, a geopolitical analysis of specific issues. Most works are descriptive and many of them advance a normative perspective. In the last few decades, some studies have aimed at filling certain gaps and providing new perspectives on past and ongoing developments (Escudé and Cisneros 1998; Norden and Russell 2002). Policy continuity has been explored less than changes in foreign policy orientation. One of the very few exceptions is the historical analysis of Argentine foreign policy from colonial times to the early 20th century by Puig (1975). He identifies four main trends that originated partly in the structure of the international order and partly in the choices made by policymakers regarding modes of insertion in that order: affiliation with the British sphere of influence, which resulted in a sort of “rationalized” dependence; an indifference to, and frequent confrontation with, the United States that was clearly manifested in Argentina’s opposition to the US pan-Americanism; a weak territorial policy (i.e., lack of concern over loss of territory); and isolation with respect to Latin America. As for the latter, it implied that although there were always good diplomatic, cultural, and political links with other countries in the region, there was resistance and even opposition to engaging in alliances, associations, and integration schemes. Ferrari’s work (1981) overlaps with Puig’s. He identifies six constants in Argentine foreign policy: (1) pacifism (especially, the promotion of peace as a prerequisite for economic wealth) reflected, among other things, in the strict adhesion to the arbitrage principle, even in cases that undermined the national interest; (2) isolationism, manifested in a reluctant attitude towards hemispheric initiatives, opposition to pan-Americanism, and the defense of the non-intervention principle; (3) evasion by resort to law, that is, eluding reality and reducing international issues to their juridical expression, partly as a defensive reaction vis-à-vis great powers (e.g., adhering to arbitration, justifying neutrality on legal and constitutional norms, procrastinating

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the ratification of international treaties); (4) moralism or the tendency to base foreign policy measures and diplomacy on moral tenets; (5) close partnership with Europe, based on economic, political, and cultural ties, and confrontation with the United States, partly originating in a rivalry over hemispheric leadership; and (6) territorial dismemberment, beginning with the transformation of the old Viceroyalty of the River Plate (consisting of what are now Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and parts of Bolivia, Brazil, and Chile) into several states and continuing with several border conflicts that reduced Argentine territory considerably—a fact not necessarily seen as negative by 19th-century policymakers and ideologues because an excess of unpopulated territory could work against the possibilities of establishing a centralized government and attaining economic development. Paradiso (1993) presents a very thoughtful long-term historical perspective that focuses on some key controversies that have structured foreign policy orientation over time. According to him, those controversies about Argentina’s position in the world took place when new development strategies were on the verge of emerging, and reflected significant transformations in the domestic political system, the set of dominant ideas at the time, and the organization of the international order. He also identifies an underlying factor in those debates: the tension between markets and borders or, in other words, between a definition of national interest based on military power, territory, and physical/material characteristics of the state and one based on production, exchange, and wealth. The former was embodied in positions concerned with territorial sovereignty, conflicts about borders, and spheres of influence, while the latter supported ideas about the benefits of peaceful relations, trade, and privileged relations with key economic partners. This is the only author that points out to a dynamic connection between domestic processes and foreign policy outcomes. His historical account also provides examples of constant and intense presidential involvement in foreign policymaking. In sum, the political and intellectual debate about the lack of policy continuity, of a well-defined orientation, and of good diplomatic skills by Argentine public officials is an old one. Critics even argued that foreign policy did not exist at all (Ferrari 1981). In the opposite camp, few voices understood losses as the result of a definite policy: excessive idealism, pacifism, and a negligent attitude with respect to national interests. The discussion goes back to the 19th century and relates to several conflicts over borders and to concerns with sovereignty and the loss of territory—issues that emerged again in the 1960s and 1970s. Thus, the foreign policy literature of those decades, from a historical and

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geopolitical perspective, gathered and revived the arguments about territorial dismemberment and diplomatic inefficiency. The same arguments were applied, for instance, to the numerous analyses of the Argentina-Brazil relationship. Those studies back then emphasized the competitive and conflictive nature of the bilateral relation, the negative implications of power imbalances, and the inefficiency of Argentine diplomats in dealing with Brazil’s aspirations to regional supremacy (Paradiso 1993, pp. 8-12, 163). The combination of some dramatic events in late 1970s and 1980s (e.g., political violence, human rights abuses, the Malvinas/Falklands war, foreign debt crisis, economic decline, and hyperinflation episodes) prompted a significant debate about Argentina’s history in general, and foreign policy in particular. Given the country’s marginal position and discredit in the international arena, the question of an economically competitive and politically significant insertion in the international context became crucial and is not settled yet. Over and over again, charges are made regarding policymakers’ inability to correctly assess the transformations in the international order, the lack of a clear longterm project that survives changes in administrations and, thus, the persistence of an erratic behavior in the foreign policy realm. As a result of this debate, an important body of foreign policy literature (mostly by local scholars) has accumulated in the last two decades. There is a clear evolution in the application of theoretical perspectives (Russell, ed., 1992). Although there is still a strong influence of classical approaches in international relations theory (i.e., realism and idealism), some studies draw on new perspectives in the field. The latter stressed cultural and cognitive variables, which shape the belief systems, images, and attitudinal positions of foreign policy decisionmakers.1 However, most studies use theoretical insights only as a reference framework, and tend to fall into descriptive and/or normative accounts or justifications of ideological positions.2 In the early 1980s, local scholars and policy analysts were mostly concerned with accounting for policy failures, the origins and paradoxes of Argentina’s decline, and the shortcomings of past development strategies. Ironically, mistakes in the handling of international relations were part of the explanation of the crisis, together with the exhaustion of the ISI model, excessive state expansionism, and political instability, but domestic instability and other political processes were not included within the explanatory factors. As for key actors in the decisionmaking process, historical accounts contain many references to the role of the executive branch of government in foreign policy decisionmaking which often translated

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into a strengthening of its image and influence in domestic politics, though this is not a variable that has been explored systematically. Recent studies have emphasized the importance of presidential diplomacy in the advance of bilateral and multilateral cooperation. Malamud’s work (2005) is a case in point. He argues that presidents of MERCOSUR member states have played a crucial role as both policy crafters and dispute settlers, thus boosting the process of integration and shaping the outcomes in a way that allowed several crises and stalemates within the bloc to be overcome. The implementation of structural reforms that changed the socioeconomic organization of the country in the 1990s generated a renewed debate about the connection between foreign policy and development strategies—though not necessarily phrased in that way—and two normative theories: peripheral realism and peripheral neoidealism.3 The most recent events at the international, regional, and national level led to three more developments: (1) the coining of the term “relational autonomy;” (2) a loss of momentum by peripheral realism; (3) the argument that foreign policy disappears in the context of a “parasite” state (Corigliano 2005b). The first of these was explained above in connection with the increasing importance of the regional dimension in foreign policymaking and is defined as “… states’ capacity and willingness to make decisions with others based on their free will and to jointly control the processes occurring within and beyond their borders.” (Russell and Tokatlián 2001, pp. 88). It is a helpful concept that captures an increasingly important dimension of current Argentine foreign policy; its implications for this study will be commented in the concluding chapter. The second is a consequence of the progressive adaptation of Argentina’s position to new conditions in the international and domestic arenas, especially after 9/11 and the 2001 economic and political crisis. The third development is an idea suggested by Escudé (2005) based on the historical record of corruption, overspending and waste of resources, regressive distribution of wealth, and governability problems that situate Argentina in the failed-states camp. In such a context, the author argues that foreign policy “dies” because Argentine governments after 2001 would rather care about short term domestic governability than about designing medium or long term strategies. In other words, foreign policy is subordinated to domestic politics. In sum, this section has shown that studies of Argentina’s foreign policy have evolved following, to some extent, the trends set by North American academia. Realism and other mainstream approaches have been very influential. The relation with superpowers was a favorite theme for many decades and generated concerns with autonomy and the

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nature of dependence. Developments within the liberal paradigm encouraged an increasing interest in the bureaucratic aspect of policymaking, the impact of variations in the kind of political regime, the consequences of revived regionalism, and the implications of interdependence. Dependence theory has encouraged studies on autonomy, bargaining power, and asymmetric relations. Recent attempts to incorporate ideational factors, such as perceptions, views, and images, have aimed at incorporating constructivist and other novel approaches. In short, the study of Argentina’s foreign policy has been enormously stimulated and enriched in the last twenty years, thus producing a more complex and sophisticated picture of the actors and processes involved in its making. The main problems with most of the explanations above are that: (a) they tend to assess issues in reference to systemic trends and pressures, as well as features of foreign policy in advanced societies, thus missing crucial explanatory variables at other levels of analysis; (b) they are largely descriptive and normative; (c) they give priority to the study of changes in foreign policy orientation and underestimate patterns of continuity; (d) they generalize about foreign policy as a whole without specifying differences and linkages across policy areas; (e) domestic instability and regime vulnerability, and the role of the executive in foreign policymaking (major features of Argentine politics) have never been focal variables in the literature; (f) there is no comprehensive work covering the whole democratic period (from 1983 to date) and very few bibliographic (academic) sources for the last few years (from 2001 to date), and (g) except for a sole unpublished work that focuses only on regional political crises (Pittaro 2005), there is no attempt to explain the increasing importance of democracy promotion in the foreign policy agenda. To some extent, these gaps and shortcomings are not surprising since these are problems that appear recurrently in the literature on foreign policy in Latin America and the Caribbean in general—a literature that offers very few examples of studies that consistently integrate empirical and theoretical analysis (Hey 1997). The most interesting works are probably those that explore cognitive, cultural, and organizational variables affecting the foreign policymaking process (e.g., Russell 1996; Escudé 1992, 2001) but they have not been applied to particular areas of foreign policy and several administrations over time on a systematic way. The idea of foreign policy being subordinated to domestic politics is an appealing one for the reasons explained below, though Escudé’s (2005) assumptions and implications are misleading: Argentina may have a deficient state but it is not a failed state; elites’ rent-seeking behavior does not necessarily

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lead to the abandonment of certain means of statecraft but, rather, it may favor the use of them to pursue the narrow interests of some groups. I would argue that, far from dying, foreign policy in a highly contested and unstable society may become a powerful tool at the service of domestic politics’ goals. Thus, it is necessary to explore further the interrelationship between domestic processes and foreign policy. Alternative Lenses

The tools provided by the American foreign policy analyses are also limited in their capacity to explain the Argentine case. This is in part the result of the fact this sub-field is under the influence of mainstream international relations schools whose research agenda has mainly revolved around the concerns of big powers (Hoffman 1995; Smith 2002; Newman 1998), while the contributions of Latin American scholars to the international relations field, though significant, have been seen as less oriented towards theory building and perhaps, as Tickner (2008) suggests, too preoccupied with practical knowledge and policy recommendations. As for how to approach the study of the domestic and international arenas, there is generalized consensus on the fact that the distinction between these domains has blurred and the causal arrows go both ways. From Gourevitch’s seminal work (1978) to many studies on the impact of domestic factors on international cooperation and other phenomena (e.g., Simmons 1994; Milner 1997), this interplay has been extensively explored (see Gourevitch 2002 for an overview). The specific relation between domestic and foreign policy has also been widely acknowledged, though in a somewhat problematic way. The early work on foreign policy of the 1950s and 1960s incorporated statelevel variables but tended to consider them secondary and neglected the study of domestic political systems other than the United States. Later studies (also known as the second generation or foreign policy analysis of the late 1970s) were more prone to multi-level and multi-variable explanations, methodological pluralism, and the incorporation of insights from comparative politics and area studies to the understanding of a variety of cases (Neack and Hey 1995; Hudson and Vore 1995). However, the accounting of domestic sources of foreign policy has focused mainly on formal institutions (Rogowski 1999). Thus, the emphasis is usually on structural characteristics within the political system, pressures by social sectors to make a line of policy prevail, or the political orientation of elite members, in an attempt to assess the weight of these factors in comparison to systemic external forces. For instance, research was done on how the level of fragmentation of the

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party system, the role of formal institutions, interest-group dynamics, public opinion, and bureaucratic politics affect foreign policy. Moreover, when regime vulnerability is included in the explanation, it is usually in relation to the constraints posed by opposition forces and is assumed to favor policy inconsistency and highly ambiguous behavior. Mainstream approaches have also neglected the study of domestic critical junctures, mainly because they focus on stable democracies where crises are less frequent and do not have such a destabilizing effect; domestic turmoil and political elites’ insecure position have been associated with the pursuit of a belligerent foreign policy (Levy 1989). The study of Third World settings has largely concentrated on authoritarian regimes, in which the influence of societal forces was virtually suppressed and whose internal bureaucratic politics differed considerably from those of democratic regimes (Fearon 1998; Hagan 1987, 1993). Those are not necessarily the factors that most affect foreign policy in developing countries undergoing democratic transition and consolidation. Party systems in Latin America have been coping with a serious crisis of representation that impinges on their capacity to function as electoral and governing machines. Formal institutions tend to be weak and/or under the control and influence of some sectors or individuals. Interest groups work under the legacy of corporatist arrangements and authoritarianism. Bureaucratic politics are embedded in the patronage-prone, corrupt, highly personalistic, and informal practices that pervade the whole political system. Undoubtedly, all these specificities are present in the Argentine case. Thus, it seems more fruitful to build upon and expand those approaches that focus on the interaction between development strategies and foreign policies. Cases like Argentina seem to lend support to those who contend that foreign policy analysis in developing countries would greatly benefit from a broader notion of the state (broader than what conventional assumptions allow for) and an understanding of the political and economic role that states play in many nations, which in turn influences the goals and tools of foreign policy (Moon 1995). In particular, states in many developing countries often cope with problems of legitimacy. In such a context, foreign policy acquires a highly symbolic content that serves elites to manipulate issues, make ideological appeals, and emphasize rhetoric over content in their attempt to build consensus among domestic actors. This usually happens in combination with political instability and a strong economic role of the state as major producer, employer, arbiter, and shaper of socio-economic relations (functions that states have only partially given up in the post-

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neoliberal era), thus giving place to state-society relations that are not easily comparable to those in developed societies. In other words, questions of capital accumulation, state legitimacy, social instability, and governability take priority and constitute imperatives for elites in developing countries and transitional democracies. Nonetheless, the scarce existing literature on the impact of those issues on foreign policy falls short of explaining the Argentine case. Regime vulnerability is usually associated with policy inconsistency and inability to make substantial commitments (Hagan 1987; Rogowski 1999, pp. 124) and comparative studies have focused on cases in which internal conflicts and legitimacy crises were correlated with intensely hostile foreign policy initiatives (Hagan 1993, pp. 46-58) and even war (Levy and Vakili 1992). Instead, Argentina challenges those assumptions. As explained in the previous chapter, the country has gone through almost constant economic and political instability during the last two decades. That included, among other things, several coup attempts, hyperinflationary episodes, financial crises and foreign debt default, social unrest, riots, political violence, and interrupted presidential mandates. Yet, since 1983 Argentina’s foreign policy has showed some important lines of continuity across administrations and embodied serious commitments to the peaceful resolution of conflict and cooperation. Among other issues, the promotion of democracy became a consensual value and gathered a strong commitment from governments of different orientations. In comparison with the position of other Latin American countries, Argentina stands within the activists’ camp as one of the strongest supporters of the defense of democracy regime, always at the most interventionist end of the spectrum when it comes to multilateral efforts and the OAS actions (Bloomfield 1994). Thus, it is worth examining what the literature on this topic argues. Studies on Democracy Promotion and Middle States

The burgeoning literature on democracy promotion provides some additional inspirational insights. It indicates that it is crucial to examine the concrete domestic interests behind commitments of this sort. For instance, Boniface (2002) analyzes the OAS behavior in response to some democratic crises (Haiti, 1991; Peru, 1992; Guatemala, 1993, and Paraguay, 1996). While the evidence partially supports both realist and reflectivist arguments, it also points out the relevance of domestic politics to understand the internal dynamics of the organization and the likelihood and nature of its interventions. Levitt (2006) comes to a similar conclusion. By using some of the international relations

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approaches to regimes and looking at nine cases of democratic crises in the Americas between 1991 and 2002, he concludes that domestic politics explanations are stronger than structural or systemic ones. Particularly, governments’ democratic legitimacy, vulnerability to accusations of authoritarianism, and fear of being overthrown best account for OAS member states’ support for the application of Resolution 1080 and the Inter-American Democratic Charter. The leading role of the Southern Cone countries in the creation and application of those norms lends support to his argument. Moreover, Parish and Peceny (2002) argue that the bases of the collective defense of democracy regime in the hemisphere are to be found on concrete material interests rather than just liberal idealism. They suggest that the United States embraced this policy to rebuild and legitimate its hegemony. On their part, Latin American civilian political leaders, as well as the business sector and other local actors, have feared the disruption of democratic rule because of the potential costs in terms of trade, investment, issues of political marginalization, etc. The reason behind such an unprecedented consensus on the defense of democracy is the perception that, for the institutionally weak and unconsolidated democracies of the region, the threat comes from within the nation, not from external forces, thus turning foreign policy (and cooperation at the regional level) into a tool for the different actors to support one another. I argue that Argentina represents a critical case within this literature. For it is there that a succession of political and economic crises since 1983 has made that threat more evident and tangible. Democratic institutions have survived but the entire process of democratic consolidation is an unfinished project. The crisis of the political party system is very serious and the gap between social expectations and policy leaders’ performance has created constant credibility and legitimacy problems. The phrase voiced by Argentine protesters in December 2001: “que se vayan todos” (get rid of all of them), well reflects that gap. Such fragility has also increased the fear of being subjected to destabilizing effects from neighboring countries. Not surprisingly, then, foreign actions have been closely linked to the domestic situation. In addition, the studies on foreign policy of middle states confirm the importance of domestic politics in explaining the willingness to adopt policies that conform to the middle-state model. Most important, they point out policymakers’ use of symbols, practices, and modes of state intervention that have resonance within domestic politics because they are embedded in the country’s political culture and identity. Argentina is assumed to meet the criteria of middle-stateness (Bélanger

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and Mace 1999). Moreover, democratic stability was one of the key elements that articulated Argentina’s regional position (especially in the 1990s) and carried a high level of symbolism in reference to the changes in the domestic political culture. The same authors argue that “… references to the exterior—or the positioning of its own national experience in relation to external experiences—are both an instrument of legitimation for the government in power and an object of struggle over fundamental common values between different factions within political society.” (Bélanger and Mace 1999, pp. 161) Such an instrumental use of foreign policy was particularly important in a time of structural reforms that implied a break with past ideas and practices. Thus, the link between the transition at home and domestic restructuring with international processes through an active regional diplomacy served to reinforce the new policy orientation and discredit other alternatives. Also, the same source suggests that the relatively high level of policy consistency during the 1990s was probably the result of President Menem’s control over the state apparatus. Hence, these arguments indicate the need to look at some underexplored variables within domestic politics, namely, a policy context characterized by critical junctures and/or major transitions and the role of the executive power in foreign policymaking. Explaining the Argentine Case

Building upon the historical record and literature review presented so far, some important gaps in our knowledge of the Argentine case have been identified, as well as the fact that some recent foreign policy developments are not the ones anticipated by existing approaches. The main research objective of this study is to uncover new variables and causal mechanisms that led Argentina to exhibit a stable and consistent behavior in the political and regional dimensions of its foreign policy and, particularly, its involvement in democracy promotion policies within the inter-American system. The underlying goal is to use this case study with heuristic purposes to inductively identify new variables and hypotheses and contribute to elucidating these research questions: Why do states commit to regional efforts that, apparently, do not affect their national interests? Why and how do they engage in political actions that do not seem to have clear immediate rewards and beneficiaries? The results are not expected to lead to broad generalizations or theory testing, but to provide a rich multi-causal explanation of a puzzling case we know little of and stimulate interest and further investigation of the

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specifics of foreign policymaking in less-developed and unstable countries.4 An examination of all dimensions of foreign policy exceeds the possibilities of this study. Rather than a comprehensive analysis of foreign policy as a whole, I aim at a detailed account of a relatively unexplored policy area that is closely intertwined with domestic processes. A trade-off between complexity and parsimony is made in favor of the former and a specific policy area is selected: the one that best captures both the political and regional dimensions of foreign policy, that is, democracy promotion in the Americas. This is an area of foreign policy that has been relatively under-researched and often underestimated by scholars and practitioners who have been traditionally concerned with high politics and prone to realist assumptions about national interests. Also, traditional theories tend to overlook the importance of the political dimension of foreign policy because neither the rewards nor the specific beneficiaries within society are clear (it is a policy area in which benefits are less tangible, probably diffuse, and eventually visible in the long run). However, this study makes the case for incorporating a broader notion of the state and national interests and give detail consideration to the (highly symbolic) political dimensions of policy, assuming that less developed and unstable nation-states care about more than power and material interests, they are also seriously concerned with image-building, reputation, and identity issues. Indeed, we are talking here of states whose primary task is, precisely, state (re)making. These are states whose primary concern is to preserve or rebuild weak institutional structures and regimes’ legitimacy and power; states whose relations with society may have been one of strong links and intervention in the organization of social interests and economic activities but always in the context of high regime instability that creates legitimacy and governability problems for governments of any orientation. Questions of political authority and renegotiation of the social contract between citizens and the state usually underlie major crises and transitions. Therefore, domestic politics issues and goals (namely, the maintenance or rebuilding of domestic order) take priority over others in those critical times. On this point, the intellectual concerns of some contributors to the realist thought, such as Niccolò Machiavelli and Thomas Hobbes, provide the framework for analyzing states (and governments) whose primary concern is coping effectively not only with external but also internal threats.5 In those cases, the definition of national interest, as well as the consequent foreign policy actions to attain it, is closely intertwined with the resolution of the

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problems of power and legitimacy at home. This is reinforced by the fact that less powerful states have less at stake in the management of power relations at the global level; they are more concerned with questions of asymmetry, hierarchy, dependence, and development than with systemic anarchy, order, and survival. Also, it is the historical character of the state that those authors emphasize (rather than an abstract, ahistorical notion of state, like the one use by neorealists or neoliberals) what makes their contributions relevant to less developed countries experiences.6 For these reasons, explaining highly symbolic political foreign policy actions have empirical and analytical relevance in those contexts. In the case of Argentina, the impact of some symbolic issues, nationalist ideas, and political culture on foreign policymaking is well documented (among others, Welch 2003; Palermo 2007). In addition, democracy promotion policies largely revolve around symbolic measures. In this case, it is also the area in which Argentina’s commitment has been really strong and persistent, has gone beyond rhetorical gestures to involve political and material costs, has required a great deal of compromise to engage in cooperative initiatives at the regional level, and has shaped the outcomes of three crucial questions within the inter-American relations agenda that, apparently, do not affect the core of the Argentina’s national interests: the promotion of democratization in Cuba, the responses to several politico-institutional crises in South America, and the building up of peace and democratic institutions in Haiti. This case study will focus on the analysis of these three instances or issues in which democracy was at stake in the Americas and prompted external action. There are several reasons for the selection of these three instances. Given that the outcome is continuity and relative consistency, it is pertinent to select issues within the same policy area as to capture its nature, magnitude, and nuances. These three issues emerged and/or evolved at different times within the period under consideration and intersected with critical domestic junctures in various ways. They also refer to instances of democracy promotion in countries that are geographically dispersed within the Americas, thus posing diverse costs in terms of involvement and immediate repercussions. Also, these three issues are not only revealing in and of themselves and pertinent to the democracy promotion discussion in general. They are the most salient instances in which democracy has been at stake in the hemisphere lately and prompted intense foreign intervention. Argentina has been very active in the three of them and a key player in the resolution of most of them, although this involvement often generated internal criticisms and

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heated controversies because the benefits looked uncertain and the costs too high. The three issues combined also allow for an exploration of both unilateral and multilateral international actions in the region, as well as the thread that linked policies across administrations, comparisons with other Latin American countries’ foreign policies, and variation in times of critical junctures. The research strategy followed here is based on tracing the policymaking process that led to a certain outcome, that is, intense and continuous activism in democracy promotion over the period 1983-2007 as expressed in the governments’ statements, decisions, and actions that showed commitment and willingness to become involved in that policy at the hemispheric level. The fact that continuity and consistency do evoke constant elements should not obscure that subtle variation existed across administrations and, most probably, in critical junctures. It is precisely the qualitative dimension of the outcome that this study aims at capturing. Rather than undermining the argument, nuances enrich it. It is part of my goal to show that continuity and consistency are not synonymous with a linear path, that there are indeed changes, and that individual presidents actually choose whether and how to exert their leadership role, thus leaving an imprint on outcomes. Thus, continuity refers here to the maintenance or persistence of the same general policy orientation or guiding principles over time (e.g., activism in democracy promotion, commitment to regional cooperation), while consistency refers to the uniform application of, and adherence to, those principles in each instance (e.g., the way different administrations responded to the situations where democratic rule was at stake). The following questions are asked for the three instances above: (a) what was the role of the executive power in the decisions?; (b) what was the impact of political cooperation on previous regional engagements?; (c) whether, and how, did domestic instability affect foreign policy decisions in this particular policy area? These questions refer to three main variables: (a) level of presidential involvement in foreign policymaking, ranging from high to low depending on personal involvement in decisionmaking versus delegation; (b) intensity of engagement in regional (multilateral) endeavors, which may oscillate among intense, moderate, and low, depending on the level of activism in international negotiations, adherence to international norms and agreements, deployment of resources, and rhetorical acts; (c) character of the policy context, defined as the situational (social, political, and economic) conditions within which policymaking takes place; the variation ranges from crisis to transition to stability. Policy context is

