My first book has been accepted for publication by Cambridge University Press! In the book, tentatively titled Latin America and the United States: Asymmetry and Influence, I offer a multinational account of U.S.-Latin American relations. Bridging International Relations theory and international history, I argue that a mononational focus has caused us to miss a crucial part of U.S.-Latin American relations, namely, the actions and influence of Latin American leaders. While a new current of diplomatic history has illustrated how political outcomes in Latin America were only rarely determined by outsiders, my work takes the argument a step further. Under certain circumstances, and through the deft use of strategies designed to take advantage of opportunities, allies, and ideas, Latin American leaders have had a significant impact on both U.S. policy to Latin America and on the course of hemispheric relations. Drawing on interviews and research in a dozen archives in six countries, the book asks: How have Latin American leaders sought to influence U.S. policies, and when have they succeeded?
It will include four case studies. The Brazilian initiative Operação Panamericana in the late 1950s, the negotiation of the Panama Canal treaties during the 1970s, Mexican foreign policy and NAFTA from 1988-1994, and the initiation of Plan Colombia from 1998-2001.