IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Constructing regionalism in South America: the role of ideas in the Andean Community and Mercosur Projects


  • German Camilo Prieto

    () (Consultant)


As an alternative to materialist explanations of regionalism in South America, this essay offers a constructivist approach that assesses the constitutive role of ideas related to collective identity, collective knowledge and structure of roles as three ideational variables to understand the engagement of South American states with the Andean Community and Mercosur regionalist projects. According to these variables, which are taken from A. Wendt’s study of international culture, this essay addresses four sources of collective identity ?interdependence, common fate, homogeneity and self-restraint— and explains the structure of collective knowledge constituted by neo-liberalism and the strategy of ‘open regionalism’. It also assesses the structure of rules that defines the types of international culture of anarchy present in South American regionalist projects. The essay shows the ability of the constructivist approach to explain the development of these projects amidst low levels of regional cohesion, highlighting ideational dimensions often dismissed by materialist analysis

Suggested Citation

  • German Camilo Prieto, 2003. "Constructing regionalism in South America: the role of ideas in the Andean Community and Mercosur Projects," Colombian Economic Journal, Academia Colombiana de Ciencias Economicas, Colegio Mayor de Nuestra Senora del Rosario, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Universidad de Antioquia, Universidad de los Andes, Universidad del Valle, Universidad Externado de Colombia, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, vol. 1(1), pages 267-303, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:cej:primer:v:1:y:2003:i:1:p:267-303

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    regionalism; constructivism; Andean Community; Mercosur;

    JEL classification:

    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F42 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Policy Coordination and Transmission


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cej:primer:v:1:y:2003:i:1:p:267-303. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Carolina Mendez). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.