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assumed as an intervening variable that reinforces the effects of the other two independent variables. There is no attempt to quantify the variables. The suggested levels aim at making analytical distinctions about subtle degrees of variation, which is assessed on the basis of historical records, most of them verified by oral statements. The empirical chapters draw on data collected from more than two hundred secondary sources, including official reports, scholarly books and journal articles, newspapers and magazines, statistical and other reports by international organizations, and other specialized publications. Thirty-five in-depth interviews were conducted with key high-ranking current and former Argentine officials, international diplomats, and specialists in Argentine politics, foreign policy, and international relations. The reasons for the selection of the variable “context” have been provided above in relation to institutionally weak states and vulnerable regimes. As for the second one, this study aims at expanding and complementing existing explanations. As explained in the previous section, the connection between domestic politics and foreign policy is usually analyzed though the lenses of the pluralist model, assuming that the policy outcome would reflect the interests or relative capacity of specific groups within society. Instead, drawing on the work of historians and comparative politics specialists,7 this study will give analytical priority to a key decisionmaking unit (i.e., the president, whose impact on foreign policymaking is not exceptional but it is underresearched) because of its overwhelming role in terms of managing political and economic resources, concentration of power, veto power, and almost irreversible character of his/her decisions. This is consistent with the characteristics of the Argentine system described above and the insights of other foreign policy studies (Beasley et al. 2001; Hagan 2001; Hermann 2001).8 Finally, the regional variable is suggested by both the literature on democracy promotion in the Americas and the literature on regional integration (see Chapter 2): cooperation in the Southern Cone has prompted the redefinition of MERCOSUR members’ identities, preferences, and strategies, to the point that Argentina looks today less erratic than ever and totally committed to regional crusades to defend democracy. Yet, there are no studies that show how exactly the regional consensus around this policy has interacted with domestic needs and goals as to induce certain foreign policy outcomes, for instance, by raising the costs of dissent and making states redefine their interests and behavior according to relational considerations. This could be one more example of the “second image reversed” metaphor or, moreover, a good case to apply constructivist arguments that overcome

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the rationalist conception of international institutions and norms as a potential source of change in actors’ behavior and further explore their impact on states’ identities and interests.9 Within this framework, it is expected that contexts of crisis will create a sense of urgency and favor arguments about the need for reorientation of policy; crisis will also increase uncertainty and allow for delegative practices that facilitate the concentration of power around an already powerful executive. Critical junctures may not necessarily exacerbate unilateral personalistic decisionmaking, but certainly provide arguments to justify those trends. More important, crises and transitions would intensify the symbolic character of certain issues, thus creating the opportunity for over-acting and appealing to sensitive issues. In other words, the more unstable the context, the higher the chances that the government engages in symbolic actions to tie its own hands, so that it strengthens its image of being in control of the situation and builds up its reputation and credibility. By reinforcing commitments, then, the government indirectly favors higher policy continuity and consistency. Critical junctures to be explored are the following: (1) early 1980s (transition to democracy); (2) early 1990s (first transfer of power after democratization and transition to the market); (3) late 2001-early 2002 (dramatic financial and political crisis and its aftermath), and (4) 20032005 (first elected government after the 2001 crisis coming to office with low popular support and dubious legitimacy). It is assumed here that states may pursue foreign policies that do not necessarily reflect the interests and pressures of certain groups in society and do not directly affect them, but the interests of the government in office as defined by the president and his/her inner circle. Thus, although the relation with certain social groups matters (e.g., the military, in the case of Haiti) and will be accounted for, it is necessary to look at the incumbents themselves as beneficiaries, their perception of threats, and their definition of interests. It is expected that presidential involvement will be relatively high across presidencies because of structural characteristics of the Argentine political system already explained; but assuming that individuals make choices on how to play their role and, thus, they may make a difference, differences in style and degree of involvement would explain nuances and apparent policy inconsistencies within and across administrations. Exploring individuals’ motivations is a challenge because of limited and possibly inaccurate information. Counterfactuals and interviews are used to control for this and other variables in the following chapters, though the usual caveats apply.10

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Finally, it is expected that regional cooperation will create incentives not only for further consultation and collaboration across policy areas but also for staying in the same course of action. In other words, the more intense the country’s involvement in regional agreements and related commitments, the more likely to engage in other cooperative regional endeavors and maintain policy continuity and consistency. Conclusions

This chapter has critically revised and combined various bodies of literature to design an analytical framework. It has identified contributions and shortcomings in each of them. Rather than engaging in fruitless normative discussions about the desirability of change or continuity or (already too much discussed) theoretical arguments about the relative importance of systemic versus domestic factors in foreign policy outcomes, this study has drawn on some of the reviewed literatures to propose an eclectic perspective that guided the field research. That perspective aims at making several contributions. First, it is an attempt to expand the focus of foreign policy analyses to include cases often neglected by mainstream approaches: less-developed transitional democracies. Second, it involves bridging across different streams of thought within the field (realism, constructivism) and incorporating insights from another sub-field within political science (comparative politics), thus contributing to the development of eclecticism and pluralism in the field. Third, it addresses a relatively unexplored dimension of foreign policy (that is, the political one, which usually receives less attention than the security or economic dimensions) and a relatively underestimated issue (i.e., democracy promotion which, according to my own interviews, has also been downplayed by both Argentine international relations scholars and public officials). This also implies an expansion and flexibilization of our traditional assumptions about states’ interests. By looking at highly symbolic political foreign policy actions, I am emphasizing here the role of reputation, imagebuilding, and identity construction in the definition of national interests. Fourth, it gives explanatory priority to political domestic variables that traditional approaches often neglect, such as a context of high domestic instability and presidential involvement in foreign policy decisionmaking. Fifth, by placing this case study in a regional framework, it opens the possibility of expanding a future research agenda towards either the comparison with other cases or the study of

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collective action at the international level and the role of international organizations. Finally, the fact that democracy defense and promotion has remained a top priority in the inter-American agenda and has prompted significant institutional change (especially, within the OAS), adds empirical and policy relevance to this study.

Notes 1 Russell (1996) examines the relation between policymakers’ beliefs and foreign policy orientation. He shows striking contrasts between the military that ruled from 1976 to 1983 and the Alfonsín’s government in terms of ideas, world views, and the priority given to certain policy instruments. From a related perspective, it has been argued that misleading notions about the role of Argentina in world affairs, strong nationalism, and excessive ambitions of leadership in the region would account for a tradition of discontinuity and frequent change in foreign policy. Moreover, Escudé (1992, 2001) suggests that certain policy choices have been largely conditioned by cultural variables. The nationalistic content of Argentine education encouraged chauvinistic feelings and served as transmission belts for the development of territorial nationalism and for superiority beliefs that have characterized Argentine political culture. In the light of these arguments, past foreign policies are understood as mistaken, distorted, and facilitated by cultural and cognitive factors (namely, selfdestructive excess of confrontations, delusions of grandeur, and obsessions with territory) that encourage the occurrence of those mistakes. Cultural factors are not the independent variable, but the one that makes it possible for certain options (e.g., the invasion to the Malvinas/Falkland islands in 1982) to be, in the perception of policymakers, within the set of alternatives to choose from. 2 Explanations that emphasize the systemic level abound. Almost all works start with a reference to the overwhelming impact of external forces (e.g., the end of the Cold War, the debt crisis, globalization, etc.) on foreign policy decisions, though usually mediated by domestic variables (Russell 1994). There are also some studies that underline the importance of unit-level variables. For instance, in the early 1980s, democratization generated an interest in what difference the variable type of regime would make on foreign policy. Scholars engage in comparisons of the foreign policy decisionmaking process under dictatorship and democratic governments (Russell 1992, 1998), some of them using a bureaucratic politics model (Russell 1990, 1998). 3 On the one hand, “peripheral realism” was the term coined to provide a rationale for foreign policy in the 1990s. Menem’s drastic policy shift was explained as the correction of past mistakes and of a misleading perception of the international setting. It was argued that Argentine policymakers had finally come to a sound understanding of the country’s priorities and needs as dependent, vulnerable, impoverished, and non-significant within the superpowers’ strategies. Thus, a country in such a situation should pragmatically adapt its goals to the dominant regional superpower’s, avoid unnecessary confrontations and other foreign policy actions that might have significant costs, and focus on concrete material issues that are linked to its

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wealth (Escudé 1991). On the other hand, peripheral neoidealism warned us against the consequences of such a pragmatism and the fallacies contained in the peripheral realist argument. It counter-argued that the national interest should be understood in terms of both economic development and principles. It also advocated the design of a rational scheme to orient foreign policy that respects and promotes negotiation and compromise to solve disputes, the defense of human rights, the non-intervention and self-determination principles, and the legal equality of all states. Peripheral neoidealism also emphasized the importance of the variable type of regime (it considered that democracy is a necessary condition for regional peace and the basis of an appropriate definition of the national interest) and suggested a foreign policy agenda for the Southern Cone in which economic issues had taken priority over strategic and military ones (Russell 1991). 4 For further elaboration on heuristic and other types of case studies, as well as their advantages and limitations over other methodologies see, for example, George and Bennett (2004); Brady and Collier (2004). 5 For details on the ideas of these thinkers and their legacy for international relations theory, see, among others, Boucher 1998, Part I. 6 This idea draws on the work of Mohammed Ayoob (1998, 2002) who proposes an alternative theory (subaltern realism) to account for security patterns and the majority of international conflicts in the Third World. Though such theory is a source of very relevant insights, I am not adopting subaltern realism here because I am concerned neither with questions of inequality nor security issues at the systemic level. Rather, I am in search of an alternative approach to the study of foreign policy in highly unstable democracies. 7 For more background on the role of presidential leadership in relation to the institutional resources and contexts of crises, see Llanos and Margheritis (2006). The issue is also analyzed by Malamud (2005) in reference to regional integration processes. On presidentialism in Argentina, see, among others, Jones (1997). On informal practices, see Helmke and Levitsky (2006). On democratic instability, governance issues, and institutional weaknesses in Argentina, see Levitsky and Murillo (2006). For a historical overview and main features of democratic regimes in Latin America, see Smith (2005). On the ideological and emotional content of some foreign-policy issues, and how these relate to Argentine political culture, see Palermo (2007). Other important sources are cited throughout this volume in reference to specific points. 8 This does not deny the influence of other variables. Yet, this perspective tries to avoid falling into a “grab-bag” approach in which all potential explanatory variables are included. Instead, it makes the case for the incorporation of the two (usually underestimated) domestic factors that stand out in unstable and transitional contexts. 9 On this point, see Wendt’s seminal work (1992). 10 On the limits of using counterfactuals, see George and Bennett (2004, pp. 167-169, 230-231).

4 Promoting Democracy and Human Rights in Cuba

Since Cuba went through a social revolution and later adopted a Marxist-Leninist socio-economic organization in early 1960s, opposing the principles and policies promoted by the United States, its role in the inter-American system has always been controversial and has generated divisions among Latin American countries. Rather than being ostracized, Cuba has carried out a very active diplomacy in international forums and had a high-profile presence in Latin America’s politics. It has become the symbol of permanent resistance to US influence, and was for a while the model of an alternative to capitalism; particularly, for some left-wing political sectors in Argentina and the generation of activists that grew up in the 1960s and 1970s, Cuba symbolizes an idealistic and romantic view of change, social justice, and antiimperialism. Cuban-Argentine relations have been traditionally friendly, supported by intense diplomacy, solidarity gestures, and strong cultural ties. Yet, the increasing significance of democracy promotion on the multilateral agenda and some of Argentina’s foreign policy actions created some tensions in the bilateral relationship during the 1990s. This chapter explores the sources of Argentina’s position with respect to democracy promotion and the defense of human rights in Cuba since 1983. It mainly focuses on the country’s stance in the annual voting at the UN Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) in Geneva, while also using some other sources of evidence to trace the decisions on this issue over the 1983-2007 period. The first section presents the historical background of ArgentineCuban relations in the context of inter-American relations, with an emphasis on the symbolic and material interests and issues involved. The second shows the voting patterns at the UNHRC during the period under consideration. The third section explains Argentina’s foreign policy stances on the promotion of democracy in Cuba, with special

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reference to the impact of the variables suggested in the previous chapter. Conclusions follow. The Cuban Question

Cuba’s alliance with the former Soviet Union in the context of the Cold War prompted US action in several fronts. In the institutional realm, it portrayed the problem as multilateral rather than bilateral. The Kennedy administration requested a meeting of the OAS in early 1962 to discuss Cuba’s actions in the region and the question of human rights on the island. This initiative echoed some other countries’ concerns (e.g., Peru, Colombia) with the potential implications of Cuba’s activities for peace and security in the hemisphere, though it also raised opposition from others where Castro’s revolution had popular appeal, such as Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina. The latter unsuccessfully tried to mediate and work out a compromise solution though, according to some sources, it maintained an elusive and contradictory attitude (Jamison 1980, p. 333). Argentine President Arturo Frondizi (1958-1962) was highly involved in foreign policy. He had personal interviews with Kennedy and other top US officials, partly in an attempt to maintain friendly ties with that government and partly to appease criticisms at home, especially from the military (a key actor in the fate of his government). He even offered to mediate in the United States-Cuba relationship, but the former refused on the basis that it was not a bilateral dispute but one involving the interAmerican community (Escudé and Cisneros 1998, Volume 13). The Eighth Meeting of Consultation of Foreign Ministers was held in Punta del Este, Uruguay, in January 1962 to consider the issue. The United States’ attempt to isolate Cuba prevailed and a majority of members voted in favor of excluding Cuba from participation in interAmerican affairs, on the basis of incompatibility between the MarxistLeninist principles Havana followed and the liberal democratic postulates of the inter-American system, rather than security considerations. Argentina abstained, though it later followed the regional trend of severing diplomatic ties with Cuba, partly because the Argentine armed forces that overthrew Frondizi were interested in being on good terms with the United States and accessing US military aid (Jamison 1980; Kirck and McKenna 1996). Since then, little progress was made on resolving the Cuban question within the inter-American system. Opposition to its reinclusion revolved around the issues of democracy and human rights, which have become more prominent in the last few years; such opposition was only overcome recently when the OAS adopted a

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resolution to open the possibility of Cuba’s membership.1 However, most Latin American countries initiated a rapprochement to Cuba in the mid-1970s and resumed or improved relations with the island in the 1980s (Nazario 1986). Argentina did so in 1973 and the two countries signed an Economic Cooperation Agreement. The goal was to expand bilateral trade; thus the agreement included Argentina’s granting of a US$ 200 million credit line for Cuba to buy some products, especially automobiles (Escudé and Cisneros 1998, Volume 14, Chapter 67). On its part, Cuba improved relations with the region by moderating its own positions and supporting the democratic governments. In the case of Argentina, Castro sent a special delegate to convey his endorsement of President Alfonsín’s policies and the Cuban leader’s lack of support for the Argentine Communist Party’s criticisms. The governments also signed a cooperation agreement for the peaceful use of atomic energy and Argentina lent Cuba around US$ 600 million to be used in the tourist industry (Muñoz and Yopo 1987, pp. 10, 13). In the post-Cold War period, while Cuba developed new foreign policy strategies to diversify economic partnerships and generate new political alliances, the international pressure for democratization increased. The return to democracy in the region involved a renewed commitment to common issues and a sense of shared responsibility in the defense of some principles and the search for a collective approach to regional problems (e.g., foreign debt crises, democratic stability, peace in Central America, and relations with Cuba). In addition, better relations with Cuba had both external and internal repercussions for the transitional Latin American democracies: on the one hand, it had a symbolic dimension in their dealings with the United States, that is, the assertion of their autonomy vis-à-vis the hegemonic power; on the other hand, it was a way of obtaining some support from left-wing sectors which were already critical, among other things, of the governments’ negotiations with the IMF and gradual acquiescence with the Washington Consensus prescriptions (Muñoz and Yopo 1987). This symbolic role has been particularly accentuated in the case of Argentina. It is reflected in politicians’ and other social actors’ statements over the years, thus showing the existence of a shared view of the symbolic character of the Cuban model. Among other indicators of the constant resonance of the Cuban issue in domestic politics, it is the intense debate (extensively documented by the press) that the vote on the UN Human Rights Commission has generated every year, though it is not evident what the payoffs are of voting either way or how exactly that foreign policy action affects the national interest.

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The evolution of bilateral economic relations is an example that material interests do not constitute the main, let alone the sole, stakes. As a result of Cuba’s partial economic opening in the 1990s, the participation of Latin America in Cuba’s total trade has increased considerably (from 5.1 percent in 1990 to 30 percent in 2000), several reciprocal investment agreements were signed, and Cuba has become increasingly involved in regional cooperation and integration schemes. Argentina has ranked among the most sizable commercial partners, especially as of the bilateral agreements reached in 1993 for the exchange of pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. However, bilateral exchanges have gone through ups and downs, mainly due to the dynamics of the countries’ political relations and some tensions concerning the negotiation of Cuba’s financial debt with Argentina (Nodarse 2002, pp. 239-245; Domínguez 1994; Feinsilver 1994). Political relations in general have also improved between Cuba and major countries in Latin America (Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina), and even with Mexico, despite recent tensions. The rise of anti-Americanism (which peaked in Argentina in the late 1990s) revived Cuba’s symbolic role in the region and granted Fidel Castro warm receptions on his recent visits to Latin America. Nevertheless, Latin American countries have been increasingly critical of the political and human rights situation in Cuba (Erikson 2004). This manifested itself in the voting pattern at the UN Human Rights Commission. The next section addresses this issue. Voting at the UNHRC

In 1987 the United States submitted a proposal to the UNHRC to condemn Cuba for violations of human rights. Although this initiative carried a more condemnatory meaning than a democratizing one, in the 1990s it became part of the international discourse in favor of democratic rule as Cuba remained the only country in Latin America that did not carry out competitive elections. This initial proposal did not succeed but it set in motion a political vote that has demanded a pronouncement from the international community every year since then.2 That same year India counter-proposed to delay any condemnation until an investigation was conducted and violations of human rights proven. Argentina supported this option, which was finally approved. Between 1989 and 2005, the Commission issued a condemnation resolution annually, except in 1998 when the resolution did not pass because Castro had just released 300 political prisoners at Pope John Paul II’s request.

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Argentina was a member of the Commission throughout the period, except from 1993 to 1996. Its vote has been always decided at the level of the presidency. Officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs may be consulted, but their influence on the decision is partial or null depending on the administration. All sources consulted confirmed that the president usually makes the ultimate decision about the vote. Argentina’s position in the voting during Alfonsín’s government was to abstain. Nonetheless, it had a very active role (together with Colombia, Mexico, and Peru) in the motion approved by consensus in 1988 to accept Castro’s invitation to the Commission to visit and inspect the island in search of evidence. Argentina argued that this was a constructive way to clarify the human rights situation in Cuba without a priori judgment and politicization of the investigation (Página 12, 03/10/88, pp. 2). During his first year in office, Menem maintained the abstention position initiated by his predecessor, but soon changed it to support for the US initiative as his government made efforts to establish close cooperative relations with that country on all fronts, and it maintained the positive vote throughout the decade. As explained below, only in 1998 did the vote generate some discussion within governmental circles, since some members of the government favored abstention, but the president’s (and Minister of Foreign Affairs Guido Di Tella’s) criteria of alignment with the United States prevailed over other considerations, thus favoring consistency in Argentina’s position in Geneva. President De la Rúa maintained the affirmative vote during his short term (1999-2001), generating harsh criticisms and a crisis within the cabinet. So did President Duhalde in 2002. It was only in 2003 that Duhalde decided to go back to an abstention policy. President Kirchner maintained the same position from then to the end of his mandate in 2007. Argentina’s voting behavior shows more continuity than change in terms of intense activism and involvement on this issue (different administrations maintained the same orientation), though the timing and the reasons for the shift from abstention to affirmative vote and back require explanation. The next section provides such an explanation. Explaining Argentina’s Position

Argentina’s approach to the Cuban question in the mid-1980s was consistent with President Alfonsín’s view of the challenges posed by democratic transition and a rapidly changing international context. He was also determined to end the country’s relative isolation and repair the

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damage done to the country’s image by the abuses to human rights and the Malvinas/Falklands war under the previous military government. As part of a rapprochement with the Third World, Alfonsín favored a friendly approach to relations with Cuba. He even argued that one of the motivations for improving relations with that country was the active role played by Cuba in the Non-Aligned Countries’ Movement (Muñoz and Yopo 1987, pp. 14). The goal was to cultivate the relation so as to be able to count on Cuba for other purposes (e.g., the collaboration of Castro’s delegates in the writing of peace agreements in Central America and in avoiding the radicalization of left-wing sectors in Chile was crucial) instead of isolating it from regional affairs.3 In addition, an Act of Understanding was signed in 1984 to expand bilateral trade. That same year Argentina awarded Cuba an annual credit of US$ 200 million for three years, while in 1986 Cuba awarded some Argentine firms a contract worth US$ 120 million for investments in the tourism industry. As for the vote in the UN Human Rights Commission, the Argentine delegation, aware of the high politicization of that forum and following the president’s instructions, opposed the 1987 US proposal because it did not want to be affected by the East-West conflict (McKeague 2006). At the diplomatic level, it based its opposition on the fact that regular formal procedures had not been properly followed (Página 12, 01/28/88). In the political sphere, the Alfonsín government requested Cuba to stop supporting guerrilla movements in the Southern Cone because, by exporting the East-West conflict to the South, it had destabilizing implications for transitional democracies (Escudé and Cisneros 1998, Volume 14). Alfonsín made the request in person during his visit to Castro in 1986. Their conversation on this issue is well documented, as well as the negotiations that followed (Fournier 1999, pp. 69-71). The Argentine government was particularly concerned about the activities of the Frente Patriótico Manuel Rodríguez, the armed wing of the Chilean Communist Party, which could threaten Alfonsín’s efforts to promote political liberalization in Chile and defend Argentina’s own stability. This was consistent with other governmental activities to promote a return to democracy in all neighboring countries.4 Therefore, the apparent contradiction between promoting democracy at home and in the immediate neighborhood but not pressuring Cuba has to be understood as a compromise based on the need to give priority to domestic urgencies, namely the government’s own vulnerability and a very pressing agenda. It is worth remembering that Raúl Alfonsín’s administration faced several domestic and

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international challenges. He came to office in the immediate aftermath of the debt crisis. Being the first elected government after a long and bloody dictatorship, his term was overshadowed by both the economic and political transitions. The fragility of democratic institutions was evident throughout his term. A large part of the foreign policy agenda involved external debt renegotiations. Aware of the constraining policy context, the president and a small group of officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs decided to use foreign policy as a tool to build credibility and stability. They sought an independent course of action based on high activism in Latin American and Third World affairs and a firm position in favor of democracy, pluralism, human rights, and international cooperation—even if this implied resisting US pressures. Argentina was defined by this administration as a Western and Nonaligned country since, according to the president, “… our cultural inclusion in the West does not mean adhesion to the Western strategy” (Annual Address to Congress, La Nación, 05/26/86, pp. 9). The government also promoted a revision of the human rights issue at the domestic level by forming a commission in charge of compiling evidence of violations during the military rule (1976-1983); numerous officials were brought to court and condemned for those abuses. The Argentine military opposed Alfonsín’s human rights policy and launched three coup attempts between 1987 and 1988. In short, the policy context (i.e., domestic transition that turned to crisis towards the end of the term) acted as a constraining factor on foreign policy decisions and the decision to abstain on the Cuba issue was an instrument to negotiate the amelioration of destabilizing forces. The implications of Argentina’s abstention at the UNHRC on other aspects of foreign policy are mixed. The impact on US-Argentine relations is debatable. There were several manifestations by US officials of disappointment with Argentina’s choice. There is also evidence of US attempts to influence the Argentine position in the statements of high American officials previous to the 1988 vote (Página 12, 02/09-10/88, pp. 5). There were even expectations of reciprocity: if Argentina were to support the US position, the latter would in turn support Argentina’s search for a peaceful resolution of the Falklands/Malvinas dispute (Página 12, 02/18/88, pp. 3). Lastly, the American representative on the Commission seriously criticized Argentina’s active role in the 1988 resolution (Página 12, 03/22-23/88, pp. 5), but it is clear that external pressures did not determine the outcome. Yet, other issues probably ranked higher on the bilateral agenda at the time (e.g., debt renegotiation, financial conditionality), high enough to avoid a

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deterioration of the relation even if Argentina did not change its vote in Geneva. As for the Cuban-Argentine relationship, a compromise was attained: while the former acquiesced to the demands to stop support for revolutionary movements, the latter refrained from criticisms and condemnation of Cuban domestic politics. For the Alfonsín government, this policy carried an additional symbolic benefit since it showed independence from United State’s demands and sensitivity to the preferences of some (pro-Cuba) sectors of Argentine public opinion, especially towards the end of his mandate when political and economic conditions worsened (e.g., increasing union mobilization and opposition, military coup attempts, tighter financial conditionality, etc.) and the already unstable policy context was rapidly turning towards crisis. The policy context was no less constraining when Carlos Saúl Menem took office in 1989. The inflation rate peaked again in early 1990s and the military insurrection persisted. But the president suddenly surprised followers and opponents alike by taking aggressive measures to liberalize the economy and grant an amnesty to the military. He was also determined, like his predecessor, to change Argentina’s image within the international community. In a clear articulation of two of the variables examined here (policy context and presidential involvement) at the level of political discourse, Menem justified his innovative policies on the basis of a pragmatic adaptation to dramatic changes in the international context and pressing domestic needs, namely a very serious economic crisis and social unrest that forced an anticipated transfer of power. He characterized the policy context as one of crisis but gave it the meaning of opportunity (Margheritis 1999, pp. 95-98). Based on the reading that strategic options had changed completely, he produced a radical shift towards neoliberal economic policies and, in the foreign policy realm, a clear alignment with the world’s remaining superpower. Thus, foreign policy positions and actions aimed at building up credibility in the new international context. (Some officials elaborated the intellectual justification of this shift under the label of peripheral realism—see Chapter 2 for details—but several people interviewed confirmed that the president had a clear goal in mind when he took office: to cultivate a close relation with the United States.)5 Democracy promotion was not driven by ideological considerations. Human rights and democracy promotion were not a primary concern. Moreover, Menem’s neglect of democratic procedures and the two amnesties passed early in his first term to end trials of military men accused of human rights violations contradicted his international actions. Nevertheless, democracy promotion was part of the political discourse

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that emphasized the country’s adherence to global trends towards economic liberalization, regional integration, and democratization. Structural economic reforms were initiated early in Menem’s first term. This placed the rest of his administration in a context of transition (from a state-led socio-economic organization to a market-led model and from crisis to stability once the Convertibility Plan managed to stabilize the monetary side of the economy and the growth rate improved). The economic transformation of the country took priority. This was hand in hand with a series of measures to signal alignment with the United States, such as participation in international peacekeeping and military missions, abandonment of the country’s nuclear policy, a change in the voting pattern at the UN General Assembly towards high convergence with US positions, and support for Washington’s policy in the Gulf War, Haiti, and the drug traffic. In exchange, President Clinton granted Argentina a non-NATO ally status in 1997 on the basis of its contributions to international peacekeeping, a distinction long coveted by the Menem administration (Norden and Russell 2002; Eguizabal 2000). In this context, criticisms of the Cuban regime and demands for democratization, which increased considerably under Menem, became one of the several mechanisms to make the economic reforms credible and viable and manage the transition to the market. Rather than external pressures or domestic interest group dynamics, Argentina’s position reflected the executive’s need to forge an image of a government seriously committed to the new consensus on democratic principles and free market policies. The affirmative vote in the UN Human Rights Commission clearly expressed this purpose as well. Again, few officials were consulted and the decision to vote affirmatively was taken at the level of the presidency. Also, democratization and economic opening were suggested as prerequisites for Cuba’s re-inclusion in the OAS at that time (La Nación, 04/16/98). The Menem administration even took some steps to support political liberalization in Cuba. Encouraged by some members of his entourage —who apparently had a personal interest in a rapprochement with Cuba because of investment opportunities— the president met with the leaders of the opposition in Miami in December 1994 (Clarín 04/22/98). The president was personally aggressive in his comments about Castro and the two leaders exchanged harsh remarks when coming across each other at IberoAmerican and other summits (Clarín, 07/16-17/93, pp. 2-3; 07/20/93, pp. 11). Menem’s unconditional allegiance to the United States in general, and his stance on Cuba in particular, generated lengthy domestic

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controversies. Some lines within the Peronist party could not reconcile this orientation with traditional party principles of nationalism, antiimperialism, and an independent foreign policy. Even the president’s brother, Senator Eduardo Menem (a prominent figure in the party and the government), expressed some criticisms (La Nación, 05/17/97, pp. 8; 04/25/98, pp. 1) although he avoided confirming this later in an interview with the author. He did confirm that the Cuban issue was discussed several times in the cabinet but was always subject to a final decision by the president.6 This proves the effect of high concentration of decisionmaking power in the presidency, which facilitates the neutralization of dissent, and the personal involvement of the incumbent in foreign policy. The material rewards for Menem’s choice are unclear. The US government commended his attitude but was reluctant to give him a more prominent role. For instance, it declined Menem’s offer to mediate between Clinton and Castro in 1997 and discouraged any rapprochement between Argentina and Cuba (La Nación, 08/11/97; Clarín, 04/14/98).7 The Argentine government promptly reaffirmed its coincidences with Washington (La Nación 04/18-19/98), proving that symbolic actions that reaffirm commitments can be as important as other more concrete foreign policy actions. As for the impact on the bilateral relationship between Argentina and Cuba, it seems that, despite their leaders’ verbal criticisms and some resentment on the Cuban side for the change in Argentina’s vote, old friendship ties survived. Castro and Menem paradoxically maintained an amicable personal relationship and frequently exchanged gifts, while bilateral economic and scientific cooperation continued (Clarín, 11/10/97; La Nación 04/17/98). An agreement for the consolidation of Cuban debt (US$ 1281 million) was signed in March 1995, together with an Agreement for the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investment. Moreover, Argentina supported Cuba in its claims against the embargo and signed the Rio Group declaration condemning the Helms-Burton law to tighten the economic sanctions. In other words, the intention was to make progress on trade and investment and, at the same time, maintain a firm and consistent position on human rights and democracy (Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores y Asuntos Latinoamericanos 1999, pp. 24-25). The Argentine government moved towards a more flexible stance during Menem’s second term (especially after the Pope’s visit to the island and the release of some prisoners generated hopes of greater liberalization), favoring dialogue and further negotiations on the Cuban debt (Clarín, 04/14/98; La Nación 03/23/98, 04/18-19/98). Officials at

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the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were inclined to adopt a low profile and eventually revise the position at the UN Commission on Human Rights.8 Long and difficult negotiations took place before the 1998 vote in Geneva since some sectors within the government advocated abstention. (By then, the president had faced several instances of indiscipline within his party and various branches of government, including the split of the Peronist bloc in the lower Chamber.) But, again, his view prevailed. He was convinced of the need to maintain the same position and instructed foreign policy officials to do so. At the same time, since 1995 and to date, Argentina has voted against the embargo in the annual UN General Assembly (it abstained between 1992 and 1995), thus joining the Latin American camp, maintaining a certain degree of independence from US dictates, and showing some continuity across administrations on this issue too.9 It is worth noting that, by late 1998, the policy context became more complex and unstable as recession, unemployment, and poverty increased and the government faced serious criticisms not only for the deterioration of economic conditions but also for high levels of corruption and Menem’s plans to run for a third term. That is precisely the moment when, despite criticisms and questioning, the executive decides to reaffirm the previous decisions, thus signaling his commitment to the same policy orientation and to a highly symbolic issue, proving that unstable contexts facilitate the instrumental use of foreign policy and indirectly favor policy continuity and consistency. The triumph of the Alliance in 1999 generated expectations of change in this respect because of the ideological orientation of the new government (a coalition formed by the Radical party and some centerleft parties). The policy context was one of relative stability, though change in terms of policies was an imperative. The Alliance’s campaign had been clearly based on its differentiation from the Menem administration and the cost of structural adjustment was being felt by large sectors of the population. The government was determined to establish a “mature” relation with the United States (far from alignment, it intended to pursue an autonomous though non-confrontational path) and initially committed itself to mending relations with Cuba. According to several sources, the vote in the UN Human Rights Commission was not decided until the last minute. Several officials recommended to President De la Rúa that Argentina abstain.10 But he did not accept these recommendations; instead, personal concerns with obtaining US support and some circumstances (e.g., the aggressive tone of Castro’s declarations) led him to maintain the condemnatory vote in 2000. The decision was also the result of some consultation with Chilean President

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Ricardo Lagos. This shows both the prevalence of the presidential criterion and the increasing importance that regional cooperation had acquired since democratization. According to the Minister of Foreign Relations at the time, such coordination was largely a routine matter that also included other countries (depending on the issues, consultations were often carried out with Brazil, Spain, Italy, and the United States).11 The immediate result was a crisis within the Cabinet since several members, as well as former President Alfonsín (still leader of the Radical party and an influential member of the coalition), objected the president’s decision. Even several members of Congress expressed their disagreement (La Nación 04/22/00), but this did not change the outcome. The vote represented an irritant in the presidency’s relations with other political actors for the rest of De la Rúa’s term. Most sources and people interviewed agree that explanations for the unexpected presidential choice are to be found, firstly, in the democratic principles he and his close advisors supported and in the fact that there had not been major changes in the human rights situation in Cuba; secondly, the president seems to have been driven by his personal concern with credibility, that is, with being on good terms with the United States at a moment when the context was becoming more unstable and financial negotiations were crucial. This was in fact consistent with the general approach taken to relations with the United States. As Norden and Russell suggest (2002, pp. 123), although De la Rúa’s style was much more sober and discreet than Menem’s, his foreign policy followed the lines established by his predecessor, including friendly and close ties with the United States. The relationship between Cuba and Argentina was seriously damaged by the decision to maintain the affirmative vote. Castro immediately recalled the Cuban ambassador from Buenos Aires for eight months and intensified his criticisms of the Argentine government, accusing it of “licking the Yankee boot,” in reference to its dependence on, and blind allegiance to, the United States. Argentina also immediately recalled its ambassador and cancelled a commercial mission (La Nación 02/05-06/01). The De la Rúa government opted for the same position in the 2001 vote, alluding to the lack of changes in the situation,12 thus distancing itself not only from Cuba but also from the rest of Latin America (Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru abstained). Dissident voices within the cabinet were fewer this time and were soon hushed. Only Alfonsín and former Vice-President Álvarez explicitly asked the president for an open debate and an abstention vote (La Nación 02/14/01). But De la Rúa did not accept to negotiate on this. His

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explanation of the vote referred to the high priority given to human rights issues and the fact that there had been “no significant change in the Cuban situation” (La Nación 04/19/01). However, criticisms focused on the inconsistency between this vote and Argentina’s abstention on whether the situation in China had to be discussed by the same commission. A plausible explanation then is that Cuba carried a much more symbolic content than China (for the reasons exposed above) and this became particularly relevant as the government’s vulnerability increased and the policy context became highly unstable towards the second year of De la Rúa’s mandate. It is interesting to note that, once again, the bilateral relation was somehow preserved. The Cuban ambassador to Buenos Aires justified Argentina’s position by saying that it had been “either seduced or forced” by the United States. Although he portrayed the vote as a betrayal of Cuba, which had always supported Argentina in the Falklands/Malvinas cause, he blamed the government—mainly the presidency, not the Alliance, or society—for a decision that did not represent the coalition’s or the people’s views (Página 12, 04/19/01). This shows that high presidential involvement not only translates into high concentration of decisionmaking power at home, but also into an almost “personification” of foreign policy in the view of other international actors. The December 2001 political and economic crisis was a major turning point in Argentina’s history and policies. It certainly changed the policy context to one of dramatic crisis. The abandonment of convertibility, the external debt default, and the generalized social unrest seriously constrained the interim president’s actions. A Peronist from the old party tradition with nationalistic ideas, Eduardo Duhalde (20022003) would most probably have liked to defy US influence, as some officials interviewed suggested off the record. However, domestic needs had priority. Once again, the post-crisis policy context encouraged the maintenance of commitments as a way of repairing a damaged reputation and rebuilding credibility. Thus, in the aftermath of the debt default, facing uncertainty in negotiations with a tougher IMF, the goal of securing financial assistance led Duhalde to maintain an aligned position. He made this explicit in a letter to US President George W. Bush, where he let it be known there would be a higher degree of governmental interventionism in the economy in order to overcome the economic crisis but also reaffirmed Argentina’s position as a non-NATO ally—a legacy of the Menem administration. He also maintained the positive vote in the UN Commission on Human Rights in 2002, despite criticism from several domestic sectors (La Nación 01/31/02; Russell

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and Tokatlián 2006). In short, the economic crisis shaped perceptions of possible options and allowed the president to unilaterally decide Argentina’s stance on this issue, even ignoring the pro-abstention position of Congress. Nevertheless, the executive’s position changed to abstention the following year, despite disagreements with the Foreign Minister (Carlos Ruckauf), who foresaw political and economic costs, and “disappointment” expressed by the US embassy in Buenos Aires. It has been argued that the president looked for policy coordination with Brazil on this issue as a tool to gain credibility and a sign of a rearrangement of political alliances. This confirms the use of foreign policy instrumentally to strengthen the government’s own position. As McKeague (2006, pp. 11) suggests, it was a surprising time to produce such a change, since it coincided with the evidence of significant violations of human rights in Cuba: more than 100 dissidents were arrested and 75 sentenced in secret trials, which came together with the execution of three hijackers of a ferry who unsuccessfully tried to reach Florida. These actions received a condemnation from the OAS’ Inter-American Commission on Human Rights because proper juridical procedures were not followed (OAS 2003). This apparent contradiction leads to looking for explanatory factors within domestic politics, namely, the emergence of a transition context as elections approached and Peronism was preparing to stay in power. It is plausible that Duhalde was attempting to promote his presidential candidate (Néstor Kirchner,13 running against former president Menem in the coming presidential elections) by gathering the vote of “progressive” sectors of society and helping to differentiate himself from previous administrations, while allowing himself to attain some long-desired policy autonomy. His own justification for the decision actually criticized opponents for their willingness to comply with the United States’ desires. He argued that what determined the vote were the circumstances, because condemning Cuba that year would have been an act of hypocrisy given the ongoing abuses in other parts of the world (i.e., Iraq). He also emphasized again the need for policy coordination with Brazil (La Nación 04/15-16-17-18/03). Thus, this indicates that the regional cooperative dynamic and broader contextual trends (such as the deteriorating image of the United States, antiAmerican sentiments rising after the US invasion of Iraq, and a slow and reluctant response to the Argentine economic crisis) lent support to more assertive, independent positions that were instrumental to Duhalde’s desire to promote his presidential candidate.

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President Néstor Kirchner (2003-2007) maintained the abstention vote and substantially improved relations with Cuba. Diplomatic relations were resumed.14 Fidel Castro’s visit on the occasion of Kirchner’s inauguration was taken as a sign of a new beginning in the bilateral relation. The Cuban leader was welcomed by a warm popular reception (Granma 05/26-27/03). The magnitude of that popular manifestation reflected the symbolic character and romantic view that many Argentineans still have of the Cuban revolution and its leaders. Also, negotiations on the Cuban debt were reinitiated the same year and contemplated the possibility of a waiver of 75 percent of the total amount (around US$ 1,900 million) and the repayment of the rest through medical and other services. With economic ties being strengthened, around 1,300 Argentine products were to receive preferential tariffs in the Cuban market (BBCMundo.com 10/14/03; La Nación 10/14/03). Argentina has also maintained its position against the embargo to Cuba over the years (Infobae 10/29/04). Except for the “Molina case,” 15 bilateral relations, overall, improved considerably under Kirchner. However, for his critics, it is paradoxical that he made the defense of human rights into a cornerstone of his policies and, at the same time, avoided any condemnation of the Cuban regime’s actions in that sphere. The government justified the abstention on the basis of respect for the principle of non-intervention in the domestic affairs of other countries (La Nación 03/08/06). Yet, it is evident that the Kirchner administration used the symbolic character of the Cuban issue (as well as an anti-American discourse) to gather the support of some social sectors. The vote in Geneva works as a sign of autonomy from US dictates. It is worth considering, then, the impact of a post-crisis context and the president’s need to build support within his own party and society at large, while proving that expectations about his being a puppet of his predecessor were wrong. For Kirchner took office with only 22 percent of the vote (after Menem withdrew from the second round) and was building up his legitimacy mainly by responding to social demands and moods. Issues like Cuba are sensitive ones for some “progressive” sectors he aims to represent. He also used a political discourse that emphasized the painful legacies of the 1970s, a time when he and many others professed admiration for revolutionary Cuba. As Fernando Ruiz suggests, Cuba has been closely related to the socialization of the generation of Argentines that is in power today and it still has a symbolic role in terms of defining identities: criticizing the Cuban regime implies aligning with the United States and Cuban exiles.16

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Conclusions

Argentina’s position on democracy and human rights in Cuba has oscillated in the last two decades between non-interference and demands for political liberalization. The variation across administrations is largely related to domestic issues rather than external pressures or demands. No doubt the United States is always a strong influence on Argentina’s foreign policies as it is in most Latin American countries’. But there have been domestic considerations (mainly related to the need to stay in power and build supporting coalitions during political and economic transitions) that determined presidential choices. The need to cope with institutional fragility at a time of democratic transition was crucial during Alfonsín’s term, as was the necessity to build up credibility for a radical reformist program under Menem. A dramatic economic and political debacle marked the following administrations’ actions and required careful re-crafting of bases of power. In all circumstances, the symbolic character of the Cuban question served governments well in the search of legitimacy and support for their policy orientation and behavior. It seems like a paradox that a relatively minor issue in Argentina’s foreign policy agenda generates so much attention and political controversy. As the intensity of the debate has accentuated when instability and governability problems increased in Argentina’s politics (late 1980s, early 1990s, late 1990s, 2002-2003), it seems necessary to incorporate in the analysis the impact of the varying policy context. The account above indicates that the answer lies less with the significance of the Cuban question in itself and only partially with its role in the regional game and broader inter-American relations. Instead, the evidence suggests that, under major (economic and/or political) transitions, the impact of domestic politics on foreign policy increases and often magnifies certain issues; especially those that have a high emotional or ideological content and may help governments to gather support and rebuild their image and credibility. The commitment to democracy promotion in Cuba has been a case in point. The evidence confirms the impact of the three proposed variables, though the answer to the initial questions makes some qualifications necessary. First, as expected, the more unstable the context, the more prone governments were to produce symbolic actions that reinforced their commitment to democracy promotion. The search for building up reputation and credibility through this policy indirectly favored policy continuity across administrations. Thus, foreign policy in this realm acquired an instrumental character and was functional to other goals.

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This was particularly clear during external debt renegotiations in the second half of the 1980s, the launching of structural adjustment reforms in the early 1990s, the increasing problems of the Convertibility Plan in late 1990s, and the post-default scenario in the 2000s, when the economic agenda took priority and drove diplomacy. Second, presidential involvement in this issue was high across all administrations. The traditional concentration of power in the executive branch of government has granted the president the faculty to make ultimate decisions and determine the degree of consultation and consensus building with other actors; thus, as officials interviewed confirmed, regardless of each president’s style, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has usually played a subordinate role mainly focused on implementation. This concentration of decisionmaking power also put limits to the influence of other domestic actors and indirectly favored policy continuity. Individual motivations (e.g., Menem’s personal aspiration to a high international profile; Kirchner’s goal to become the party leader) account for some of the presidents’ emphasis on certain symbolic actions. Contrary to my expectations, apparent contradictions and inconsistencies (e.g., De la Rúa’s insistence on maintaining the affirmative vote; Duhalde’s unexpected change to abstention) are not explained by different personal styles of presidential involvement in foreign policy but by the above policy context in which decisions were made. Third, context and agents interacted in a mutually reinforcing way. Crises call for action. Critical junctures provided the elements of urgency and emergency to help presidents justify their preferences for concentration and centralization of decisionmaking power in general and personal involvement in foreign policy in particular. They could phrase their decisions in terms of answers to very demanding circumstances. They could portray the costs as inevitable. They could dismiss criticisms and appeal to the symbolic character of the issue instead of discussing the substance. As argued below, these two variables weighted more heavily than the third one (i.e., engagement in regional cooperation). Finally, the findings confirm that economic integration in the Southern Cone had spillover effects to other areas, namely, democracy defense and promotion. The level of consultation and collaboration with neighbors increased over the period under consideration. The testimonies and other evidence illustrate the process of socialization that foreign policy officials have been subject to since regional integration gained momentum among MERCOSUR members. Also, presidents sought coordination with their peers when making highly symbolic moves (e.g., 2000, 2003). In this sense, engagement in regional

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cooperation encouraged the maintenance of commitments, thus favoring policy continuity and consistency. However, with respect to the Cuban question, the cooperative dynamic was not strong enough as to impede that Argentina adopted a voting behavior that occasionally contradicted that of other major Latin American countries but clearly served domestic purposes. This indicates the need to examine in detail when and how the regional dynamic interacts with domestic politics as to induce certain policy outcomes. This will be addressed in the following chapters.

Notes 1 Resolution AG/RES 2438 (XXXIX-O/09), adopted by the OAS on June 3, 2009, annulled the 1962 resolution that excluded Cuba from the organization. The reincorporation is subject to a request of the Cuban government, which has not occurred yet. See http:/www.oas.org. 2 For details on the votes, see the annual reports of the Commission’s activities: United Nations, Economic and Social Council, Commission on Human Rights, Official Documents, New York and Geneva. Available at . 3 Interview with Raúl Alconada Sempé, Buenos Aires, 06/26/06. 4 Interviews with Federico Storani, Buenos Aires, 07/18/06; Leandro Despouy, Buenos Aires, 06/29/06;Raúl Alconada Sempé, Buenos Aires, 06/26/06. 5 Interview with Andrés Cisneros, Buenos Aires, 06/14/06; Emilio Cárdenas, Buenos Aires, 05/19/06. 6 Interview with Eduardo Menem, Buenos Aires, 07/19/06. 7 The press suggested that Menem’s motivation to mediate was based on personal aspirations to have a key role in international affairs (and eventually obtain the Nobel Peace Prize) and that a parallel diplomacy was carried out by officials outside the Ministry of Foreign Relations, such as Emilio Cárdenas (former Argentine Ambassador at the UN, with good relations with US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright) and the president’s Secretary Alberto Kohan. Cárdenas denied his having been in contact with Mrs. Albright to offer the mediation, in an interview with the author (Buenos Aires, 05/19/06), though other former officials interviewed confirmed the episode off the record and linked it to internal power struggles. 8 Interview with Guillermo González, Buenos Aires, 06/01/06. 9 See http://unbisnet.un.org:8080/ipac20/ipac.jsp. 10 Interviews with Guillermo González, Buenos Aires, 06/01/06; Oscar Torres Avalos, Buenos Aires, 05/08/06. 11 Interview with Adalberto Rodríguez Giavarini, Buenos Aires, 06/02/06. 12 Interview with Horacio Solari, Buenos Aires, 05/04/06. 13 The press and several officials interviewed for this work suggested that Kirchner and Alfonsín recommended Duhalde to abstain in Geneva. 14 Interview with Marcos Breton, Buenos Aires, 07/19/06.

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15 Since 1994, the Cuban government had denied Hilda Molina, a prestigious physician, permission to travel to Argentina to visit her son and grandchildren. Several governments and human rights organizations unsuccessfully joined the family in requesting such permission. The Kirchner administration was more responsive to this claim than previous governments because the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rafael Bielsa, had a personal relation with Molina’s son, also a doctor (Bielsa was his patient). The minister and his Chief of Staff, Eduardo Valdés, became the main advocates of this case. The government made several attempts to obtain the authorization, including personal correspondence between Kirchner and Castro. The lack of flexibility on the Cuban side led to some tensions in the bilateral relationship. Apparently, the Argentine president refused to make a long-standing trip to the island nation until this question was resolved, though trying at the same time to avoid a serious confrontation with Castro because of its potential domestic implications. Thus, when facing an unclear episode in December 2004 (Hilda Molina and her mother sought asylum in the Argentine embassy to Havana at night but this account was denied later, arguing that they had only entered the building to request information), Kirchner opted for requesting the resignations of Minister Bielsa, Valdés, and the ambassador to Cuba, Raúl Taleb. The press speculated that this was actually the result of internal struggles within the Cabinet for better positions within the list of candidates in future elections. Bielsa and Valdés confirmed that they authorized the ambassador to receive the ladies because of humanitarian reasons (they had threatened to chain themselves to the entrance) and took the decision under time and other constraints when boarding an airplane to travel between the United States and Europe and without much time to consult with the president. (Interviews with Rafael Bielsa, Buenos Aires, 07/04/06, and Eduardo Valdés, Buenos Aires, 06/21/06.) Only in May 2008 President Raúl Castro authorized Hilda Molina’s mother to travel to Argentina, as part of other liberalization measures. The Argentine government welcomed the decision (Clarín 05/22/08). 16 Interview with Fernando Ruiz, Buenos Aires, 05/15/06.

5 Responding to Political Crises in South America

During the last 25 years, Latin America has gone through major economic and political transformations. Democratization has expanded across the region and has proved to be more resilient than in previous decades. Even though the quality of democratic institutions is still in question in most countries, elections are seen as the only legitimate way to take power. Military involvement and influence in politics has considerably diminished. However, military coups are still a possibility in some countries and new threats have emerged in others. Social disenchantment with democratic performance and inequity and institutional weaknesses have created novel sources of instability. As Domínguez (1997, pp. 101) put it, “…democracy’s worst enemies are the politicians who claim to speak in its name,” suggesting that the region is undergoing a profound crisis of representation. As a result, more than a dozen presidents have not finished their mandates because of impeachment, forced resignation, social uprisings, or other reasons, 1 thus triggering serious institutional crises and the need for domestic and international actors to creatively cope with the circumstances. As explained below, the nature of the crises differed across Latin American countries and led to diverse outcomes. Long-standing country-specific political conflicts underlay the problems and, together with differentiated institutional capacities, affected domestic actors’ chances of finding politically feasible solutions. As time passed, the international consensus in favor of the defense of democracy grew stronger and became embodied in new norms (see Chapter 2), though the type and intensity of external actors’ participation in the resolution of critical junctures was uneven and usually limited by respect for the non-intervention principle. Argentina was always active in the diplomatic efforts, though also selective in its degree of involvement. This chapter aims at explaining both the persistent strong commitment and selectiveness.

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The next section presents the facts about the crises that took place in South American countries in the period under consideration, regardless of whether measures to defend and promote democracy were adopted by the international community. (Even those cases where the issue was resolved domestically serve to illustrate the magnitude and implications of the problem.) To provide a clear overview of the events, this section is organized around the countries affected. Each subsection provides information about the role of the inter-American community in general and Argentina in particular in the resolution of those crises. The following section aims at explaining Argentina’s motivation to participate in multilateral efforts to resolve those crises in the framework of varied actions taken by other members of the inter-American system. Conclusions follow. Democracy at Risk Brazil

Brazil underwent an institutional crisis in September 1992, when President Fernando Collor de Mello (elected in 1989) was impeached by a majority decision of the Chamber of Deputies (the lower house of the Congress): 441 votes to 38, in favor of impeachment. After a long investigation, he was accused of mismanagement of public affairs and corruption, based on evidence that he had received bribes from entrepreneurs who had contracts with the government (The Economist, 10/03/92). Other factors also contributed to weaken Collor’s position. His stabilization and reform policies had not succeed in taming inflation; unemployment continued to rise and wages deteriorated, while the economy was going through recession and social discontent increased. A highly fragmented Congress in which Collor’s coalition was a small minority made it difficult to pass the president’s initiatives. As a result of the congressional decision, Vice-President Itamar Franco took office. The impeachment process was managed within the democratic institutional framework and foreign actors did not intervene. Nonetheless, it was a surprise within a system in which corruption had extended, old roots—the only case of impeachment in Brazilian history. It also represented a warning to other Latin American governments that prompted numerous reflections on the process of democratic transition and consolidation (The Financial Post, 10/01/92; The Christian Science Monitor, 09/29/92; The Associated Press Political Service, 11/28/92). And it set an early precedent of interrupted presidential mandates in the

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region that would result from new sources, not just military intervention but the institutional dynamics of democratic regimes that require accountability and transparency. Paraguay

As explained earlier in this volume, during the early 1980s Alfonsín’s foreign policy team was concerned with the destabilizing effects of a hostile regional environment. Paraguay’s military dictatorship represented a challenge for neighbor countries undergoing democratic transitions. General Alfredo Stroessner had close links with the Argentine military and with the political oligarchies of the Northern provinces. In fear of the potential influence of the Paraguayan dictatorship on authoritarian Argentine sectors, the Alfonsín administration took several steps to promote democratization in that country. For instance, it supported the activities of opposition groups. The president met with members of the Acuerdo Nacional Paraguayo (Paraguayan National Accord) and the chair of the Paraguayan Human Rights Commission in 1984. Presidential involvement in regional diplomacy was high back then. The Argentine government protested at the violation of human rights in Paraguay, granted political asylum to opposition leaders, and even participated in clandestine operations to facilitate their exit. It also promoted the adoption of a resolution of condemnation by the UN Commission on Human Rights in 1988. There is some evidence that Argentina provided funds to support the attempt to overthrow Stroessner in February 1989 (Fournier 1999, pp. 56-59). Even at the price of showing an ideological contradiction, the Alfonsín administration was the first to recognize the legitimacy of the new Paraguayan government led by General Andrés Rodríguez and tried to help it abroad, assuming that anything would be better than a dictatorship.2 (The fact that the government accepted the cost of this apparent contradiction confirms the strong impact of a context of transition on the executive’s perceptions of the regime’s vulnerability and his decisions.) Soon afterwards, the president and his Minister of Foreign Affairs went to Paraguay to express further support for the new government and to encourage democratization. The links with the Paraguayan opposition were crucial in shaping Rodríguez’s decision to call for elections soon and initiate the transition (Clarín, 03/29/90). During the 1990s, instability persisted in Paraguay. A 48-hour institutional crisis was triggered by General Lino Oviedo’s defiance of political decisions on April 22, 1996. He refused to retire in accordance with President Juan Carlos Wasmosy’s decision. According to

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Valenzuela (1997, pp. 47), retiring him was the only option to stop the general’s constant challenge of democratic institutions. Oviedo’s rebellion provoked a crisis in an already fragile institutional setting. This was called by some politicians a “white coup” or an “under-the-table coup,” in reference to a new modality of intervention in politics that respects the legal, constitutional framework while, at the same time, attempting to overthrow elected incumbents through pressure or threats (Mora 2000). The regional response was immediate. The United States, the European Union, and MERCOSUR members all condemned Oviedo and supported Wasmosy.3 Worth noting in this case is the rapidity of external actors’ reaction, which was crucial for a successful outcome (The Christian Science Monitor, 05/30/96). The OAS requested respect for the rule of law and indicated that, under Resolution 1080, it would assertively react against any interruption of the constitutional mandate. The OAS Secretary-General, César Gaviria, played a crucial role in the resolution of the crisis as representative of an international consensus in favor of democracy and guarantor of the agreement reached at the domestic level. He acted quickly and urged Wasmosy not to accept any further pressure and not to resign (Mora 2000, pp. 253). He convoked the Permanent Council (which issued a resolution backing the Paraguayan government) and traveled to Asunción together with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Bolivia, Uruguay, Brazil, and Argentina. The latter two played an active and decisive role, warning the military that they would isolate and force Paraguay out of MERCOSUR if democracy were not maintained (Gosselin and Thérien 1999). This was an important test for MERCOSUR members’ commitment to their own agreement on democracy defense and promotion (see Chapter 2) that illustrates the impact of the regional variable. Their joint and quick reaction in this and other crises proves the spill-over effects of economic integration and the relevance of regional cooperation. Meantime, street demonstrations were organized by several sectors of the Paraguayan society in support of the president. Wasmosy had initially leaned towards a compromise agreement with Oviedo (offering him a position in the ministry of defense if he would retire as army commander) and even considered asylum at the US embassy but, encouraged by the international and domestic support, he withdrew his offer and reasserted his authority. Oviedo was imprisoned and later judged by a military tribunal (Boniface 2002). In March 23, 1999, some events put democracy at risk again in Paraguay. Vice- President (and Oviedo’s rival within the Colorado party) Luis María Argaña was murdered in the street, while popular

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discontent increased and President Raúl Cubas was on the verge of impeachment (among other things, as Oviedo’s supporter, Cubas had commuted the general’s sentence). They both fled the country and the President of the Senate, Luis Ángel González Macchi, temporarily took over the presidency. On May 19, 2000, another military coup attempt occurred, apparently by supporters of General Oviedo. The government managed to control the situation after a few hours, though the events generated concern across the region. The United States condemned the attempt. As in the previous crisis, Brazilian officials played a crucial role in facilitating a peaceful resolution. MERCOSUR issued a new warning that included the possibility of exclusion from the regional bloc (Alice 2002; Boniface 2002; Valenzuela 1997). Argentina acted together with other MERCOSUR members and the Rio Group to rhetorically support democratic institutions but, at the same time, President Menem offered asylum to his old friend Oviedo. This jeopardized relations between Argentina and Paraguay, which withdrew its ambassador to Buenos Aires, and added some tension to MERCOSUR (The Economist, 09/11/99). In May 2000, MERCOSUR states acted together again, invoking the democratic clause included in the agreement. The Alliance government threatened to extradite Oviedo, but the general left Argentina right before the transfer of power. President De la Rúa condemned the events and issued a statement together with Chilean President Ricardo Lagos that emphasized their commitment to the defense of democratic institutions (Clarín 05/20/00; The Economist 05/27/00). Peru

Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000) attempted several innovative policies to address serious economic and political problems, such as high inflation, unemployment, the fiscal deficit, poverty, guerrilla movements, etc. In order to overcome obstacles to his initiatives, Fujimori on April 5, 1992, decided by decree to suspend the Constitution, dissolve Congress, take control of the Judicial Power and other governmental offices, and impose press censorship, a maneuver that came to be known as the auto-golpe (self-administered coup). This decision took advantage of widespread social discontent with democratic institutions and was justified on the basis of a need to rebuild democracy, which would include profound reforms to modernize the public sector, end corruption, pacify the country, promote a market economy, and increase people’s standard of living, among other goals

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(Novak Talavera 2000, pp. 199). The armed forces, the police, and public opinion in general supported this measure (Ferrero Costa 1993). The international community, on the contrary, took immediate action to preserve democracy. The United States suspended economic and military aid, mostly allocated to the fight against drug trafficking; Brazil recalled its ambassador to Lima; the European Union announced that new aid programs would not be launched until the democratic order was re-established; a similar decision was taken by Japan, while loans already approved by the Inter-American Development Bank were frozen. Peru was out of the Rio Group temporarily and relations with some Latin American countries (including Argentina) cooled off. The OAS condemned the events, invoked Resolution 1080, and demanded respect for democratic institutions. It also sent a mission to Peru three times to promote dialogue and a negotiated solution. The Rio Group (whose Pro-Tempore Presidency was then held by Argentina) also condemned Fujimori’s actions, suspended Peru’s membership in April 1992, and only re-admitted it to the Group a year later (Frohmann 1994, pp. 136; Ferrero Costa 1993, pp. 34-37). External pressure led Fujimori to commit to restoring constitutional rights and calling elections within five months to form a constituent congress and parliamentary and presidential elections later. The OAS endorsed his plan (known as the Bahamas Resolution, passed on May 18, 1992), and monitored the elections on November 22. Although Peru returned to good standing in the OAS in early 1993, the OAS did not alter Fujimori’s usurpation of power. It simply “deeply deplored” the violation of constitutional norms, without condemning it (La Nación, 04/15/92). The regional organization’s reaction was somewhat more limited than its response to other crises, partly because many leaders sympathized with Fujimori’s situation and partly because of the high domestic support for the coup. It was also probably due to the fact that it was dealing with a different kind of challenge to democracy than the ones foreseen in its rules and commitments and that Fujimori rapidly backed off and adopted ambiguous positions. He finally managed to avoid sanctions while keeping control of the political and electoral process that same year (Boniface 2002, pp. 372-373; Parish and Peceny 2002, pp. 239-242). President Menem condemned the events and announced that he had recalled the Argentine Ambassador to Peru to receive information. The Argentine Minister of Foreign Affairs admitted that this would mean a deterioration of diplomatic relations with Peru. However, the Argentine position was very prudent: the president used the term “to deplore” instead of “to condemn” and was very cautious regarding the measures

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taken. It announced the recalling of Argentine Ambassador to Peru Julián Licastro when, in fact, he was already in Buenos Aires on vacation when the coup happened and was asked to stay.4 Minister of Economy Domingo Cavallo (a very influential figure those days and former Minister of Foreign Affairs), for instance, talked of Fujimori’s actions in terms of a “bad method” while emphasizing the need to “understand certain attitudes when the crisis reaches some extreme level” (La Nación 04/09/92, pp. 5). Both chambers of Congress condemned the events and urged the presidency to take diplomatic steps to condemn and isolate Fujimori. Once again, the influence of congress on the president’s decisions was very limited. Instead, the government consulted with members of the Rio Group to analyze the situation and possible options for defending democracy. Official statements were attuned with the US stance. There was concern over the possibility of a regional expansion (or domino effect) of the Peruvian experience and/or an increasing role of the Peruvian military in politics. The Argentine representative to the OAS intended to request an urgent meeting of the Permanent Council (La Nación 04/07-08-09-14/92). In sum, in the context of relative stability at home (i.e., having solved the military problem and having stabilized the economy), the government somewhat did not feel compelled to overact. Most of the governmental actions were at a rhetorical, ambiguous level, showing both a commitment to the defense of democracy and a certain lack of concern over non-democratic procedures. The engagement in regional consultation and collaboration with neighbor states, though, continued to be intense. The elections in Peru in 2000 were plagued with charges of fraud. The United States stood for a second round, thus delegitimizing a potential victory by Fujimori. The OAS observer mission questioned the process because of various irregular procedures. It requested a postponement of the ballotage. As Fujimori refused, the OAS decided to withdraw its mission. Criticism mounted as the second round approached. Once it had been carried out, the Clinton administration argued that Fujimori had won through “non-valid” elections and would eventually lead an “illegitimate” regime, so that the Peruvian case represented “a serious threat to the inter-American system and its commitment to democracy.” The US government also announced that it would review economic, political, and military relations with Peru (La Nación, 05/30/00). It also encouraged the application of OAS Resolution 1080 and the eventual suspension of the Peruvian membership, but Latin American countries opposed this. The issue received considerable

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attention within the OAS but no consensus was reached. Brazil, Mexico, and later Venezuela objected to the adoption of measures that would contradict the principle of non-intervention and could have a destabilizing effect. The OAS issued a declaration condemning the facts (though not questioning the electoral results) and sent a special mission to Peru led by the president of its Assembly, the Secretary-General, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada to promote the reform of electoral laws and the strengthening of democracy. The mission drew up a report and several proposals that were discussed with the Peruvian government and with the opposition (Alice 2002). Once again, while enjoying a context of relative stability at home, the executive did not feel particularly urged to produce symbolic actions. Argentina’s position was not bold; it rather showed some ambiguity. During the electoral process, Argentina spoke out in favor of transparency after consulting with MERCOSUR members and the United States (La Nación, 04/12/00), while trying to keep a low profile and avoid tensions with the Peruvian government.5 The Argentine government also avoided making any strong condemnation of the dubious results of the elections, on the basis of the non-intervention principle. It kept consulting with MERCOSUR members to attain a consensual common position. Initially, it also maintained a very low profile at OAS meetings, where the recently-elected Alliance government hadn’t yet appointed an ambassador. Later, it leaned towards a strong position at the OAS meetings (in favor of immediate action to defend democracy) and President De la Rúa did not travel to congratulate Fujimori on his re-election (La Nación, 05/27-31/00; Clarín, 06/06/00, 09/18/00). In fact, Fujimori’s triumph did not receive widespread international recognition. Facing serious accusations of corruption that involved his closest advisors and external and internal pressures, he left for Japan and resigned from there.6 The Argentine government supported the electoral process that followed and strengthened bilateral relations by signing a broad cooperation agreement in early March 2001 that included economic, political, migration, and other issues. Ecuador

Ecuador has recently gone through several institutional crises. In February 1997, President Abdalá Bucaram (1996-1997) was forced out of office on the basis of mental incapacity. A serious economic crisis and charges of corruption aggravated his situation. A constitutional clause was invoked by the Congress, but the process was somewhat

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irregular. No political trial was conducted, though the Constitution requires it. Legislators were divided on succession procedures, which increased uncertainty and even allowed the military to intervene in the process (Alice 2002). Nonetheless, the situation was resolved domestically, without intervention of the OAS, except for a visit by Secretary-General César Gaviria. Argentina’s position wavered between ambiguity and caution and, once again, showed the contradictions of a system where interbureaucratic coordination is not the norm, the president centralizes decisionmaking power, and foreign-policy specialists are relegated to a secondary and non-relevant role. It also showed that what prevailed were these characteristics of the decisionmaking process and a pragmatic orientation, rather than ideas or a commitment to democratic principles. While the Ministry of Foreign Affairs avoided strong definite comments on the situation, President Menem unexpectedly announced his firm support for Bucaram, instructed the Argentine Ambassador to Quito (María Ester Bodanza) not to attend the inaugural ceremony of the new Ecuadorian government, and suggested that Argentina could call a meeting of the Rio Group or the OAS to discuss the situation. In a similar statement, he repeated his support for Bucaram a few days later, though within a few hours other factors contributed to changing his mind and the official position. Firstly, the Ecuadorian Congress had appointed a new president (Fabián Alarcón). Secondly, consultations with neighboring countries had suggested that Bucaram had no support in the region. Thirdly, officials from the US embassy in Buenos Aires, as well as Argentine enterprises with economic interests in Ecuador, initiated contacts with the government to discuss the situation. (This is the only occasion in which there is some evidence of a minor influence of interest groups—through informal consultation—on policymaking.) Therefore, a new (pragmatic) communication was issued later the same day, this time criticizing the procedures used by Ecuadorian politicians to resolve the crisis but, at the same time, implicitly recognizing the new government. Minister of Foreign Affairs Guido Di Tella put it in these terms: “No matter if we agree or not, if we like it or not, if the process was adequate or not, there is a government that controls the country, and Bucaram does not exert power” (La Nación 02/08-13-14/97). This confusing behavior was colored by another event. While the crisis resolution was still in the making in Ecuador, Bucaram visited a few Latin American countries in search of support. Aware of the possible outcome of the crisis, Minister Di Tella recommended considering the trip as a private visit, downplaying its importance and not giving Bucaram the usual treatment for a chief of state according to

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protocol. President Menem received Bucaram over lunch but did not make any commitments to help. Instead, he postponed a decision for a few days, trying to gain some time. Perplexed officials within the president’s inner circle waited for his decision, not knowing how to proceed. He recommended that the Ecuadorian president rest over the weekend and enjoy some relaxing activities organized for him at a beach resort. He promised to have another meeting with him the following week to discuss further action. By the time Menem would have had to do so, Bucaram had already been declared incompetent and was out of office. Thus, the meeting never took place and Bucaram left the country.7 Another crisis hit Ecuador in January 2000 when President Jamil Mahuad (1998-2000) faced a military coup. A poor economic performance, together with corruption charges and opposition to the dollarization of the economy, had generated increasing discontent among different social sectors. The armed forces formed a temporary government (State Council) together with the president of the Confederación de Nacionalidades Indígenas (Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities) and the previous president of the Supreme Court. The mounting pressure from the indigenous movement and the uprising of some colonels within the army led the former Minister of Defense (Carlos Mendoza) to take office and dissolve the Council. The OAS called its Permanent Council to an extraordinary meeting and declared itself in favor of respect for the constitutional order. MERCOSUR members also expressed their concern along similar lines. Argentina, still in charge of the Pro-Tempore Presidency of the Rio Group, ratified the condemnatory declaration of the Group. External pressure from the OAS and the US government (which promoted the end of military and other assistance) forced the rebels to delegate power to Vice-President Gustavo Noboa (Alice 2002). In 2005 the institutional order was again altered in Ecuador. Congress forced out President Lucio Gutiérrez (former leader of the 2000 coup) who had lost popularity and faced increasing discontent mostly because of poor economic management. His decision to declare a state of emergency and replace the Supreme Court members with judges attuned with his initiatives had generated further opposition and demands for his resignation. The military initially supported the president but later leaned towards the Congress’ decision. The congressional decision passed with 60 votes in favor, though the Constitution required at least 67 affirmative votes to approve such a measure. Nevertheless, Gutiérrez was replaced by Vice-President Alfredo Palacio. The inter-American community watched these events

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with concern. The issue was debated within MERCOSUR and the Rio Group, where Argentina argued in favor of the defense of democracy. Brazil sent a mediator to Ecuador and offered asylum to Gutiérrez. Some sources speculated that Brazil’s search for a leading role in the resolution of this crisis (simultaneous to its attempt to secure a seat in the UN Security Council) upset Argentine President Kirchner and generated some tensions in the bilateral relation (Clarín, 04/21-22-2324/05). In any case, the government looked less involved than in other cases (e.g., Bolivia). As explained below, this talks of the larger resonance of geographically closer cases on domestic instability. The OAS reaction was very slow and generated strong criticisms. It kept postponing meetings to discuss the situation. It finally demanded explanations for the irregular legislative procedure and did not recognize Palacio’s government for a while. It also sent a special mission to Ecuador to determine if the Congress had followed constitutional norms, though some countries (including Argentina, Peru, Venezuela, and the United States) suggested waiting and seeing. Two declarations were discussed. One was proposed by Argentina and other Latin American countries, expressing support for democracy in Ecuador and for Palacio’s government. Another, under the auspices of the United States and Peru, recommended the formation of a working group within the OAS to oversee the democratic process in that country, this being deemed somewhat interventionist. The resolution adopted represented a compromise: it expressed OAS support for democratic institutions while offering help in case of necessity (EFE News Service, 04/22/05; Clarín 05/21/05). Bolivia

President Hernán Siles Zuazo (1982-1984) resigned one year before the end of his mandate in the midst of a serious economic crisis, massive street protests, political violence, and charges of corruption. His resignation was the result of a negotiation among different actors led by the Church, and occurred after Siles Zuazo had been kidnapped for a few hours by radical military sectors in July 1984 and some destabilizing military maneuvers had taken place, which revealed the fragility of democratic institutions. The OAS Permanent Council was convoked immediately but, by the time it met, Siles Zuazo had already been released. Its members discussed the question of asylum for the kidnappers and their links with drug trafficking and terrorist organizations. Only Venezuela accepted to receive some of them, after Brazil and Argentina declined (La Nación 07/01/84).

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Argentina’s reaction to political instability in Bolivia in the early 1980s showed a clear commitment to the defense of democracy. This reflected Alfonsín’s perception of the regime’s vulnerability in the context of democratic transition. Official statements strongly condemned Siles Zuazo’s kidnapping and emphasized that only under a democratic regime would urgent social and economic problems be solved. The kidnappers (a group of six military men) were temporarily hosted by the Argentine Embassy in La Paz, but the Alfonsín administration refused to give them asylum; it was argued that they were criminals rather than political actors (La Nación 07/01-02/84). This was consistent with the government’s approach since 1983: it had expressed unconditional support for the Bolivian government since taking office, as part of the mutual attempt to boost their chances of consolidating democratic institutions. Diplomatic steps had aimed at the same goal: a parliamentary delegation traveled to Bolivia and the presidents met in September 1984 to express their commitment with building up democratic institutions. Argentina and Brazil also started conversations to find options for helping to strengthen democracy in Bolivia. Thus, President Alfonsín strongly repudiated Siles Zuazo’s kidnapping and sent a special mission to influence the run-off elections in mid-1985 in an attempt to support opposition forces and avoid a victory by former dictator General Hugo Banzer (Fournier 1999, pp. 5961). President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada’s mandate (2002-2003) also ended abruptly. In February 2003, police forces rebelled and political violence increased. Repression against workers’ demonstrations in October that year ended with the death of 50 people. The protests were originally against the export of gas to the United States, but soon turned against Lozada’s administration in general and the repression in particular. Massive street demonstrations demanded his resignation. The United States and the OAS supported the Bolivian constitutional government. MERCOSUR members, and Argentina in particular, favored dialogue and respect for democratic institutions. Brazil was particularly active during the process. Together with Argentina, it sent an observer mission to favor a negotiated solution. Argentina even offered humanitarian aid if necessary. However, Lozada’s supporting coalition gradually disintegrated and the president resigned on October 17, 2003. He was replaced by the Vice-President Carlos Mesa (La Nación, 02/14/03, 10/14-15-17/03; The Economist, 10/25/03). Social unrest continued in Bolivia as social movements linked to coca growers and indigenous sectors grew and organized. In early 2005 President Mesa (2003-2005) announced he would resign if he had to

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suppress street demonstrations led by union leaders and social movements. A general strike for an indefinite period was launched on January 10 to demand the rescission of the contract between the government and the private water company Aguas de Illimani, a branch of the French company Suez-Lyonnaise des Eaux. Protesters argued that the water company had not lived up to its investment and other commitments made at the time of the transfer (1997); part of the population still had no service and rates were still indexed according to the oscillation of the dollar. Some sectors also demanded the nationalization of hydrocarbon resources and the abrogation of an increase in the price of natural gas implemented by presidential decree a few months earlier. The protests, strikes, and street demonstrations progressively involved the whole country and included the blockage of roads, the occupation of land, and frequent marches. The claims also involved demands for the nationalization of natural resources, expropriation of oil basins run by multinational corporations, closing the Congress, calling a constitutional assembly, and early elections, as well as regional autonomy (Eaton 2006). Congress in March ratified President Mesa, who had resigned when facing the expansion and radicalization of social unrest. He had also requested aid from the UN, Argentina, and Brazil. The OAS was unsuccessful in addressing the crisis at its June meeting in Fort Lauderdale. Argentine President Kirchner strongly backed Mesa as from the beginning of the crisis and sent a mediator to talk to the government and the opposition, showing more concern than in the case of Ecuador. The Argentine Minister of Foreign Affairs was permanently monitoring the situation in collaboration with his Brazilian counterpart (La Nación, 05/24/05, 06/12/05). The governments’ concerns revolved around the implications of Bolivian instability in terms of a possible increase in drug traffic and related criminal activities along borders, migration, and the price of natural gas imports, together with a possible undersupply of that resource. Again, domestic stability stands out as a primary consideration. Kirchner’s delegate was a member of a piquetero movement (Isaac Rudnik) who was then an advisor to the Under-Secretariat for Latin American Policy (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and had close links with social organizations in Bolivia that proved crucial to unlocking negotiations.8 Brazil also sent a delegate (Marco Aurélio Garcia, advisor to President Lula on foreign policy). Raúl Alconada Sempé, former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs under Alfonsín, was also sent to Bolivia to facilitate a dialogue. According to him, Argentina and Brazil acted too late.9 Despite these efforts, Mesa finally resigned in June 2005.

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After complex negotiations, an agreement was reached on the succession. The President of the Supreme Court, Eduardo Rodríguez Veltzé, took office temporarily and called elections for December that year. Venezuela

Carlos Andrés Pérez’s presidency (1988-1993) was short and plagued with surprises. He launched innovative measures aimed at stabilization and a structural reform of the economy, known as el gran viraje (the great turnaround). These measures faced strong social opposition and institutional obstacles. The president could not rely on a majority in Congress and Pérez gradually distanced himself from his own political party. He was impeached in 1993 because of corruption charges. On February 4, 1992, a military coup led by the then Lieutenant Colonel Hugo Chávez threatened the democratic order. The government managed to control the situation within a day. The OAS Permanent Council met that same day to repudiate the coup and reaffirmed the commitment made the year before in Santiago. The Rio Group, whose Pro-Tempore Secretariat was then being held by Argentina, strongly supported Pérez, though it opposed the creation of a multilateral military force to defend democratic governments (Frohmann 1994, pp. 136; Patiño Mayer and D’Alotto 1997, pp. 95). President Menem personally conveyed his support to Pérez and instructed officials to encourage the Rio Group to send a mission to Caracas formed by Latin American ministers of foreign affairs to express solidarity with the Venezuelan government (La Nación, 02/05/92). Menem’s reaction is understandable in the context of Argentina’s own great turnaround, which he had launched unexpectedly the year before and caused important divisions within the governing party and some social opposition. Accusations of corruption against his government abounded, some of them linked to the implementation of structural reforms (e.g., privatizations). Several parallelisms between the two administrations have been identified in terms of the drastic character of neoliberal policies implementation, the reliance of the executive on a cohesive team of technocrats, the president-governing party relationship (Corrales 2002). Thus, the 1992 Venezuelan crisis mirrored Argentina’s transition to the market and may have worked as a red flag in the executive power’s perception. Ten years later, Venezuelan democracy was at stake again. President Hugo Chávez (1998-present) was temporarily forced out of office on April 11, 2002. In a confused episode, the military announced

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that Chávez had agreed to resign. He remained under arrest for some hours and finally regained power. The failed coup built on increasing popular discontent, a serious conflict between the oil union and the government that led to a long general strike, and a sharp decline in the president’s image. The local business sector seriously objected Chávez’s policies. A bloody, mass street demonstration the day before accelerated the military’s action. They resisted Chávez’s order to quell the demonstrations and defined their attitude as a movement of solidarity with the people, rather than a rebellion. The government was temporarily in the hands of Pedro Carmona, president of Fedecámaras (the association of Venezuelan entrepreneurs), who promised to call elections shortly. The international community had an uneven reaction in this case. The US government waited—perhaps too long—to condemn the coup and initially argued that it was not a coup but an interruption of the constitutional process that had started under Chávez’s rule. This was interpreted as an implicit (and alarming) endorsement of the overthrow. The OAS and the Rio Group strongly disapproved of the events. The former was on the verge of sending a mission to Caracas as per the US proposal to mediate between the government and the opposition, but Venezuelans refused it. The OAS also, and for the first time, invoked the Inter-American Democratic Charter, though its actions seemed too slow to be really effective: by the time the organization made a decision, Chávez was already back in office (Clarín, 04/14-20/02; La Nación, 04/12-17/02). Argentine President Eduardo Duhalde, whose interim term was strongly conditioned by the post-2001 crisis context, was one of the first to react in condemnation of the coup. His government did not recognize the new Venezuelan civilian-military government and had an active participation in the preparation of the OAS resolution. Argentina

Even Argentina went through two serious political crises during the period under consideration. They were both related to the deterioration of economic conditions and led to social unrest, violence, and the abrupt ending of a presidential mandate each. Raúl Ricardo Alfonsín (19831989) left office five months before the end of his mandate. Faced with the failure of his economic policies, social turmoil, strong opposition (which included several military uprisings), and the government’s own incapacity to control the situation, the president negotiated a transfer of power ahead of time with the leader of the other political party with a

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major following, and winner of the May 1989 elections (Carlos Menem). Fernando de la Rúa (1999-2001) left office on December 19, 2001, after having completed only half of his constitutional term. This time the magnitude of the crisis was probably more dramatic. The international community witnessed Argentina’s collapse with dismay.10 The sight of the middle classes gathering on the streets to protest against the freezing of their bank accounts, political corruption, and uncertainty, together with the pathetic succession of five presidents in a few weeks, contradicted the reputation of a flourishing developing economy and solid democracy that Argentina had acquired during the previous decade. In both cases, the domestic political actors worked out a solution that preserved democratic institutions. International actors did not intervene. The OAS only sent an observer mission to monitor the 2003 elections as per the Argentine government invitation in response to one of the candidate’s concerns. However, as this study shows, the impact of those crises went well beyond specific junctures and conditioned foreign policy decisionmaking. Explaining the Responses to Political Crises in South America

Several studies have identified the implications of multilateral action in cases of threats to democratic rule in Latin America (e.g., Farer 1996; Boniface 2002; Parish and Peceny 2002; Legler et al. 2007). Recent work on this issue also attempts to explain the reasons for such action in general, and the variation in the OAS response to some of the above crises in particular. Arceneaux and Pion-Berlin (2007) argue that, despite having strengthened its institutional capacity and deepened its commitment to democratic values, the organization has been remarkably consistent but selective in defending democracy in the last decade. They highlight the nature of the issue to confront, the type and clarity of the threat, and the degree of support from domestic constituencies and external actors (especially, the regional hegemon) as key explanatory factors in such a behavior. In other words, certain democratic crises (e.g., coups) pose a clearer threat that allows a better evaluation of stakes, options, and strategies than others (e.g., the deterioration or weakening of democratic practices), thus making it easier for member states to take the decision to get involved in their resolution. A firm commitment by domestic actors (i.e., political parties, interest groups, or institutions) to democracy’s defense, as well as the hegemon’s support, has also been an important determinant of any OAS decision to

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intervene. The cases of Venezuela in 2002 and more recently, of Peru in 1992, Ecuador in 2004 and Bolivia in 2003 and 2005, as well as several others in Central America, lend support to the authors’ argument. Argentina’s position in South American crises can also be seen as slightly selective. Foreign policy reactions in each case have varied across cases and over time, although the level of international activism was high throughout the entire period. There is certainly continuity since 1983 in the political discourse in favor of democracy promotion and intense involvement in multilateral endeavors. However, some nuances and signs of ambiguity can be observed (e.g., Menem’s asylum to Oviedo in 1999; some underestimation of the implications of Fujimori’s auto-golpe; contradictory official statements about the 1997 crisis in Ecuador; De la Rúa’s ambiguous reaction to the irregular elections in Peru in 2000). The sources of those apparent signs of policy inconsistency are not clearly identified and interpreted in policymakers’ testimonies, as if they were not aware of them. They seem to be related to a vague assessment of the situation in which the lack of information about what was going on in the country in crisis and considerations about the possibilities and limits of foreign intervention interact with an uncertain calculus of the costs of becoming involved. There is no evidence of external pressure or other systemic variable determining governments’ choices. There is no evidence either that interest groups within society were pressuring for any particular decision in each case. Public opinion trends were never assessed on this issue. The main actor (and potential beneficiary) of this policy was the government itself, to the extent that a stronger commitment would help to build up credibility and an image of living up to the international challenges, being credible, serious, and responsive to what were perceived as the most pressing problems. Individual factors aside (incumbents with more or less attachment to democratic values—a factor difficult to measure11), the main contrast is found between the first and second democratic administrations in terms of priorities. Both Alfonsín and Menem were working under very demanding circumstances but the policy context of the 1990s was different from that of the 1980s and the intensification of some of the problems (e.g., economic crisis and stagnation, distributive struggles, military unrest) encouraged a revision of the list of priorities in the governmental agenda. Indeed, during the 1980s democracy was still at stake at home. It was imperative to defend and strengthen the still fragile institutions. Thus, foreign policy actions related to the defense and promotion of democracy in neighboring countries were motivated by the need to

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reinforce the commitment to the domestic process and stop or reduce destabilizing external influences. To a large extent, these goals were a prerequisite to succeed in other policy areas and led to an increasing activism. Foreign policy under Alfonsín was clearly designed and implemented with these goals in mind. The president’s involvement in its management was intense and continuous, especially at the beginning and the end of his term when his own government looked most vulnerable, that is, in junctures when Argentina was emerging from the debt crisis and on the verge of another round of a serious political and economic crisis situation. Therefore, this affected the involvement in the crises in Bolivia in 1984 and Paraguay in 1988-1989). In contrast, during the 1990s democracy looked stronger than ever at home since the military problem (i.e., coup attempts) was resolved early that decade. The inter-American consensus on political and economic liberal principles had also consolidated after the end of the Cold War. Economic restructuring took priority in Argentina and a close alliance with the United States was suggested by the Menem administration as functional to a new insertion of the country in the globalized economy. Thus, Argentina maintained a commitment to, and participation in, the defense of democracy in the region but—as this issue had somewhat lost momentum, the domestic political context was relatively more stable, and the economic agenda had taken priority—the democracy promotion discourse and actions reflected more ambiguity and policy inconsistencies than in the previous decade (e.g., Paraguay in 1999; Peru in 1992 and 2000; Ecuador in 1997). The defense of democracy was probably as important as before as a value and considered a necessary condition for markets to work properly, but economic reforms were deemed absolutely necessary and complementary to those efforts. In Eduardo Menem’s words: “We could defend democracy only thanks to reforms, which made it socially and economically sustainable.”12 To a certain extent, the post-2001 crisis context revived the importance of signaling commitment to the democracy promotion policy as a tool to strengthen the position of (non-elected) incumbents at home. That was the case of Duhalde’s prompt response to the events in Venezuela in 2002. As a former official put it: “To proclaim abroad is to re-affirm internally.” 13 It is evident that in contexts of crisis or their immediate aftermath, the concerns with stability increased. Both Duhalde and, especially, Kirchner were seriously preoccupied with the repetition of another social uprising like the one that ended with De la Rúa’s term. Crises in neighbor countries worked as red flags, warning incumbents of the potential threats coming from social movements and

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others and of the risk of being unable to manage governability. (This has actually become an obsession for Kirchner up to date.) In an unusual move, Kirchner did not rely on foreign affairs officials to deal with the crisis in Bolivia in 2005; instead, he appointed a piquetero leader (that is, the protest movement that had been co-opted by the government) as a special envoy because “they are the ones that know best that type of social mobilization.”14 Also, the cases of Bolivia and Paraguay suggest that the closer the crisis, the more likely the intervention because of fear of domestic repercussions, especially since political and economic interdependence among MERCOSUR members intensified once the block was formed. Although most officials interviewed underestimated the importance of issue linkages (e.g., trade in natural gas and migration flows between the two nations in the case of Bolivia), several of them agreed on considering instability and the possibility of a non-democratic regime in a neighboring country as a serious threat to domestic and regional projects.15 In other words, the action might have been inspired by democratic values, but the main concern was about stability and governability at home. The crises analyzed here highlight a greater importance of regional cooperation than in the Cuban issue. They show how the cooperative dynamic established with Brazil since the mid-1980s went well beyond economic integration within MERCOSUR and illustrates the application of the democratic clause in specific situations (e.g., Paraguay in late 1990s). Regional integration locked member states into a stronger commitment than ever to the defense of democracy. It put in motion a constant process of consultation at the highest level in the political area of foreign policy between Argentina and Brazil that made it more difficult and costly for either of them to act unilaterally or to remain absent in the discussion of regional politics. Given structural asymmetries, this has worked as a constraint more for Argentina than for Brazil. For instance, Argentina’s intention to adopt a consensual position and to jointly act with other MERCOSUR members was documented in most cases above. Thus, even if the stakes were not extremely high in certain (more distant) crises (e.g., Ecuador), not being part of the regional efforts to find a solution was not an option for Argentina. This shows that isolation or doing nothing is not possible in situations of high interdependence and shared regional leadership. Nonetheless, this issue also illustrates the limits of foreign intervention in domestic crises. For Argentina and the rest of the interAmerican community, there was a clear constraint to the level of engagement in multilateral endeavors: whether or not the affected

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country demands and/or welcomes foreign intervention. As suggested by a former Argentine official, “We go where we are called.”16 Although the old principle of non-intervention in domestic affairs of nation-states has been flexibilized lately, it still works as an obstacle to international organizations’ and individual actors’ actions. Interestingly enough, high activism in democracy promotion could easily boomerang. Thus, the non-intervention principle is also a good excuse for governments to be very cautious on whether and how to exert pressure on neighbors. The lack of clear international standards of good governance and the little progress made in the region in that respect situates all Latin American governments at a disadvantage when assessing the quality of democracy in other countries. Conclusions

The variety of instances analyzed in this chapter makes generalizations more difficult but, at the same time, has the advantage of showing some other specific mechanisms at work. It also makes Argentina’s involvement look more discontinuous or inconsistent than in the other two instances (i.e., Cuba and Haiti). This is partly due to the diversity of challenges (which made ad hoc responses almost inevitable) and partly the result of the high degree of uncertainty about the events in each country affected; this made more difficult for the international community in general to assess the nature and magnitude of the problem and reach a consensus on the response. Thus, individual nation-states looked more cautious than usual and torn between unilateral and multilateral actions. Overall, the evidence presented here confirms that contexts of domestic instability have an important impact on whether or not to become involved in the resolution of democratic crises. Situations of crisis and the transitions that follow increase the symbolic content of some actions, thus fostering activism and rhetorical acts. They also encourage a re-definition of priorities within the governmental agenda. As explained in the previous section, both effects are related to policymakers’ assessment of how crises in neighbor countries might destabilize the situation at home and create further governability problems. The modality of involvement in politico-institutional crises was largely shaped by the multilateral negotiations emerging from the country’s participation in cooperative efforts to solve those crises. Thus, this instance of democracy promotion confirms and qualifies some of the hypotheses proposed in Chapter 3. The more unstable the context at home, the higher the chances that the government engages in

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symbolic actions to strengthen its image of being in control of the situation and living up to international challenges and commitments. It also confirms the impact of regional cooperation on policy continuity and consistency. Given an intense engagement in regional agreements (particularly, MERCOSUR and recent institutional developments within the OAS), member states felt compelled to consult, collaborate, and engage in multilateral endeavors to find solutions to the crises. Regional cooperation locked them in a path that reinforced foreign policy continuity and consistency. In the particular case of Argentina, the differences with other Latin American countries are given by the high diplomatic activism and subtle differences in the responses to the events (the latter mostly determined by variations in presidents’ styles below). But, in opposition to the Cuban question, there were no major differences in the substance of foreign policy positions and consultation and coordination with neighbors was a constant. Presidential involvement in foreign decisionmaking also appears as a constant, as well as in other instances of this issue, though this time the multilateral negotiations around the resolution of diverse crises often required the delegation of that negotiating role on foreign policy officials or special appointees. The issue of slight expertise and high concentration of decisionmaking in the presidency when it came to the ultimate choices reappears once again here. The key role played by the executive in foreign decisionmaking facilitated the adoption of pragmatic action in each case that adapts to the circumstances as the crisis unfolds, instead of requiring a pre-determined policy design. This was evident in Menem’s pragmatic decisions. Yet, the impact of different styles in terms of personal involvement and relations with the bureaucracy is also evident here. Some contrasts stand out, though, across administrations: Alfonsín’s personal diplomacy was probably more intense than that of his successors; in general terms, the presidents of the 1990s and 2000s delegated the diplomatic actions in their foreign affairs ministers and lower-ranking officials, but several high-ranking officials interviewed confirmed that presidents always made crucial appointments and decisions. Also, Alfonsín’ reliance on a cohesive team that had elaborated on foreign policy goals and strategies differentiates from others; on the other extreme, Argentina seemed to have a lower profile in international affairs in general under Kirchner, whose foreign policy has lacked focus and has not always been in the hands of specialized cadres. For instance, facing the crises in Bolivia in 2003 and 2005, Argentina had a secondary role vis-à-vis Brazil and the Kirchner administration looked for ad hoc experts to represent the government.

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Notes 1

For a detailed account and explanation of causes, see Valenzuela (2004). For instance, Argentina proposed not to change the status of the Paraguayan case from confidential to public at the UN Commission for Human Rights that year, as a way of waiting and seeing, thus giving the new government some time and, at the same time, forcing it to commit to taking a democratic path. Interview with Leandro Despouy (then Argentine delegate to the Commission in Geneva), Buenos Aires, 06/29/06. 3 For a detailed account of the events, see Valenzuela (1997). 4 Interview with Julián Licastro, Buenos Aires, 06/26/06. 5 Bilateral relations had already reached a critical point when it became known that Argentina had sold arms to Ecuador during the Peru-Ecuador border conflict in 1995 while being, at the same time, part of the group of countries that was working to find a peaceful settlement to the armed dispute. 6 On the events leading to Fujimori’s resignation, see Cooper and Legler (2005, p. 436). 7 Interview with Andrés Cisneros, Buenos Aires, 06/14/06. 8 Interview with Rafael Bielsa, Buenos Aires, 07/04/06. 9 Interview with Raúl Alconada Sempé, Buenos Aires, 06/26/06. 10 For a summary of international reactions, see Agence France-Presse, 12/21/01. 2

11 Information from interviews allows the assertion that for certain individuals (e.g., President Alfonsín, some of his advisors, and others) democratic values were a key ingredient of their ideological background. However, concrete foreign policy choices seem to have been selected with a broader view of the goals and options at each particular juncture. 12 Interview with Eduardo Menem, Buenos Aires, 07/19/06. 13 Interview with Archibaldo Lanús, Buenos Aires, 06/05/06. 14 Interview with Rafael Bielsa, Buenos Aires, 07/04/06. 15 Interviews with Federico Storani, Buenos Aires, 07/18/06, and Rafael Bielsa, Buenos Aires, 07/04/06. 16 Interview with Raúl Alconada Sempé, Buenos Aires, 06/26/06.

6 Building Peace and Democratic Institutions in Haiti

Haiti has long been a puzzle for the international community, a tiny territory where natural and other disasters have combined to keep the island in a state of permanent instability, extreme poverty, and violence. Problems have proved intractable both for its successive local governments and for the external actors that often orchestrated different kinds of missions and aid, though the country still exhibits the worst socio-economic indicators in the Americas. On September 29, 1991, democratically-elected President JeanBertrand Aristide was forced out of office and into exile by a bloody military coup led by General Raoul Cédras. The events generated a substantial flow of Haitian migrants to the United States and a prompt reaction from external actors. It is still difficult to say if the crisis has had a resolution or not. Instability has persisted and multilateral aid is still crucial to the future of the country. Since then, Argentina has played an active role in the international efforts to restore peace and democratic rule in the island, as well as to generate favorable conditions for economic recovery and growth. The issue has been on the agenda of all administrations and was particularly relevant under the Kirchner’s (2003-2007). However, aside from humanitarian concerns, it is not evident why Argentine governments would allocate increasing resources to a relatively distant and apparently inconsequential conflict (from the point of view of Argentina’s interests). This chapter addresses that question in the framework of the main concerns and hypotheses that guide this work. It first analyzes the motivation and nature of Argentina’s involvement in Central America during the period under consideration. Secondly, it focuses on the country’s role in the multilateral efforts to restore peace and democracy in Haiti since 1991. The third section highlights some explanatory factors. Conclusions follow.

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Precedents for Argentina’s Involvement in Central America

Argentina has been involved in Central American affairs for several decades. To many, this looks surprising, mistaken, and/or unnecessarily costly since the connection between the national interest (usually defined in military and/or economic terms) and problems in that part of the continent is not evident. However, there have been political reasons leading different governments to become involved in that region. Again, this issue shows the importance of non-material goals in the definition of less developed transitional countries’ national interests. For the Alfonsín government such an involvement was a key functional part of its whole foreign policy strategy, which included the reassertion of the country’s Latin American (as opposed to “European”) identity and the attempt to become increasingly active in regional affairs. That required first to gain some credentials and, as former Minister Caputo put it, “en la cancha es que se hacen los amigos”—it's on the playing field itself that friendships are formed (América Latina Internacional 1989, pp. 264). In other words, that could only be done by getting involved in the issues that concerned the region, cultivating solidarities through the daily work, and consolidating relations with Latin American countries. Indeed, the main foreign policy goals of the first government of the democratic transition were to enhance autonomy, avoid being trapped in superpower conflicts, maintain a consistent commitment to the respect for human rights and democracy at home and abroad, and promote regional cooperation. Within that framework, Argentina developed an active diplomacy with respect to the Central American crisis in the mid1980s. The main motivations to do that, as argued by the then Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dante Caputo, were (a) solidarity with the dramatic situation Central American countries were undergoing and concern with finding a peaceful solution, and (b) an interest in preventing the armed conflict from expanding and leaving Latin American countries subject to superpowers’ strategic disputes, which would further destabilize already weak transitional democracies (Russell and Tokatlián 1986, pp. 28). Again, instability at home was a primary concern. Thus, Argentina backed the formation of the Contadora Group and joined the Contadora Support Group.1 It favored negotiations aimed at a peaceful solution. Its position was based on the defense of the principles of non-intervention, self-determination, and territorial integrity, as well as the exclusion of military forces and other foreign actors, and the respect for democratic institutions. Hence, there was an implicit attempt to defend and promote democracy in those multilateral efforts. The

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government was well aware, though, of the need to avoid an open confrontation with the United States at a moment when crucial negotiations on the external debt were taking place. Overall, the activity of those multilateral groups avoided a further escalation of the war and paved the way to peace accords. Argentina also played a significant role in the International Verification and Monitoring Committee, created in 1987 to verify the implementation of the Esquipulas II agreement (Russell 1986; Russell and Tokatlián 1986; Frohmann 1994; Steves 2001). Once again, Argentina’s main motivations for becoming involved were political in nature and related to domestic politics rather than systemic processes: the fragility of the post-debt crisis setting and of democratic institutions during the process of democratic transition. President Menem initiated his first mandate by adopting a low profile in Central America. His first Minister of Foreign Affairs, Domingo Cavallo, considered that Argentina had no vital interests in that region. This approach changed in 1991 when the president decided that the country was to become seriously involved in the Haiti crisis (Clarín 10/05/91). Such a change showed the government’s intention to modify the course of foreign policy and make it gradually more attuned to Washington’s priorities. As already explained, this coincided with the government’s focus on two urgent problems: the stabilization of the economy and military insurrection. Thus, Menem negotiated with the armed forces the end of trials and amnesty in exchange for subordination, and made a drastic shift from a populist to a neoliberal discourse, a move that took domestic and foreign actors by surprise and required the use of symbolic actions to make the commitment to the new economic policy orientation credible and viable. Among other things, the political discourse used the context of crisis to present sweeping reforms as the only alternative and free-market measures as the best way to place the country in very competitive global markets; specific economic reforms (e.g., privatizations) became also symbolic political tools to signal the government’s intentions and negotiate compensations for winners and losers as a means to gather support and neutralize opposition. From then on, the promotion of democracy has to be understood in the context of multilateral efforts that reinforced regional commitments and of the attempt to solve some domestic problems—mainly, building up credibility and support for reformist policies while addressing “the military question.” The crisis in Haiti would offer a good opportunity to show the commitment to a new foreign policy orientation and, at the same time, provide the Argentine military with a new role and

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international tasks. The next section turns to the analysis of facts in that period. The Regional Approach to the Problem in Haiti and Argentina’s Role

Political instability and violence have been a constant in Haiti. Aristide’s triumph in 1991 elections (under the UN supervision) was seen as the first truly democratic electoral process. His overthrow only seven months later generated a generalized rejection from the international community. Foreign aid was suspended (Associated Press and Agence France-Presse, 10/01/91; The New York Times, 10/02/91). The OAS immediately condemned the coup, invoking Resolution 1080, and later adopted another resolution asking member states to join the freeze of Haitian assets and the trade embargo. A nine-member-state mission (including Argentina) was also sent under the same resolution to reestablish and strengthen democracy on the island, hoping to contribute to Aristide’s speedy return to power. The Washington Protocols were signed in February 1992 aiming at a final resolution to the crisis, but, facing non-compliance, the organization requested member states to tighten the embargo and the UN and international financial agencies to cooperate in making sanctions effective. The OAS and the UN then started to collaborate, creating an International Civil Mission in Haiti in charge of monitoring respect for human rights and appointing former Argentine Minister of Foreign Affairs Dante Caputo as Special Envoy to facilitate dialogue and compromise in order to restore democratic rule. The negotiations led to an agreement between Aristide and Cédras on July 3, 1993, known as The Governor’s Island Agreement. This created the conditions for a peaceful political transition and for the former’s return to office in October that year, including the appointment of a prime minister by Aristide and the passing of an amnesty law (Clarín 07/04/93). The accord was not respected and violence reemerged. This led the UN Security Council, through Resolution 904, to reaffirm the sanctions and authorize an invasion by a multinational force on July 31, 1994. The military junta resigned after special negotiations led by former US President Carter. The occupation by US military forces nevertheless took place in mid-September to supervise the transfer of power, and Aristide returned to office on October 15 (Alice 2002; Constable 1993; Martin 1994). Argentina was actively engaged in the events leading to this outcome. In the framework of the Menem administration’s strategy of

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signaling its commitment to neoliberal economic reforms and aligning the country with US policy preferences, Haiti became part of the government agenda and served to signal the new orientation. The Argentine government condemned the 1991 coup and refused to recognize Cédras’ rule (Clarín 10/02/91). President Menem instructed Minister Di Tella, early in the process, on Argentina’s willingness to collaborate (even on a military mission) to restore democratic rule in Haiti (Clarín 10/05/91). In the ad hoc meetings of OAS Ministers of Foreign Affairs in early October 1991, Di Tella suggested a reform to the organization’s charter to create peace missions that could step in when such political crises arose (Alice 2002, pp. 84-95), but the proposal did not succeed because the United States did not favor resorting to arms at that time (Clarín 10/10/91). The Argentine government also backed all UN resolutions on this case (a decision that set the country apart from other Latin American nations) and sent a naval vessel, the corvette Granville, to join the multinational blockade of Haiti in November 1993. President Menem offered President Clinton an increase in the Argentine participation in the military maneuvers, at their meeting of June 24, 1994, and in August that year sent a bill to Congress requesting the authorization to send 600 soldiers to Haiti to join the multinational force authorized by the UN Security Council. He also offered asylum to Cédras when the invasion was imminent (La Nación 09/18-19/94). These decisions generated an intense debate. Opposition forces objected to the president’s initiatives on the basis of a violation of the principle of non-intervention (which had traditionally guided Argentine foreign policy) and of a potential damage to relations with other Latin American countries.2 Here we observe the secondary role played by the opposition and other domestic actors. Their claims were voiced but this was not enough to stop the president (who was also the leader of the governing party and relied on a majority of votes in Congress) from advancing his own initiatives. Despite objections, then, an Argentine delegation also participated as observer in the planning meetings that took place in Washington and New York in mid-August 1994 prior to the military intervention. On September 23, 104 Argentine soldiers went to Haiti on a police mission to monitor the process of democratic restoration. They formed part of the International Group of Observers placed on the border between the Dominican Republic and Haiti. In December 1999, Argentina cosponsored the UN General Assembly resolution to create the International Civil Mission to Haiti. It has also allocated some resources to technological cooperation with Haiti in the last few years and has

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written off 85 percent of the debt owed it by that country (Alice 2002, pp. 169-171). Aristide’s new administration did not end the instability. Domestic consensus and peace were not attained. The country received US$ 660 million in aid from the World Bank in 1995 and the government implemented major reforms (such as the dissolution of the Armed Forces and the creation, in collaboration with the UN, of a professional civilian police force), but political violence continued. On March 31, 1995 former President Bill Clinton met in Port-au-Prince with UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali to transfer powers to the UN peace force. In November that year elections took place. René Préval won by an overwhelming majority. The economic and social crisis continued. Another failed coup attempt took place in October 2000 (Malone 1997). Aristide was re-elected in November 2000 amid dubious electoral procedures. Neither the opposition forces nor the international community validated the election. The UN International Civil Mission ended the following year and international financial agencies froze loans already approved. Two other failed coup attempts took place in late 2001 and early 2002. The OAS has repeatedly expressed concern for democracy in Haiti and called an extraordinary meeting of its Permanent Council in January 16, 2002 after an armed attack on the presidential palace in Port-au-Prince that was considered a coup attempt. However, the intervention of the OAS and other international actors generated criticisms and the results lagged behind expectations (Shamsie 2004, 2007; Goldberg 2007) The crisis intensified during 2003 due to increasing inflation and social discontent. Aristide was accused of corruption and authoritarian tendencies. Political violence was a constant. Opposition forces remained highly fragmented. External actors, such as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), offered a mediation to facilitate a political transition (Goldberg 2007). On February 5, 2004 an armed rebellion by opposition forces took place and rapidly extended throughout the North of the country. Aristide was forced to resign and left the island late that month. The provisional government, temporarily in the hands of Supreme Court President Boniface Alexandre, requested assistance from the UN, paving the way to the deployment of a military force formed by American, French, and Canadian soldiers to supervise a peaceful and stable political transition. Later on, the Security Council considered the situation in Haiti a security threat for the region and approved the formation of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti through Resolution 1542, effective on June 1, 2004.3

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The situation aggravated when hurricane Jeanne seriously affected the country in September that year. A transitional government was formed which, together with other domestic actors, signed a Consensus Pact for the Political Transition that included an electoral schedule for 2005. Elections took place in February 2006 (with a second round foreseen for April). Yet, as a result of a political accord, René Préval— who had obtained almost 50 percent of the votes—was declared the winner and the ballotage was not carried out. The OAS continued supporting and monitoring the electoral processes (Erikson and Minson 2005). The intervention of the OAS Secretary General (José Miguel Insulza), together with the UN Stabilization Mission political chief (Juan Gabriel Valdés), was crucial to making the political agreement viable (Clarín 02/17-18/06). During this second phase of the conflict, though, the UN acquired a primary role, as well as Latin American countries led by Brazil which took over the military role from American and French forces. This is a crucial factor in understanding the intensification of Argentina’s involvement in this issue. In June 2004 Brazil took command of the above UN peacekeeping force of 6,700 (mainly Latin American) troops and 1,600 police. This was part of that country’s attempt to gain a more prominent role in regional and international affairs. Brazil’s strategy has also involved greater activism in South America and the search for a seat on the UN Security Council (The Economist 06/12/04). In addition, there has been an active and constant collaboration among the Southern Cone countries involved in the stabilization efforts in Haiti. Frequent meetings of high level officials from Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay took place to coordinate their activities and make them more effective (El País 05/12/05). Argentina has also been part of the OAS Secretary General’s Group of Friends on Haiti since its creation in October 2001. However, stopping political violence and achieving peace to facilitate political accord and transparent elections have proven difficult on the troubled island.4 Argentina contributed to UN Stabilization Mission with 600 soldiers, a mobile hospital, a water processing plant, and diverse other equipment. This involvement was approved by Congress in June 2004 after a heated debate in which the opposition questioned the decision.5 However, once again, the capacity of opposition forces (within and outside the governing party) to counter-balance or veto the executive power initiatives was very limited. Peronist governments usually rely on large majorities in Congress and the party has a long tradition of amalgamating within itself different streams and coping with internal dissent. This, combined with high concentration of political and

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economic resources in the hands of the president and long-entrenched clientelistic networks, neutralizes potential veto players. These mechanisms worked well during Kirchner’s term, when an unusually high rate of economic growth provided the government with abundant resources to buy support. In the last years of the Néstor Kirchner administration and following the president’s initiatives, Argentina has also provided humanitarian assistance to Haiti, has participated in several missions of the UN White Helmets and has promoted further commitment to the democratic process within the Rio Group (Follietti 2005; Micha 2005). It has also been part of the so-called “2x4 mechanism,” together with Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay.6 Since its creation in May 2005 by the foreign affairs and defense bureaucracies of the countries involved, this mechanism aims at the coordination of positions and actions on Haiti; it was expanded to a “broader 2x7” in August that year with the incorporation of Ecuador, Peru, and Guatemala. In early 2005 Argentina proposed a plan to the UN involving comprehensive aid to Haiti, including institutional, financial, and political aspects (Clarín 01/13/05). When President Préval toured Argentina and other South American countries in search of cooperation with his governmental plans, in March 2006, President Kirchner reinforced his commitment to support the democratization process in Haiti and suggested further social, political, technical, and economic cooperation measures to extend and coordinate foreign aid to Haiti (Clarín 03/13/06; La Nación 03/13-15/06). Several officials interviewed agreed on the increasing importance of Argentina’s technical and humanitarian aid to Haiti over the last few years. Intense cooperation implies that the island has become one of the most frequent destinations for their official trips.7 Explaining Argentina’s Involvement in Haiti

As on other foreign policy issues, Argentina’s support for democracy in Haiti during the 1990s was largely determined by President Menem’s attempt to strengthen ties with the United States. The commitment to democratic values was a way of showing alignment with hegemonic principles. This did not respond to any external pressure. It was rather viewed as functional to a structural reformist project.8 Hence, as part of the government’s effort to construct an image of a credible and reliable partner in the defense of Western ideas, Argentina supported the American approach to the Haitian question.9 Minister Di Tella admitted that Haiti had no economic relevance for Argentina and unveiled

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secondary motivations. He justified the country’s involvement and increasingly high profile on the basis of a demonstration effect: it was expected that the regional responses to the 1991 crisis would dissuade other potential coup leaders (Clarín 10/10/91). In addition, there was another motivation to become involved in Haiti that stemmed from domestic politics. This was a good opportunity to complete the restructuring of the armed forces favored by the Menem administration as part of a set of policies aimed at eradicating the military problem (e.g., amnesties, privatization of the military assets, new appointments, etc.). Haiti provided a new role with international relevance and a new task that encouraged re-training and professionalization.10 In terms of the analytical role of domestic variables, it is worth emphasizing that this was a top-down initiative, not a policy adopted out of the military’s interests or claims. Once again, the changes in foreign policy between Menem’s and De la Rúa’s administrations were not remarkable, though the latter made an effort to re-approach Latin America (see examples in Bernal-Meza 2002). Hence, there was foreign policy continuity in the area of democracy promotion, and Argentina’s involvement in Haiti was maintained. It allowed showing the will to collaborate with the United States at a time when domestic needs were at stake: financial support was being sought to cope with increasing economic recession. Going to Haiti was also an opportunity to commit to regional endeavors in the framework of a renewed interest in being part of Latin America. This position was portrayed as consistent with the government’s support for a “responsible diplomacy” that went beyond humanitarian aid and the defense of a revised notion of the non-intervention principle: “neither intervention nor indifference.”11 President Duhalde also aimed at reinforcing ties with Latin America. Thus, he promoted consensus and coordination of policies within MERCOSUR and the Rio Group. Given the transitional (post2001 crisis) and fragile character of this interim government, Argentina maintained a low profile in international affairs while strengthening ties with neighbors—especially with Brazil—as a way of building up support in the aftermath of the crisis. However, due precisely to the domestic transition, defending democracy abroad acquired a highly symbolic role. This is documented by Gomes Saraiva (2006), who argues that, under Duhalde, cooperation with, and commitment to, the promotion of democracy in other countries was an instrumental means to strengthening democratic institutions at home. In short, foreign policy served domestic political needs in dire times.

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Other sources confirm this view and help to understand how regional political cooperation has shaped policymakers’ perceptions of available options. According to Juan Gabriel Valdés, former political head of the UN Stabilization Mission, the February 2004 crisis in Haiti implied a change in the US approach to the problem. Facing the failure of previous efforts and the need to focus on other foreign policy priorities (i.e., Iraq), Washington encouraged Latin American countries’ involvement and leadership in Haiti. Brazil had its own motivations to accept, namely to increase its influence and prestige in international affairs and obtain a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. A phone call from US Secretary of State Colin Powell to President Ricardo Lagos accounts for Chile’s immediate response. Chile had shortly before opposed US policy towards Iraq but was seeking a free trade agreement with the United States. Thus, despite criticisms from several political forces,12 a gesture of rapprochement seemed appropriate and timely. President Lagos committed to sending troops in 72 hours. Given Brazil’s and Chile’s moves, Argentina followed suit.13 In other words, the main motivation for Argentina at that particular time is to be found in regional political dynamics. As several sources suggest, Argentina probably had a greater interest in not being excluded from a collective initiative than in going to Haiti.14 This interrelated with other domestic variables. As explained in previous chapters, President Néstor Kirchner was coping with legitimacy and coalition building problems at the beginning of his term. His approach to this issue seems to be related to those vulnerabilities. Although foreign policy was not a priority in his administration and was not subject to a comprehensive and clear design, he often expressed a will to acquire autonomy from Washington’s dictates. According to Eduardo Sigal (former Deputy Secretary for Latin American Integration, Ministry of Foreign Affairs), in 2005, “Argentina has promoted an InterAmerican agenda that is different from the one proposed by the US” (quoted in Gomes Saraiva 2006, pp. 16). The UN Stabilization Mission carries that symbolic content: it has been encouraged by the United States but led by Latin American countries. Thus, it indirectly contributed to the government’s goal of reinserting Argentina in regional affairs (as illustrated by Llenderrozas 2006) and assured policy continuity and consistency. In this way, the Kirchner government walked a fine line between autonomy and confrontation. This shows that, for less developed and unstable countries, questions of imagebuilding and identity are as crucial as power and material interests. Nonetheless, Kirchner’s endorsement of a multilateral mission with a strong Latin American presence was also related to two other factors:

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the intention to be consistent with past involvement in the issue (i.e., previous missions to Haiti) and the attempt to counter-balance Brazil’s leadership, which the president perceived as a zero-sum game.15 Once again, it is worth noting the above intention not be excluded from regional dynamics. Lastly, according to Tripodi and Villar (2005, pp. 25), a specific domestic politics factor also played an important role in Kirchner’s decision to engage in Haiti: the need to mend relations with the military after some of his initial policies (mainly, the dismissal of high ranking officers) and statements about past human rights violations had generated some tensions in the first few months of his term. In sum, Argentina’s continuous and increasing involvement in Haiti has to be understood in the light of motivations that have changed and evolved over time. Three factors stand out: (a) regional dynamics that have progressively locked Latin America’s Southern Cone in cooperative efforts to address common problems; (b) the attempt to build up (domestic and external) credibility and support immediately after crises and during critical transitions, and (c) the need of democracies still in a process of consolidation to find a new role for the military and to rebuild civil-military relations. The crisis in Haiti provided a good opportunity to work on these three counts. On the one hand, it required cooperation to build regional consensus and implement a multilateral approach to find a peaceful and democratic solution. On the other hand, it opened the possibility of working on identity and reputation issues by acquiescing to the United States’ demands under the guise of the unquestionable principle of regional and humanitarian solidarity, which represented an additional card in the negotiation for US support for other policy goals (mainly political and economic). Lastly, the nature of the mission required military cooperation. Haiti has become one of the most important international peace missions in which the armed forces of Argentina, Chile, and Brazil have collaborated and has prompted new initiatives. This has been important for countries that had a long record of rivalry and conflict in the past and needed to promote the re-training and professionalization of the armed forces and the re-focusing of their activities away from domestic politics. Conclusions

As the previous analysis shows, Argentina’s motivation to go to Haiti has varied across administrations, though the involvement has been constant over time and has increased lately—at least in the perception of public officials in charge of this policy under Kirchner. The explanatory

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factors identified above correspond to the variables suggested in the analytical framework (see Chapter 3). They were closely linked to the vicissitudes of domestic politics, rather than to ideological considerations or systemic pressures. Although the relationship with the United States usually influences to some extent foreign policy choices, it did not have a direct impact on Argentina’s involvement in Haiti. Agreeing with the superpower on the defense and promotion of democracy in general, and acquiescing with participation in a multilateral force in particular, has not been the result of direct foreign pressure or an autonomous goal in itself, but rather a strategy unilaterally decided by Argentine incumbents that proved functional to other goals. (Even in the case of the Menem administration—the most prone to alignment with the United States—the Haiti card was instrumental to signaling the commitment with a new policy orientation.) The tumultuous nature of domestic politics too often posed more urgent needs. Argentine decision makers have used foreign policy to indirectly address those needs, whether the latter be building credibility, crafting supporting coalitions, or re-designing relations with domestic actors (namely, the military). With respect to the research questions that guided this study, then, domestic instability had an indirect role in the outcomes to the extent that the policy context was never one of complete stability and routinization, but rather one that called attention and placed in the governmental agenda issues that required immediate attention and creative solutions, such as the regime vulnerability created by the latent and resilient military problem. Also, in times of high instability and crucial transitions (e.g., early 1990s, 2002, 2003-2005), incumbents intensified the use of symbolic actions in this policy area to signal their commitment to democracy and this contributed to reinforce policy continuity and consistency trends. Obviously, symbolism in this instance resonates less with domestic politics than in other instances, because it refers to the attachment to democratic and humanitarian principles but does not evoke any additional images as the revolution and anti-imperial policies do in the Cuban question. This instance of democracy promotion also confirms the top-down and highly concentrated character of foreign policy decisionmaking. The executive power played a crucial role in deciding when and how to become involved in this policy at the regional level, while foreign affairs officials played a secondary role mainly focused on implementation. Also, high presidential involvement facilitated the alignment or neutralization of opposition forces (e.g., in 1994 and 2004), allowing the executive power to maintain a set course. Personal styles and

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motivations account in this case for the timing and characteristics of the outcome (for instance, Menem’s search of a high profile in international affairs, the impact of his charismatic leadership in maintaining party discipline, and Kirchner’s competitive view of relations with Brazil). As for cooperation, Haiti is the instance of democracy promotion in which the impact of the variable “engagement in regional multilateral endeavors” is most evident, since building up peace and democratic institutions in Haiti has been a collective effort. For the reasons exposed above, Argentina’s engagement can be characterized as intense and increasing throughout the period under consideration. In relative terms, this variable has weighted in the decision to go to Haiti than more than the other two and it has had a greater impact in this instance of democracy promotion than in the other two. By all accounts, regional dynamics that have consolidated over time and created incentives to maintain and increase cooperation in several policy areas rendered it almost unthinkable to renege from commitments. Especially for countries (like Brazil and Argentina) that aim for a position of leadership in regional affairs, the cost of not participating in multilateral efforts seems to be higher than that of becoming involved in even distant and relatively irrelevant issues. The evidence well illustrates a point made earlier in this volume, that is, that the regional integration in the Southern Cone has generated externalities. They started as an economic (mainly commercial) endeavor between Brazil and Argentina but have gone beyond that sphere and now involve several other Latin American countries under different statuses (i.e., full, associate, and observer members). It has generated mechanisms of cooperation that gradually modified the zerosum game perspective of international relations that has historically marked decisionmakers’ perceptions, turned consultation into a daily practice, and allowed for the development of a mutually beneficial view of interdependencies. The fact that cooperation has extended to the military arena is a major advance in the redefinition of perceptions and interests among the Southern Cone countries. The partnership within the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti has contributed to reinforce this trend. Finally, it is worth noting that the political crisis in that little island country has also allowed for a rearrangement of roles within the interAmerican system. Since the responsibility for the UN mission switched from the United States to a multilateral force mainly constituted by Latin American countries, it has created an unprecedented situation in which the historical disputes about the legitimacy of foreign intervention, the respect of the non-intervention principle, the limits of autonomy, and even the effectiveness of international organizations entered a new phase

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characterized not simply by increasing cooperation and diffusion of power but also by shared responsibility for the outcomes. As this book goes to press, these issues are being revisited since the international community (led, once again, by the United States) is trying to help Haiti recover from a devastating earthquake on January 12, 2010.

Notes 1 The Contadora Group was created in January 1983 by Colombia, Mexico, Panama, and Venezuela. Brazil, Argentina, Peru, and Uruguay formed the Support Group in 1986 to enhance the political influence of the Contadora peace proposal. These two groups merged into the Rio Group or Group of Eight in 1986. The Rio Group is formed today by most Latin American and Caribbean countries and serves as a relatively loose mechanism of consultation and cooperation. 2 It is worth noting that most neighboring countries opposed the military option. Argentina was in the same camp with Anglophone Caribbean nations, but Brazil abstained in the UN vote to authorize a multinational force; Mexico, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Uruguay came out against it (La Nación 09/20/94). 3 A Brazilian military officer was in charge of the military command of the UN Stabilization Mission, while a Chilean diplomat held the political command. 4 For details, see “Haiti’s Elections: The Case for a Short Delay,” a Policy Briefing of the International Crisis Group, Latin America/Caribbean Briefing N° 9, Port-au-Prince/Brussels, November 25, 2005. 5 The arguments in favor emphasized Argentina’s responsibility as a member of the international system, the importance of participating in multilateral efforts and humanitarian missions, and the commitment to act in consonance with MERCOSUR members. The opposition questioned the legitimacy and modality of foreign actors’ intervention in Haiti, the lack of specific national interests in the issue, the cost of alignment with US policies and the support for the non-democratic Haitian government. See Versión Taquigráfica, Cámara de Diputados, Orden del Día 481, April 16, 2004; Versión Taquigráfica, Cámara de Senadores de la Nación, 12° Reunión, 10° Sesión Ordinaria, June 2, 2004. 6 Interview with Rafael Bielsa, Buenos Aires, 07/04/06. 7 Interview with Leonardo Franco, Buenos Aires, 07/27/06, Marcos Breton, Buenos Aires, 07/19/06, and Silvia Canela, Buenos Aires, 07/28/06. 8 Interview with Andrés Cisneros, Buenos Aires, 06/14/06. 9 Facing the possibility of an increasing massive emigration of Haitians to the United States, the American government sought consensus to manage the crisis. Despite doubts about Aristide, it favored a compromise solution. 10 Interview with Carlos Carrasco, Buenos Aires, 07/04/06. 11 Interview with Adalberto Rodríguez Giavarini, Buenos Aires, 06/02/06. 12 For domestic repercussions of Lagos’ decision, see Llenderrozas 2006. 13 Interview with Juan Gabriel Valdés, Buenos Aires, 08/16/07. 14 Interview with Federico Storani, Buenos Aires, 07/18/06. See also Micha 2005.

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15 According to Eduardo Valdés, the president held a distrustful view of relations with Brazil based on the old tradition of rivalry and competition for regional leadership. Interview, Buenos Aires, 06/21/06.

7 Conclusion

Making sense of the political regional dimension of Argentina’s recent foreign policy behavior led to a close examination of its positions and actions towards the three main instances of democracy promotion in the hemisphere: Cuba, Haiti, and a number of politico-institutional crises in South America. In particular, this study has aimed at uncovering the mechanisms that led Argentina to exhibit a strong commitment and an intense and persistent activism in the international efforts to defend or promote democracy, even though most of these instances were apparently inconsequential from the point of view of the national interest and did not affect the interest of any specific social actor as to generate pressures for this kind of policy. The findings point out to three crucial explanatory factors. Two of them are strictly domestic factors and interacted closely. First, there is a volatile policy context characterized by major political and economic crises and transitions, with short periods of relative and precarious stability in between. This creates an almost permanent sense of emergency and, by putting into question the legitimacy, credibility, and support for the government, constrains policy options, establishes priorities, and makes more likely the delegation and concentration of decisionmaking power on the already powerful executive power. It is this last point (the key role played by the executive) what helps explaining the way policy contexts influence policymaking and highlights the second explanatory factor: presidential involvement in foreign policymaking. Presidents have been traditionally involved in policymaking in general and diplomacy in particular. They often used critical situational conditions to justify their personalistic and unilateral (rather than delegative and consensual) use of that power, a tendency well embedded in Argentine political culture. But crises also magnified the symbolic character of certain issues (e.g., regime vulnerability, traumatic memories about authoritarianism), thus requiring from the executive to

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signal its real positions and intentions. Within this agent-structure relationship then, clear and strong commitment to democracy promotion at the hemispheric level has been a tool for governments under siege to strengthen their image of being in control and attuned with the challenges at home and abroad. The three instances analyzed here show that in times of high instability and crucial transitions (e.g., mid-1980s, early 1990s, 2002, 2003-2005), presidential decisions within governments of different orientation tended to include a more intense use of symbolic actions than usual. In other words, a political area of foreign policy like democracy promotion, in which highly symbolic actions prevail, is more likely to be used instrumentally because governments coping with an unstable context have the opportunity (and often the need, as in the Argentine case) of “overacting” to signal their commitments and, therefore, gain credibility and governability. They have to do so especially when the situation is highly unstable at home; they can probably “relax” a little bit when the context becomes more stable. In recent Argentina, the fact that unstable policy contexts have been almost a constant and some decisionmaking practices are well-entrenched and reproduced in the political system created a basic common ground of conditions, motivations, and procedures that persisted across administrations, thus contributing to continuity and relatively high consistency over time in this policy area. However, although Argentine presidents are empowered with a whole array of political, economic, and institutional resources to attain their goals, they also have some room to decide how to use those resources and to what extent, and how, to exercise their leadership role in the policymaking process. They have the means that favor unilateralism and diminish the impact of bureaucratic structures and other potential veto players, but individuals can still make a difference by choosing how to use them. For example, some presidents are more prone to concentration than others; some are micromanagers, while others follow the advice of an inner circle; some are more charismatic than others and cultivate extensively the rhetoric and symbolic dimension of their relation with constituencies; some see their involvement in foreign policy as a means to attain personal aspirations, usually related to having a high international profile. Thus, the individual level of analysis allows for an account of some nuances in the outcomes. The fact that various Argentine presidents adopted different styles of involvement in foreign policymaking, has helped to make sense of apparent contradictions and minor inconsistencies in the implementation of democracy promotion policies.

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Focusing on this key decisionmaking unit has also highlighted the secondary role played by foreign policy bureaucracies, other institutions, and other actors within society in the making of foreign policy. High presidential involvement not only allows for the use of the president’s leading role to appeal to sensitive, highly symbolic issues when the policy context so requires, but also to avoid and/or neutralize potential opposition from other actors. Presidents have also been crucial actors in terms of regional cooperation. The fate of MERCOSUR has been linked to the active presidential diplomacy that always maintained a relatively weak and conflictive economic integration alive. Presidents always preserved the political dimension of the agreement despite other disputes, and often unlocked negotiations and pushed the process further. At the same time, regional agreements and commitments shaped the executive’s agenda to the extent that they introduced regularity in consultation practices and altered the costs of certain courses of action, enabling or precluding some choices and determining the viability and nature of multilateral endeavors. Hence, the third interrelated explanatory factor lies in the realm of regional politics. Contrary to numerous studies focusing on the economic dimension of regional processes, this work has emphasized the positive externalities of regional integration that, among other things, have reinforced a consensus on democracy defense and promotion in the hemisphere. Regional cooperation dynamics that helped collaboration and consultation to be extended to many spheres (especially among Southern Cone countries) made old rivals like Argentina and Brazil become partners in several endeavors and become increasingly interdependent. For middle states like Argentina—probably with more at stake in this interdependent relationship—regional (and increasingly institutionalized) consensus around certain principles such as democratic rule, raised the costs of dissent and isolation. This is particular important for states with an erratic reputation, like Argentina, since cooperative games enhance the importance of image-building, reputation, and credibility. Thus, cooperation in the Southern Cone has had remarkable implications: (a) it has encourage a definition of national interests in relational terms; (b) it has promoted negotiated and multilateral solutions to common threats and problems, and (c) it has encouraged commitment to, and compliance with, the consensual norms at the international level. As a result, for individual nation-states, engagement in regional cooperation has indirectly provided extra incentives for policy continuity and consistency.

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Last but not least, the importance of these developments in the Southern Cone brings up new research questions: is it possible that subregional cooperation is ameliorating the impact of big powers’ influence and pressures? This study indicates that, in the specific domain of democracy promotion, US preferences translate into structural power that shapes options for smaller countries but not as coercive power that imposes policy choices. From a theoretical point of view, this speaks to the generalized view among Latin Americanists who have traditionally emphasized power games and systemic constraints in a realist and/or neo-realist fashion. In other words, the Argentine case shows that US influence is part of the presidents’ calculus and choices, especially in times of crisis and financial urgencies when Washington’s support is crucial to close some deals and gain governability capacity and credibility; it enters in the picture through the leaders’ perceptions of what is possible within a certain (difficult) context. This was confirmed in several interviews conducted for this study. In the area of democracy promotion, there is no evidence of strong political pressure from the United States that could have changed the outcomes; therefore, it cannot be included as one of the main explanatory factors. For instance, although the US government always influenced the votes on the Cuban question at the UNHRC, Argentina opposed several times and this did not translate into high costs or a serious deterioration of the relationship. These and other instances in the preceding chapters illustrate that Argentina was using foreign policy instrumentally to achieve other goals rather than responding at external demands or pressures. It remains to be further explored to what extent this was possible only now because of the new sub-regional dynamics. So far, the findings complement some of the insights of the literature on democracy promotion about the motivation of states to get engaged in multilateral endeavors to defend democracy. Particularly, it lends support to the studies that emphasize domestic politics explanations and link foreign policy with political regimes’ vulnerability and instability. The conclusions also complement well the studies of other areas of Argentine foreign policy, such as security, in which international cooperation with Brazil and the creation of an international regime is driven by political leaders’ concern with recasting relations with the military during the transition to democracy period (e.g., Sotomayor Velázquez 2004); despite differences in goals and elites’ perceptions of relative gains, the institutionalization of confidence-building measures and the intensification of cooperative security in the Southern Cone is actually another example of the positive externalities generated by the

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regional integration process in the last two decades (among others, Escudé and Fontana 1998). Likewise, migration policy is another area in which cooperation has intensified lately, leading to an incipient common view among MERCOSUR members and formal agreements to regulate the displacement of people within the bloc. Some studies indicate that the search for such a consensus and multilateral treatment of the problem is driven by the governments’ perception of the ineffectiveness of unilateral measures to cope with the destabilizing effects of migration flows on domestic politics and economics (Maguid 2007; Mármora 2003). Again, unstable contexts did not preclude the peaceful resolution of differences; instead, regional cooperation and international institution building have been functional to attain domestic governability. This study also confirms the assumptions of some studies on middle states’ use of symbolic actions with resonance within domestic politics and national political culture to reinforce certain policy orientation and discredit other alternatives. Those actions become an instrument of legitimation for the government in power. This is particularly crucial for incumbents in highly unstable policy contexts. Moreover, this study provides empirical support to the concept or relational autonomy used by Russell and Tokatlián (2003) in the context of the Latin American Southern Cone international relations. The preceding chapters illustrate when and how nation-states choose to commit and cooperate with others, as well as the difficulties of doing so, adding to these authors’ contributions the idea that, for highly unstable democracies, relational autonomy is more often a practice that helps to construct new relations and redefine identities than a condition or a component of the national interest. But, at the same time, this study also questions their assumption that relational autonomy is essential to the strengthening of democracy at the domestic level. As explained above, context of crisis and presidential involvement reinforce and perpetuate each other; the latter recreates delegative, personalistic, and unilateral practices that undermine the development and strength of democratic institutions. For instance, this study has showed that, although democracy looked more stable under Menem because he “solved” the military problem early in his first term (i.e., no more coup attempts) and stabilized the economy, people enjoyed the consumption boom, business and unions were offered incentives to support structural reforms, and the exchange rate system made “financial coups” less likely, the president’s preference for certain policymaking mechanisms (decrees, vetoes, bypassing congress, manipulating the courts, corruption, clientelism, willingness to overstay in power, managing the party as his own private business, etc.) showed little respect for the quality of democracy; his

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actions were detrimental to the building up of transparent, accountable, and efficient democratic institutions. One could still find similar tendencies in the Kirchners’ style today. The popular reactions during the 2001 crisis indicated society’s rejection of those practices. Therefore, an activist role in democracy promotion abroad did not correlate with democratic consolidation at home: governments may have benefited from using foreign policy instrumentally but this did not improve the stability and quality of domestic democracy. In sum, while relational autonomy may have favored the formation of pro-democracy international norms and regimes (such as the OAS Resolution 1080, the Inter-American Democratic Charter, etc.), these foreign policy actions have not necessarily contributed to more or better democratization at home—at least, not in cases like Argentina, where democracy promotion abroad is used primarily in instrumental terms and democracy at home is far from strong, substantive, and consolidated. As explained below, other studies concluded that the correlation does not hold for the case of Brazil either. Burges and Daudelin, for instance, argue that Brazil’s attitude towards the defense of democracy promotion was “supremely ambiguous” from 1990 to 2005 and not correlated with domestic democratic consolidation; they argue: “As Brazil democratized, in other words, its diplomacy did not become more forceful in its defense of the democracies in the hemisphere” (2007, pp. 121). In addition, the evidence also questions widely accepted assumptions of foreign policy studies: (1) regime instability and vulnerability, far from leading to more erratic, inconsistent, and aggressive behavior, may encourage a definition of interest in relational terms as a way of gaining support from external partners, thus encouraging respect for international commitments, search for peaceful ways of resolving crises, and the further development of regional cooperation; (2) while foreign policy is always a tool to achieve domestic goals in any state, some (highly sensitive and symbolic) foreign policy actions may be particularly instrumental to recasting power relations, (re)building institutions, and establishing governability in highly unstable contexts; (3) less developed states in a highly interdependent environment pursue more than power and relative gains; they are seriously concerned with the kinds of assets that are crucial in cooperative games: image, reputation, and identity as reliable and predictable partners; (4) in transitional democracies with significant institutional weaknesses, the source and characteristics of foreign policymaking are to be found in the motivation and interests of the executive power rather than in societal or bureaucratic dynamics.

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Does this mean that Argentina has switched from erraticism to consistency and predictability in foreign policy? Yes, no, and maybe. Regional integration in the Southern Cone has locked the country into some significant (political and economic) commitments and encouraged the development of an increasingly relational notion of the national interest. This new (cooperative) trait of foreign policy seems unlikely to fade away. Likewise, the international consensus on respect for democratic rule looks strong across regions. It has become a legitimating principle for new and transitional democracies and governments, like Argentina’s, in search of foreign investment, financial aid, and a profitable insertion in world markets. It has also been embraced by domestic social actors as the preferred form of government, despite a certain disappointment with the performance of democratic institutions. It is plausible, then, to expect more policy continuity in this realm over the immediate future. This allows for a tentatively affirmative answer to the question, at the general level of policy orientation. Nevertheless, the level of commitment may vary in each particular situation and over time. As the previous chapters show, a detailed analysis of the policymaking process (and, particularly, of presidential involvement) is necessary to explain some ambiguities and nuances of that general policy within and across administrations (e.g., the timing, content, rationale, decisionmaking style, etc., at specific moments). The fact that decisionmaking remains concentrated in the presidency, still relegating other institutions and bureaucratic bodies and routines to a secondary role, may increase the chances of variations in foreign policy behavior across administrations. This would indicate that erraticism is likely to persist insofar as Argentine political leaders continue to prefer unilateral decisionmaking, non-deliberative procedures, and noninstitutional practices. In addition, there is one more element that might be a source of apparent contradictions or tensions in the future: democracy promotion itself is a moving target. The content of that policy has varied over the years. The international consensus has gone from ending dictatorships and carrying out free elections to more substantive issues such as the quality of democracy and even redistributive aspects of it. Demands are considerable, today, vis-à-vis those substantive dimensions of democracy. Therefore, it remains to be seen whether and how the interAmerican community is willing to endorse and enforce further foreign scrutiny and actions regarding the domestic affairs of any of its members. It is possible that even the most salient activists on this front,

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like Argentina, may turn to more lukewarm positions out of fear of becoming the target of that scrutiny. There is also the possibility of a conditional answer. This study has focused only on a specific area of foreign policy (the political one), a concrete issue (democracy promotion), and a discrete period (25 years). Hence, it is not possible to generalize about continuity and consistency in foreign policy in general unless further research is conducted and comparisons are made across policy areas over a longer period in time. Also, as constructivists argue, the redefinition of interests and roles is a complex and rare process involving the examination and breaking of pre-existing conceptions of self and of others by the parties involved. For identities to change, the rewards of changing some practices have to exceed the costs (Wendt 1992). The empirical evidence is not conclusive in this respect. Regional integration and democratization seem to have encouraged these processes and contributed to transform competitive into collaborative roles among Latin American Southern Cone states. I gather from interviews that Argentine policymakers are probably more conscious than ever of the benefits of learning how to play with others. But the frequent commercial disputes and long stalemate of the MERCOSUR project, as well as different approaches to the relation with the United States, to support for the FTAA, and to handle regional political crises, among other issues, cast doubts on whether the process of de- and re-construction has been completed. This suggests the need to explore the issue further. Coming back to the conclusions above, comparative questions arise. Is the main argument helpful to understand other cases? This is an empirical question that requires exploring a large number of cases within and outside Latin America. That obviously exceeds the scope of this study. However, a glimpse of the Brazilian case based on some secondary sources may provide a tentative answer and suggest new research avenues. Like Argentina, Brazil has lately been very active in the resolution of several political and institutional crises in South America. It has additionally led the multilateral force in Haiti to restore peace and democracy in the island, but only after opposing the terms of the UN resolution to declare an embargo, and exhibiting some differences with the US approach. In opposition to Argentina, Brazil has been aligned with most Latin American and European countries on the question of Cuba; it has always abstained from condemning Cuba for violations of human rights in the UNHRC and, since the reestablishment of bilateral relations in 1986, has signed several economic cooperation agreements with the island. At the rhetorical level, it has always defended the

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maintenance of the democratic order. Its commitment is embodied in the signature of regional integration agreements containing democratic clauses, as well as in the endorsement of the institutionalization of democratic principles promoted within the inter-American system in the last two decades. Yet, it has been reluctant to endorse forceful interventions by the OAS and others in some cases. In general terms, while Argentina has been classified as being in the camp of the “activists” within the inter-American community, Brazil has held a more “centrist” role that contributed to bridging extreme positions by other members (Bloomfield 1994). In other words, the foreign policy outcome is not exactly the same across the three instances of democracy promotion selected, preventing us from doing a complete controlled comparison. However, the exercise here is to assess whether and how the explanatory factors identified in the case of Argentina could help illuminate the Brazilian case. The context of transition to democracy in the mid-1980s seems to have had a similar impact. In the case of the initial agreements that led to MERCOSUR, the political motivation behind Brazil’s behavior was very similar to Argentina’s. Both countries were undergoing difficult transitions to democracy. There is plenty of evidence of the common view of the Sarney and Alfonsín administrations about using foreign policy (and sub-regional integration in particular) as a tool to strengthen the two fragile new democracies. The defense of democracy was at the center of their bilateral agreements (Fournier 1999; Cason 2000). Also, the economic transition (from the import-substitution industrialization model to the market-centered one) in the following decade also had an impact. Under President Collor de Mello (1990-1992), foreign policy was shaped by the need to gain international credibility and attract foreign investment for an innovative (neoliberal) policy orientation (Seabra de Cruz Junior et al. 1993). However, Brazil’s political and economic transitions have adopted a different pace and modality from Argentina’s. As explained in Chapter 5, President Collor’s impeachment did not represent a disruption of the democratic institutional order but it was a setback in the implementation of market-oriented policies. Since then, the implementation of structural reforms has followed a long, gradual, and negotiated process that contrasts with the drastic and sweeping approaches adopted by other Latin American countries (including Argentina). This allowed the system to re-accommodate in times of crises (e.g., the 1999 devaluation) without exacerbating problems of regime legitimacy and vulnerability as in the case of Argentina. In other words, Brazil has moved slowly but consistently towards the consolidation of major transformations, while

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in Argentina instability has been more accentuated and this probably led policy elites to feel almost constantly swamped by domestic issues and more prone to use foreign policy instrumentally. Simultaneously, Brazil has redefined its foreign policy to adapt and benefit from global trends while expanding its ties with other countries and regions and acquiring a more prominent international role, while Argentina has been mainly focused on MERCOSUR. Brazil’s adaptation to globalization trends may be seen as a point of similarity with other Latin American countries. However, there are important differences in the conceptual definition of that adaptation that translate into distinct actions when implemented. Among other things, it implied that Brazil played a different role on key issues on the inter-American agenda. As Hurrell (2005, pp. 74-75) indicates: Brazil adopted its own particular understandings of the dramatic changes in the international environment that followed the end of the Cold War and the perceived intensification of globalization. It moved toward economic liberalization; but the process of economic reform domestically remained more complex and checkered than elsewhere. Many aspects of its previous foreign policy were altered; but the concern with power, national interest, and even autonomy by no means disappeared. It became increasingly prepared to engage actively within international institutions and to accept many emerging international norms on such issues as democracy and human rights, forming international institutions to secure a greater role for itself and of building coalitions to promote its own interests. It sought to avoid confrontation with the United States and promoted improved relations with the U.S. government, but was reluctant to become too closely involved with many aspects of the regional agenda (for example, on drugs or democracy promotion), and sought to use regional integration around the Mercado Común del Cono Sur (Southern Cone Common Market, or MERCOSUR) to negotiate the terms of a possible hemispheric free trade area (the Free Trade Agreement for the Americas, or FTAA).

Within this framework, then, sub-regional cooperation has been seen as compatible with and complementary to a global view, though also needing to be pursued gradually and with caution, contributing to a general approach that Guedes da Costa (2001, pp. 93) called “pacing and hedging.” This has to be understood in the context of Brazil’s long tradition of consistent behavior in foreign policy, one which includes a global view of the country’s role and goals in international affairs.1 The key link with domestic issues has always resided in the question of development:

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foreign policy has been understood as a tool to promote economic growth and autonomy, although in the 1990s that goal was redefined in terms of a competitive role in world markets, increasing participation in international trade regimes and multilateral fora, and diversification of partnerships. Vigevani and Cepaluni (2007, pp. 1319) argue, “The Haitian case perfectly exemplifies the meaning of autonomy through diversification. Diversification not only means the search for broadening the range of relations with non-traditional partner states. It also implies the capacity for intervention in areas that are not of immediate interest and refer to international recognized public goods.” In general terms, this is a policy orientation that President Cardoso (1995-2003) personally encouraged and President Da Silva (2003-2010) has continued. It highlights the movement from the realistic/geopolitical vision of the Cold War period to a highly cooperative strategy. In addition, the characteristics of the Brazilian foreign policymaking process show both similarities and differences with the Argentine case. In both cases, there is a democratic deficit: the process is not open to the participation of social actors, and decisions are highly concentrated at the level of the presidency. This has been evident in the negotiations leading to sub-regional integration (Cason 2000). Brazilian presidents have always been at the center of that process. As in Argentina, the president is endowed with multiple resources for initiating actions and enjoys broad powers to conduct foreign policy. Nonetheless, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (known as Itamaraty, after its original office building in Rio de Janeiro) is a powerful bureaucratic institution, which has a long and prestigious reputation. It has provided a great measure of continuity and consistency over decades and across different political regimes (Tollefson 2002). Hence, although the role of the president is as strong as in other Latin American countries and presidential leadership and style certainly have an impact on policymaking, the role of Itamaraty in shaping foreign policy is evident. Thus it contrasts with the underestimation of bureaucratic expertise and with the secondary role the Ministry of Foreign Affairs plays in Argentina. This implies a relatively higher degree of institutionalization and decentralization of foreign policymaking, as well as the prevalence of long-term goals and principles. Consequently, the president might have fewer chances of unilaterally appealing to emotional and highly politicized issues to enhance the instrumental and symbolic character of certain foreign policy actions. Institutionalized ideas, practices, and strategies may provide the anchor in Brazil. As for democracy promotion, Burges and Daudelin (2007) studied Brazil’s behavior between 1990 and 2005, with special emphasis on 27

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political crises in Central and Latin America. Despite the existence of a continuous rhetorical commitment across administrations, they found some policy inconsistencies in terms of the kind of reaction to different crises (e.g., more or less indifference and ambivalence, more or less passivity/activity). For example, Brazil opposed going beyond a declaration in the case of the Peruvian 1992 crisis (Fujimori’s autogolpe) and showed the same tepid attitude in the 2000 electoral manipulation crisis. When considering only the dozen of cases where the threat to and/or breakdown of democratic rule was most serious, this study finds that except for two (Paraguay in 1996 and Venezuela in 2002), Brazil was always passive, indifferent, and/or opposed to norm enforcement (2007, pp. 117). More importantly, the authors did not find a strong and progressive correlation between democratic consolidation at home and higher consistency in Brazil’s pro-democracy foreign policy; ambiguity spans the whole period, though under President Fernando Henrique Cardoso’s two terms (1995-1999, 1999-2003), that policy appeared relatively more consistent than under other administrations. Also, when facing the most severe crises, Brazil preferred to act within sub-regional multilateral organizations, such as the Rio Group and MERCOSUR. Overall, the authors conclude that the key factor at play in the decision to become involved in the defense of democracy was the calculus of the country’s crucial interests. During the 1980s, the transition to democracy created incentives to generate a virtuous circle between democratization at home and abroad (as in the Argentine case). However, as democracy became more consolidated at the domestic level, foreign policy gave priority to other important goals (e.g., to secure sovereignty, to promote regional stability, to have access to energy sources, to gain increasing regional and international influence). This leads the authors to conclude that a realist perspective is the most compelling explanation for Brazilian foreign policy in this realm. In the light of this and some other sources (e.g., Santiso 2003; Hurrell 2005; Steves 2001; Cason 2000), I would argue that, rather than a realist explanation without further qualification, the Brazilian case also requires a detailed examination of the interplay between domestic and foreign policy. Some important aspects of that relationship were suggested in the analysis of the variables ‘policy context’ and ‘presidential involvement’ above. This shows that in this case domestic factors are also relevant in foreign policymaking but, as in the case of Argentina, accounts focusing on social actors, coalition politics, or public opinion remain unconvincing. The key difference between the two cases is that in Brazil, as time passed, a relatively more stable

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political context than in Argentina allowed policymakers to focus on other issues and eliminated the need to use foreign policy instrumentally to strengthen the domestic democratic transition. Also, as in neighboring Argentina, presidential diplomacy has been crucial in the implementation of the policy of defending democracy (e.g., Cardoso’s terms in office made a difference), though a relatively more institutionalized policymaking process and stronger state diminished the chances of regime vulnerability crises and the impact of personalism. It is worth noting that these contrasts in domestic politics also reflected in the different way the regional dynamics affected foreign policy outcomes. The restoration of democracy in 1985 and the transition that followed altered the definition of Brazil’s national interest and the goals of its foreign policy, and this is in turn increased the incentives for regional cooperation in the framework of rising consensus about democratic values. But the link between strengthening democracy at home and abroad became less of an imperative in the 1990s for Brazil and governments could be more selective on when and how to engage in multilateral efforts to solve democratic crises. It is also possible that other (country-specific) factors are at play in this case. For instance, Santiso (2003) suggests that the sources of apparent contradictions in this policy area are to be found in the tensions between the promotion of democracy and the principles of respect for national sovereignty and non-interference in domestic affairs. Brazil’s behavior, thus, has to be understood as a “principled” defense of the national interest. This is consistent with Hurrell’s (2005) argument that Brazilian; policy elites’ perceptions and ideologies (as well as their institutionalization over time) have to be incorporated in the explanation. They have been crucial, for instance, in shaping the relationship with the United States over time. Thus, a full account of Brazil’s engagement in regional endeavors to promote democracy may require a detailed exploration of ideational and normative factors, among others, and their impact on the definition of national interest and the foreign policymaking process. In sum, Brazil offers both similarities and differences with the Argentine case that leave us with some lessons: (1) domestic (interrelated) political variables are highly significant in the analysis of foreign policy in less developed and transitional countries; (2) the level of domestic instability and, consequently, of regime vulnerability seems to have a particular effect on the chances of using some sensitive foreign policy issues instrumentally (and vice versa, relatively higher stability in Brazil made that outcome less likely to happen in the 1990s); (3) the role of the executive branch of government is significant in explaining the modality and timing of foreign policy actions in countries with strong

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presidentialism, but the existence of a relatively stable policy context and a more fragmented and institutionalized policymaking process may move some cases (e.g. Brazil, where presidents are more likely to face some limitations and even vetoes than in Argentina) closer to the bureaucratic politics model of decisionmaking; (4) foreign policy in general, and the political regional dimension of it in particular, cannot be completely understood in terms of power and interest solely; either middle states like Argentina or large powerful players like Brazil are constrained by image and reputation-building concerns and the rules set by previous engagements, but (5) although the regional cooperative dynamic is an important factor in shaping all big and middle state’s positions and actions, it constraints large ones to a lesser extent (i.e., Brazil has a global and long-term view of its foreign policy goals; within that view, sub-regional integration is only one card). Thus, the definition of the national interest includes relational dynamics but, Brazil being the largest, most diversified, and dynamic economy in Latin America, this still goes hand in hand with a relatively higher degree of autonomy and weight in the hemispheric and international games. Finally, what is the theoretical contribution of the analytical framework suggested here? First, this case study has inductively identified some new or underexplored variables that contribute to our understanding of the interplay between domestic politics and foreign policy in transitional democracies. The explanation captures an essential part of the rationale of foreign policy in periods of crises or immediately after critical junctures. It provides relevant insights not only to understand the puzzling Argentine case, but also to compare it with other cases within the region and, eventually, across countries in other regions that have undergone major transitions. Second, it contributes to the latest scholarly efforts to develop comprehensive, multi-causal, and multi-level approaches to the study of foreign policy. It does so by integrating some insights from different streams of thought within international relations theory, thus indirectly contributing to the attempt to increase the connections between foreign policy analysis and the broader field of international relations (e.g., Smith, Hadfield, and Dunne 2008). On the one hand, it gathers, from realism, the focus on power relations that are crucial to rebuilding political regimes’ stability, legitimacy, and governing capability— together with a historically-grounded notion of national interests that is related to both internal and external threats and challenges. On the other hand, both neoliberalism and constructivism provide important insights to explain the impact of cooperation, norms, and principles agreed upon

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at the regional level. And likewise to explain how international consultation and collaboration have contributed to modify states’ priorities, choices, and strategies in situations of complex interdependence, thus promoting further cooperation, strengthening commitments, raising the costs of dissent and inaction, and altering the calculus of the national interest. Constructivism, in particular, can help us analyze policymakers’ definition of situations and understand the dynamics of image-building and identity construction. Third, it fills a gap in the literature by incorporating domestic political variables that had been unexamined in previous studies. It builds upon the work of comparative politics specialists and historians to understand the links between politics and economics in development processes, the importance of informal institutions and practices, and the dynamics of domestic politics in times of major crises and transitions. This is far from diverting attention from the field’s core concerns. It is a way of enriching our analysis with the necessary insights from other political science subfields and disciplines whose interests and boundaries overlap and blur with those of international relations in general and foreign policy analysis in particular. Lastly, it broadens the scope and applicability of foreign policy analysis by addressing key issues that are relevant to countries other than major powers. That is, less developed, less stable and less powerful countries, which have traditionally received less attention. This might raise some doubts and questions: to whom does this matter? Does the discipline need this? Why distract attention and resources toward those issues and cases? The answer lies in the increasing complexity and interdependence of political and economic processes at the systemic level. This has rendered old dichotomies (e.g., domestic versus international, high versus low politics, core versus periphery) obsolete. This study calls attention to the political dimension of foreign policy that has become increasingly important in the post-Cold War era. In this setting, international order, hegemony, and power mechanisms are increasingly relying on consent, policy convergence around certain principles (among others, democracy), and the multilateral management of turmoil and conflicts—especially among, and within, less developed nations.

Notes 1 For a historical overview of Brazil’s foreign policy and the main traits of Brazil’s international identity, see Lafer (2000).

Appendix: List of Interviews

Alconada Sempé, Raúl, Buenos Aires, 06/26/06, current consultant for the OAS, Secretary of Special Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Argentina (1988-1989), Under-Secretary of Latin American Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Argentina (1983-1987). Aller, José, Buenos Aires, 05/12/06, Argentine Economic Counselor in Cuba in charge of diplomatic relations between 1996 and 2005 when the ambassador was recalled to Buenos Aires. Bielsa, Rafael, Buenos Aires, 07/04/06, Minister of Foreign Relations of Argentina (2003-2005), among other high-ranking positions. Breton, Marcos, Buenos Aires, 07/19/06, Director, Central American, Caribbean, and Mexico Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Argentina. Canela, Silvia, Buenos Aires, 07/28/06, Under-Secretary of Economic Coordination, Ministry of Finance (2003-2007), Argentine delegate to the meetings of international donors for Haiti. Cárdenas, Emilio, Buenos Aires, 05/19/06, Argentine Ambassador to the UN (1991-1996). Carrasco, Carlos, Buenos Aires, 07/04/06, Argentine Ambassador to Haiti (1993-1994). Cisneros, Andrés, Buenos Aires, 06/14/06, Vice-Minister of Foreign Relations of Argentina (1991-1999). Despouy, Leandro, Buenos Aires, 06/29/06, Director of Human Rights Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and chief Argentine representative at the UN Commission on Human Rights, Geneva (1984-1989), among other highranking positions in international organizations over the last twenty-five years. Escudé, Carlos, Buenos Aires, 07/05/06, Professor, Universidad del CEMA, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Franco, Leandro, Buenos Aires, 07/27/06, Under-Secretary of Latin American Policy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Argentina (2003-2006). García del Solar, Lucio, Buenos Aires, 06/28/06, former Argentine Ambassador to the US (1981-1989) and the UN (1963-1965), among several other highranking positions at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Argentina over the last four decades. González, Guillermo, Buenos Aires, 06/01/06, Director, International Organizations Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Argentina, former Argentine Ambassador to the US (2001-2002), representative at the UN Commission on Human Rights (1998-1999), and Ambassador to the OAS in the 1970s. Granillo Ocampo, Raúl, Buenos Aires, 05/22/06, Minister of Justice of Argentina (1997-1999), Argentine Ambassador to the US (1993-1997).

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Lanús, Juan Archibaldo, Buenos Aires, 06/05/06, former Argentine Ambassador to France and Argentine representative at the UN Commission on Human Rights, Geneva, among several other diplomatic positions. Licastro, Julián, Buenos Aires, 06/26/06, Argentine Ambassador to Peru (19911999). Listre, Arnoldo, Buenos Aires, 05/12/06, Argentine Ambassador to the UN (2000-2003). McGarrell, Luis, Buenos Aires, 05/09/06, Director, Archives, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Argentina. McKeague, Kezia, Buenos Aires, 05/18/06, M.A. student, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Menem, Eduardo, Buenos Aires, 07/19/06, former Senator (1989-2001), President of the Senate (de facto Vice-President of Argentina when the position was vacant, 1991-1995), and President of the Senate Foreign Affairs Commission. Paradiso, José, Buenos Aires, 07/18/06, Professor of International Relations, Universidad del Salvador, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Petrella, Fernando, Buenos Aires, 05/02/06, Under-Secretary of Foreign Policy (2002), Ambassador to the UN (1996-1998, 1999-2000), Under-Secretary of Latin American Affairs (1994), Vice-Minister of Foreign Relations (1989-1994) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Argentina. Ricardes, Raúl, Buenos Aires, 07/25/06, Director, International Organizations Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Argentina, former Ambassador to the OAS. Rodríguez Giavarini, Adalberto, Buenos Aires, 06/14/06, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Argentina (1999-2001), among other high-ranking positions. Ruiz, Fernando, Buenos Aires, 05/15/06, Journalist, Professor and Researcher, Universidad Austral, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Russell, Roberto, Buenos Aires, 06/20/06, Professor of International Relations, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Salvia, Gabriel C., Buenos Aires, 05/16/06, Chairman and General Director, Center for Opening and Development of Latin America (CADAL, Centro para la Apertura y el Desarrollo de América Latina), Buenos Aires Office. Solari, Horacio, Buenos Aires, 05/04/06, Argentine representative at the UN Commission on Human Rights (2001). Storani, Federico, Buenos Aires, 07/18/06, Minister of Interior of Argentina (1999-2001), Deputy and President of the Commission of Foreign Affairs of the Lower Chamber, National Congress of Argentina (1983-1989), reelected as Deputy in 1997. Torres Avalos, Oscar, Buenos Aires, 05/08/06, Argentine Ambassador to Cuba (2000-2001). Valdés, Eduardo, Buenos Aires, 06/21/06, Chief of Staff to the Minister of Foreign Relations of Argentina (2003-2005). Valdés, Juan Gabriel, Buenos Aires, 08/16/07, consultant for the UN and OAS, former political chief of UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (2004-2006).

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Index 104-105, 118; foreign policy, 116, 120-124; regional cooperation, 120, 123-124; regional integration, 21, 25-28, 91, 107; relations with Haiti, 101105, 107; relations with Argentina, 17-18, 27-28, 36, 66, 84, 93, 103-105, 113-114 ; relations with Bolivia, 83-85; relations with Cuba, 56, 64; relations with Ecuador, 83; relations with Paraguay, 77; relations with Peru, 78, 80; structural economic reforms, 119. See also democratic transition Bucaram, Abdalá, 80-82 Bush, George W., 65

Alexandre, Boniface, 100 Alfonsín, Raúl, 22, 87, 89; Cuba, 55, 57-60, 64, 68; economic policy, 21; foreign policy, 90, 93, 96, 119; MERCOSUR, 21; transition to democracy, 20, 68; South American relations, 75, 84-85 anti-Americanism, 26, 56, 66-67 Argentina: 1989 crisis, 22, 60, 87-88; 2001 crisis, 23-25, 37, 42, 65, 88, 103, 116; agro-export model, 14; Alliance, 23, 63, 65, 77, 80; Convertibility Plan, 61, 65, 69; corruption, 37, 40, 63, 86, 88, 115; debt crisis, 36, 59, 90, 97; development strategies, 14-18, 35-37, 40; human rights, 19, 36, 58-60, 67, 96; inflation, 5, 19, 22, 36, 41, 60, 74; isolationism, 3, 17, 19-20, 34; migration, 24, 85, 115; nationalism, 17, 45, 50, 62, 65; neutrality, 15-16, 34; Pinedo Plan, 17; regime instability, 44, 116; regime vulnerability, 5, 22, 38, 40-41, 106; security, 6, 16, 18, 49, 114; social unrest, 5, 24, 41, 60, 65, 87; studies on Argentine foreign policy, 3, 3443, 114-116. See also Brazil; Cuba; democracy promotion; democratic transition; executive power; United States Aristide, Jean-Bertrand, 95, 98, 100 authoritarianism, 2, 21, 40, 42, 75,100, 111 autonomy, 17-19, 23, 31, 38, 55, 6667, 85, 96, 104, 107, 121, 124. See also relational autonomy

Caputo, Dante, 21, 96, 98 Cardoso, Fernando Henrique, 121123 Caribbean Community (CARICOM), 100 Carmona, Pedro, 87 Cartagena Consensus, 21 Castro, Fidel, 54-58, 61-64, 67 Castro, Raúl, 71 Cédras, Raoul, 95, 98-99 Clinton, Bill, 61-62, 79, 99-100 Contadora Group (Contadora Support Group), 96, 108 change in foreign policy, 4, 9, 18, 23, 31, 34, 38, 49, 103; relations with Cuba, 57, 60-63, 68-70; relations with Haiti, 97, 103-105 Chávez, Hugo, 26, 86-87 Cold War, post-war period, 23, 29, 55, 90, 120, 125 Collor de Mello, Fernando, 74, 119 Colombia, 54, 57, 64 Consensus Pact for the Political Transition, 101 consistency in foreign policy, 7, 28, 43, 46, 48-49, 112-113, 117-118; defined, 46; regime vulnerability,

Bolivia: 1984 crisis, 83-84, 90; 2003 crisis, 89, 93; 2005 crisis, 84-85, 89, 91; democratic institutions, 83-84; military, 83-84 Brazil: 1992 crisis, 74; active role in South America, 83, 101-102,

139

140

Argentina’s Foreign Policy

5, 40-41; relations with Cuba, 57, 63, 65, 70; relations with Haiti, 104, 106; relations in South America, 89, 93 constructivism, 33, 38, 47, 49, 118, 124-125 continuity in foreign policy: Argentine administrations, 4-5, 24-25, 28, 31, 41, 112; defined, 46; history, 34-35; interAmerican relations 31, 38, 45-46, 48-49, 113, 117-118; relations with Cuba, 57, 60, 62-63, 68-70; relations with Haiti, 103-104, 106; relations in South America, 89, 93 cooperation, regional, 11, 28, 42, 4546, 49, 91, 93, 96, 113-116; cooperative games, 8, 113, 116; with Cuba, 56, 62, 64, 69-70, 91; with Haiti, 102, 104, 107; in MERCOSUR, 113; with Peru, 80; in Southern Cone, 47, 105, 107, 113; with the United States, 3, 57 Cuba: Act of Understanding, 58; Agreement for the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investment, 62; bilateral trade, 55-56, 58; Cold War, 54-55; Economic Cooperation Agreement, 55; Eighth Meeting of Consultation of Foreign Ministers, 54; embargo, 62-63, 67; debt, foreign, 55-56, 62, 67; human rights, 6, 53-70, 118; inter-American system, 45, 5354, 68; OAS, 54, 61, 66; relations with Argentina, 6, 10, 25, 45, 5370; relations with the United States, 53-57, 60-61, 63-68; UN Human Rights Commission, 2324, 53, 55-59, 61, 63, 114, 118. See also democracy promotion Cubas, Raúl, 77 da Silva, Luiz Inácio “Lula”, 85 De la Rúa, Fernando, 23, 57, 63-65, 77, 80, 89, 103; 2001 crisis, 24, 88, 90

debt, foreign: default, 5, 24-25, 41, 65; MERCOSUR, 21; military government, 20; renegotiation, 15, 25, 59, 69, 97 decisionmaking: bureaucratic model, 124; MERCOSUR, 21; critical junctures, 3, 32, 43, 46, 48, 69; foreign policy, 88, 106, 112; mechanisms 5. See also executive democracy: defense of, 14, 73, 79, 83-84, 90-91, 116; collective defense of the democratic system, 29; norms, 29, 116. See also democracy promotion; democratic consolidation; democratic institutions; democratic transition democracy promotion: Argentine foreign policy, 4, 31, 49-50, 6061, 69, 74, 89, 96-97, 102, 112; in Brazilian foreign policy, 120-123; in Cuba, 53, 58, 68; differing strategies, 32, 103, 117-119; domestic goals, 7; executive power, 11, 106; in Haiti, 102-103, 107; in inter-American system, 6, 9, 29, 119; in MERCOSUR, 27; OAS policy, 30; objectives/motivations, 6, 60-61, 90, 92, 116; in Paraguay, 75-76; in Peru, 80, 89; political regional dimension, 43-44, 47, 111, 113114; studies on, 41-43, 45 democratic institutions: in Argentina, 42, 59, 88; democracy promotion, 31, 103; in Haiti, 45, 95-97, 107; in Latin America, 73; regional integration, 28, 117; OAS, 29, 83; public confidence, 24-25; studies on, 115-116 democratic consolidation: in Argentina, 13, 20, 105, 116; foreign policy, 21, 25, 40; regional context, 28; unconsolidated democracies, 42. See also democracy promotion democratic transition: in Argentina, 20, 31, 57, 59, 68, 96, 97, 114, 119, 122-123; in Brazil, 21, 74; in developing countries, 40-41, 49,

Index 141

58, 123; regional integration, 27; transitional democracies, 116117, 124 dependency, 17-18 developing countries, 20, 40-41 domestic politics: history, 35-37; interaction with foreign policy, 1, 3, 13, 22, 39, 43, 47, 120, 122125; instability, 4, 7, 32, 38, 46, 111, 114-116; interest groups, 5, 41, 122; middle-state model, 42; priority over foreign policy, 3738; regional dynamics, 117, 123124; relation with democracy promotion, 44-45, 88, 90; relations with Bolivia, 85; relations with Brazil, 25; relations with Cuba, 55, 58-61, 65-70; relations with Haiti, 97, 99, 103106 Duhalde, Eduardo, 24-25, 57, 65-66, 69, 87, 90, 103

foreign policy: developing countries, 40; political dimension, 8, 13 26, 43-44, 113, 125; regional dimension, 5, 13, 29, 33, 37, 4344, 111, 124; symbolic actions, 2, 4-5, 40, 44-45, 49, 62, 68, 92-93, 116. See also change in foreign policy; consistency in foreign policy; continuity in foreign policy; domestic politics Franco, Itamar, 74 Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), 25-26, 118, 120 Frente Patriótico Manuel Rodríguez, 58 Frondizi, Arturo, 18, 54 Fujimori, Alberto, 77-80, 89, 122

economic integration, 14, 27, 69, 76, 91, 113. See also MERCOSUR Ecuador: 1997 crisis, 80-81, 89-90; 2000 crisis, 82; 2005 crisis, 82; Confederación de Nacionalidades Indígenas (CONAIE), 82; democratic institutions, 83; military, 81-82 El Salvador, 1 executive: decisionmaking, 36, 46, 48, 93, 106, 111; democracy promotion, 7, 11, 61; policymaking, 11, 38, 43, 46, 111-112, 115-116; relations with Cuba, 61, 63, 66, 69; relations with Haiti, 101; relations with Paraguay, 75; relations with Peru, 80; relations with Venezuela, 86; symbolic actions, 2, 63, 69, 80, 97, 106, 111-112, 121 Europe, cultural ties, 3, 15, 35, 96; trade and relations with, 17, 20, 24, 35, 118 European Union, 76, 78

Haiti: debt, foreign, 99-100; Governor’s Island Agreement, 98; human rights, 98, 105; instability, 95, 98, 100; International Verification and Monitoring Committee, 97; military, 95, 103, 105-107; military intervention, 96-97, 99101; relations with the United States, 103-108; United Nations, 98-102, 104, 107; United Nations International Civil Mission, 98100; United Nations Stabilization Mission, 100-101, 104, 107; United Nations sanctions, 98 Helms-Burton law, 62 history: foreign policy, 13-32; human rights, 19, 23, 36; inter-American relations, 13-19, 28-31; military government, 17-20, 22, 59 Hobbes, Thomas, 44 Honduras: 2009 coup, 1-2 human rights. See Argentina; history; Cuba; Haiti, United Nations

Falkland-Malvinas: Islands, 19; War, 20, 36, 58-59, 65

Illia, Arturo, 18

Great Depression, 16 Guatemala, 41, 102 Gaviria, César, 76, 81 Gutiérrez, Lucio, 82-83

142

Argentina’s Foreign Policy

Import Substitution Industrialization, 17-18, 27, 119 industrialization, 16-17, 19; deindustrialization, 20 integration, regional: history, 18-19, 21, 27-28, 119; MERCOSUR, 21, 37, 69, 91, 113, 120; South America, 16, 119, 121; Southern Cone, 14, 69, 107, 114-115, 117-118; subregional, 27, 119, 121, 124 Inter-American Development Bank, 78 inter-American system, 14-17, 29, 117, 119; agenda, 29, 120; conferences, 17; crises, 79, 82, 91; relations, 14-16, 28, 31; Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance, 17, 19. See also Cuba; democracy promotion; history; OAS international: regimes theory, 30; relations, 4, 30, 36, 39, 41, 107, 124-125 International Monetary Fund, 25-27, 55, 65 Kennedy, John F., 54 Kirchner, Cristina Fernández de, 1-2 Kirchner, Néstor, 2, 25-27, 57, 66-67, 69, 83, 85, 90-91, 93, 95, 102, 104-105, 107, 116 Lagos, Ricardo, 64, 77, 104 League of Nations, 16 Machiavelli, Niccolò, 44 Mahuad, Jamil, 82 Menem, Carlos, 22-25, 27, 43, 57, 60-69, 77-78, 81-82, 86, 88-90, 93, 97-99, 102-103, 106-107, 115 Menem, Eduardo, 62, 90 MERCOSUR: cooperation, foreign policy, 76-77, 80, 82-84, 91, 93, 103, 113-116, 120, 122; economic integration, 21, 37, 69, 91, 113, 120; executive power, 113; history, 21, 27-28, 119; member states, 37, 47; structural asymmetry, 91; Treaty of Asunción, 27

Mesa, Carlos, 84-85 Mexico, 54, 56-57, 64, 80 middle-state, 8, 42, 113, 115, 124; symbolic actions, 8, 115 military, Argentina, 35, 54, 59-61, 73, 87, 89, 106; democracy, transition to, 27, 90, 114-115; Falkland/Malvinas, 19-20, 58; military government, 17-20, 22, 59. See also Haiti Molina, Hilda, 67, 71 multilateralism: debt renegotiations, 21; democracy promotion, 2, 4, 41, 88-89, 114, 123; efforts in Cuba, 53-54; efforts in Haiti, 9697, 104-107, 118; regional endeavors, 7-8, 46, 91-93, 113, 125; regional integration, 27, 37, 115, 121-122; relations with Europe, 24 nation-states, 2, 6, 8, 15, 44, 92, 113, 115 Noboa, Gustavo, 82 Non-Aligned Movement, 18-19, 21, 23, 58-59 Non-intervention Principle, 15, 34, 67, 73, 80, 92, 96, 99, 103, 107 OAS, 1, 4, 119; Charter, 29; Declaration of Managua, 30; domestic crises, response, 1, 41, 78-88; Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, 66; Inter-American Democratic Charter, 30, 42, 87, 116; leadership, 29; reform, 19; Resolution 1080, 30, 42, 76, 7879, 98, 116; Santiago Commitment, 30; Unit for the Promotion of Democracy, 30. See also Cuba; Haiti Oviedo, Lino, 75-77, 89 Palacio, Alfredo, 82-83 Paraguay: 1989 crisis, 75, 90; 1996 crisis, 41, 75-76; 1999 crisis, 7677, 89-90; 2000 crisis, 77; democratic institutions, 76; human rights, 75, 76;

Index 143

MERCOSUR, 76-77; military, 75-76 Pérez, Carlos Andrés, 86 peripheral neoidealism, 37, 51. See also realism Peronism, 18-19, 22, 23, 62-63, 6566, 101 Peru: 1992 crisis, 77-78, 89-90; 2000 crisis, 79-80, 90; democratic institutions, 77-78; military, 79; relations with Argentina, 78-80 pluralist model, 5, 39, 47 policies. See foreign policy policy elites, 13, 15, 24, 28, 120, 123 policymaking: Brazilian context, 121-124; interest groups, 81; policy context, 7; process, 117; regional issues, 37; studies on, 38; unstable countries, 44. See also democracy promotion; executive political parties: Argentina, 42, 8788; Venezuela, 86 realism, 23, 30, 36-37, 49, 124; classical, 33; peripheral, 37, 60; subaltern, 51 reflectivism, 41 regional issues. See cooperation; foreign policy; integration, regional; MERCOSUR; multilateralism; policymaking; Southern Cone relational autonomy, 37, 115-116 Rodríguez, Andrés, 75 Rio Group, 28, 108; Brazil, 122; Cuba, 62; Ecuador, 81-83; Haiti, 102-103; Paraguay, 77; Peru, 7879; Venezuela, 86-87 Sánchez de Lozada, Gonzalo, 84 Sarney, José, 21, 119 Siles Zuazo, Hernán, 83-84 Stroessner, Alfredo, 75 South America: economic integration, 16; history, 17; political crises, 45, 74, 89, 111, 118. See also MERCOSUR Southern Cone, 14, 28, 42, 58, 101, 105, 113-114; common market,

47, 69; regional integration, 69, 107, 114-115, 117-118. See also MERCOSUR structural economic reforms, 37, 43, 86, 115 Summit of the Americas, 26 Third Way, 17 Third World, 19-20, 23, 40, 58-59 Unilateralism, 112 United Nations, Decolonization Committee, 19. See also Cuba; Haiti United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC). See Cuba; Haiti United Nations Security Council: Brazilian seat, 83, 101, 104; Venezuela, 26. See also Cuba; Haiti United States: relations with Cuba, 57, 60-61, 63, 65, 67; relations with Haiti, 95, 99, 102, 105-108. See also inter-American; United States-Argentina relations United States-Argentina relations: automatic alignment, 22-23; confrontation, 34-35; regarding Cuba, 64, 66; democracy promotion, 114; foreign policy, 3, 15, 20, 24-25, 27, 118, 123; regarding Haiti, 97, 103, 105108; military government, 18-19; Peronism, 19. See also NonAligned Movement Venezuela: 1992-1993 crisis, 86; 2002 crisis, 86-87; democracy, 86-87; military, 86-87; regional affairs, 80; relations with Argentina, 26, 86-87, 90 Washington Consensus, 21, 55 Wasmosy, Juan Carlos, 75-76 World War I, 15-16 World War II, 16 Yrigoyen, Hipólito, 16

About the Book

Why would a state commit to foreign policy actions that do not appear to have relevance to its national interests? And what can we learn from Argentina’s extensive involvement in democracy promotion in the Americas? Addressing these related questions, Ana Margheritis explores the interaction of presidential power, regional issues, and domestic instability in the shaping of Argentina's foreign policy. Ana Margheritis is assistant professor in the Department of Political Science and Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Florida. She is the editor of Latin American Democracies in the New Global Economy.

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